Sarah Jessica Parker was born in Nelsonville, Ohio and grew up there, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in several other places in and around New York City.
Parker’s father was Jewish, and even though her mother was not, the actress considers herself a Jew. She married her husband, actor Matthew Broderick whose mother was Jewish, in a synogogue. But the wedding was non-religious and officiated by Broderick’s sister, an Episcopalian minister.
Her wedding is representative of how Parker feels about her faith. She strongly identifies with the culture of Judaism, but called herself uneducated about the religion, and, as of an interview in 2002, was conflicted about how she wanted to present religion to her children. She considered the Unitarian route:
Sometimes I think there’s something attractive about Unitarianism. It’s a little bit more progressive and philosophical. If I could apply that kind of approach–what I understand it to be–to being a Jew, that might feel right.
To say that she’s not a religious Jew doesn’t mean that she’s not religious. She just doesn’t seem to have a concise definition of what she believes.
I know that I believe that there’s somebody who watches over us and he or she takes care or not, or teaches us. I really do–strangely enough–kind of cling to that.
Parker is about as liberal as they come, about most things, and is a huge supporter of Barack Obama. She hosted a fundraiser at her house in New York City which raised $2 million at $40,000 a pop for the President’s re-election campaign in 2012. She also appeared in a television ad in which she encouraged viewers to make a donation to the campaign in order to be entered into a raffle to have dinner with her and the Obamas.
She feels deeply connected to the gay community and, not surprisingly, supports gay marriage, saying she “can’t imagine any real legitimate reason not to” legalize same-sex unions. She was also a member of the liberal organization, Hollywood Women’s Political Committee before it disbanded in 1997.
But in a more conservative vein, she’s a hardliner about Israel. While admitting that she doesn’t know much about the history of the conflict, she says Israel has a right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists. And she doesn’t feel like she has anything to discuss with those who criticize Israel’s actions:
To me it’s like trying to have a logical argument with a pro-lifer. I can’t have the conversation because there’s no logic that applies. If you don’t understand why Israel has to defend itself. . . . The extremists want the Jews gone. So why should the Jews feel safe?