Rashida Jones was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
Jones is the daughter of famous jazz musician and pop music producer, Quincy Jones. However, her mother is an Ashkenazi Jew with Russian and Welsh ancestors.
Jones has spoken of her struggle with identity, being torn between black culture and Jewish culture. She did attend Hebrew school until the age of 10, but quit because of her inability to connect with her classmates. In Harvard, she identified with the black students, despite some backlash. And to this day, she still seems to try and straddle both cultures. But religiously, she’s all Jew. She said:
In this day and age, you can choose how you practice and what is your relationship with God. I feel pretty strongly about my connection, definitely through the Jewish traditions and the things that I learned dating the guy that I dated. My boyfriends tend to be Jewish and also be practicing.
However, Jones admits that she’s pretty far from Orthodox:
I do not keep kosher. I grew up reformed. I never had my bat mitzvah, but I still practice and go to synagogue on high holidays.
Nevertheless, Jewish it is!
Jones is no newcomer to partisan political activism. As far back as 2004, she was campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
And you know she went all out for Obama, both in 2008 and 2012. After Obama won his first election, she said:
I’m elated! That was the only hope we had left in this country. It made me feel really proud to be an American for the first time in a long time.
In 2012, Jones hit the campaign trail, traveling to universities to sign up voters and stump for Obama.
And when he won in 2012, she tweeted:
A VERY BIG EXHALE. #RightSideOfHistory #fourmoreyears #Obama2012
Later that day, she poked a little fun at Fox News for their disappointment:
Fox News’ “fair and balanced” reporting tonight gives new meaning to sore losers. They are almost incapacitated by how bummed they are.
Beyond Obama piety, Jones has been praised for her pro-women work, particularly for her film, Celeste and Jess. When asked about her feelings regarding women in America, she said:
I think there’s just an inherent burden of being alive and being a woman. No man would ever admit that, but I think women know it, which is: You know more than men, you know more than most people you’re dealing with every day, and you know that it’s up to you to make things move forward, and you get paid half as much, but you just do it.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that Jones has taken her multi-minority status–black, Jewish woman–and made something quite impressive out of it.