Neil Diamond was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.
Diamond is Jewish; his parents were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. He's got the credentials for a good Jewish boy: he sang in his high school choir with Barbara Streisand, he played a Jewish musician in a major Hollywood film and he considered for a stage name: Noah Kaminsky.
But being Jewish or faith or God or Hanukkah or anything like that isn't something Diamond seems keen on talking about. Really, Diamond makes little or no mention of his upbringing or faith–current or otherwise.
Some Jews are a bit miffed–betrayed even–that Diamond has released not one, not two, but three Christmas albums in his career.
Maybe he doesn't care about religion, or maybe he's old school and just doesn't think it's something the press or his fans need to concern themselves with.
Politics of Patriotism
First of all, Diamond penned perhaps America's greatest immigrant-tribute song, "America." Check out these lyrics:
Home, to a new and a shiny place/Make our bed, and we'll say our grace/Freedom's light burning warm/Freedom's light burning warm.
Maybe it was a tribute to his parents, or to all America's immigrants. Perhaps it was a statement for all Americans to remember their immigrant roots and be just a little bit proud of them. Either way, Diamond backs up the message by backing America's party of recent immigrants and minorities (for the most part), the Democrats.
Of the $32,000+ Diamond has given to politicians, all but $1,000 of it went to Democrats or the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Who was that one lonely Republican that got $1,000 of Diamond's money? A U.S. Senate candidate from Maine named William Cohen. Notice the Jewish name? Just saying, it's all starting to come together.
In 2012, Diamond pushed pretty hard for Obama. He tweeted about him and even manned phones at the campaign call center, presumably soliciting donations and spreading the important word of Obamaism.
That same year, Diamond poked some good-natured fun at movie star and Republican National Convention speaker, Clint Eastwood. Republicans and Eastwood fans loved the joke, picking up Diamond's tweet and spreading it around the internet. He wrote:
"No one heard at all… not even the chair." Love ya Clint. ;-)
A political and musical force. Still, pretty light on the Judaism though–unless I've missed something. Let us know in the comments.