Hebrew Hair



When I say “Jewfro,” you probably think of Seth Rogen, or his Judd Apatow film pal, Jonah Hill.   And while some may say that the style consists of a mop of curls, I do not agree.  On humid days when I complain of having an “afro,” it does not imply that I have perfectly smooth ringlets on my head.  Au contraire, it means my hair is frizzed to high heaven, and neither John Frieda nor any other lying, scheming frizz-free, smoothing  serum, crap-peddling con artist can fix it.  Seth Rogen’s hair is not frizzy.  It is an afro SHAPE made of cascading curls.


In the scheme of things, “jewfro” is a fairly recent term.  It is not, however, a recent phenomenon.  In fact, I contend that jewfros of the past were far superior to their modern-day counterparts, in part, because of their absolute frizziness.  Think: Art Garfunkel.  Hello, darkness, my old friend…

But his was not the first jewfro to which I was introduced.  That honor goes to Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein on Welcome Back, Kotter.  That’s him in the upper right.  He was a Puerto Rican Jew with an era-appropriate coif.



I suppose technically I was introduced to Mr. Kotter’s jewfro at precisely the same time, but he was a teacher, and I identified with the students, even if they were male.  Sadly, the actor who played Epstein, Robert Hegyes, passed away just over a year ago.  If you ever want to hear a great theme song, this show had one.  Welcome back, welcome back, welcome ba-a-ack.

I would be remiss not to mention the now-deceased “happy trees” PBS icon, Bob Ross.  According to www.jewornotjew.com, Ross was not actually of Jewish descent, which means that what he sported was actually a “jewfaux.”  But let’s not get legalistic.



Doesn’t he just make you want to smile? P.S. it was a perm.

This next little jewfro works well on Shia LaBeouf, who was Jewish enough to have a full-on Bar Mitzvah, yet he also was baptized.  So there you go.  No jewfaux here.

Here’s another shot of Shia with something that I can’t quite label.  It’s not a ‘fro, but it is powerful.  You can’t tame that thing.  Let’s call it Black Mamba hair.

Seinfeld creator Larry David’s jewfro was something to behold.  You can see that the receding had already begun its weary trek to the back of his dome.  And he looks none too thrilled about it.

That really looks strange, doesn’t it?  The Marx Brothers; the next generation.

It’s like Ashley Judd’s hairline, with all those little baby hairs.  An odd sort of fringe.  Not that I would mind trading faces with her for a few years…

I’m also reminded of Selma Blair and her curious hairline.  Keep the bangs, girl.  Keep the bangs.

Now Lenny Kravitz has Russian Jewish ancestors, but I wouldn’t call his look a jewfro.  I would just call it a nice, tight hairdo. On a really fit man with a bandana and shades who is cooking shirtless.

What were we talking about again?   

25 responses »

    • For future reference:
      Actors of fully Jewish background: -Logan Lerman, Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Julian Morris, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Marla Sokoloff, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Adam Brody, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Gabriel Macht, Halston Sage, Seth Gabel.

      Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers -Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Emmy Rossum, Jennifer Connelly, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan, Joel Kinnaman.

      Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: -Andrew Garfield, Ezra Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Ben Foster, Nikki Reed, Zac Efron.

      Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism -Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.


  1. Pingback: Two Dorises And A Dixie Lee | I Don't Get It

  2. I went way back in time to an older post about really fantastic old television shows and actors. I liked “Welcome Back Kotter” and all the funny men with “fro’s” which these days I would just call it “unruly” hair Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    • It costs a lot to look hip. 🙂 I remember reading that painter Bob Ross was tired of getting his hair permed all the time, but it was “his brand” so he had to maintain it. I’m glad you’re free now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My first wife’s brothers had natural fros. Hated it when they were young. I love women with dark curly hair. Long rings of flowing curls or tight like a helmet no matter. You did quite a bit of research for this post. Kudos. Didn’t Lovin Spoonful do the Kotter theme?

    Liked by 1 person

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