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February 17, 2014 6:11 pm

Writer: Simon Cowell Wanted to Know if His Mother’s Family Was Jewish

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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Lauren Silverman, Simon Cowell, and infant son Eric Phillip. Photo: Simon Cowell /Twitter.

British music impresario, and proud dad, Simon Cowell, had been chasing up his family’s Jewish roots ahead of the birth on Friday of son Eric, in New York City, according to Daily Mail showbiz writer Alison Boshoff.

“Indeed, when I was conducting research into his family for this paper, Cowell rang me to ask about it,” Boshoff wrote late Sunday. “Aware that the paternal side of his family was Jewish, through his father’s mother Esther who had fled here from Poland, he wanted to know about the maternal side.”

“‘Are you sure they aren’t Jewish as well?’ he asked. They aren’t, but he thought his mum Julie was the archetypal Jewish mother, endlessly adoring of her children,” Boshoff said.

“Simon’s son — Eric Phillip Cowell — is certainly Jewish,” Boshoff noted in the article.

Cowell, who recently gave £100,000 to the Los Angeles Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, plans to wed the baby’s Jewish mother, girlfriend Lauren Silverman, in a Jewish ceremony, complete with Israeli dancing.

Baby Eric’s namesake, Eric Selig Phillip Cowell, was Simon’s father, an “East End boy with Jewish roots who became a property mogul,” according to Boshoff.

Family patriarch Joseph Cowell had been a rope-maker from Whitechapel, UK. He married Esther Malinsky, a Polish Jew whose family emigrated to the UK, in 1915.

Eric, born in 1918, qualified as a surveyor, but soon joined the Middlesex Regiment in World War II and was posted to Calcutta, India, as a clerk. When he returned to England, he developed a property management business; one of his clients was EMI, the music publishing and record company, where Simon got his first job as a runner in their mail room.

The Cowell family had other entertainment industry connections: Gerry Blatner, head of Warner Brothers studios in the UK, lived next door to them in Elstree, England, and his movie star parties often extended to the Cowell home.

According to the Daily Mail’s Bishoff: “Simon’s younger brother Nick recalled: ‘We had the likes of Gregory Peck, Richard Burton and Liz Taylor in our house. As children, Simon and I didn’t really understand who  they were. But we loved the events.’ Simon once said a highlight of his childhood was to sit on the lap of U.S. actress Bette Davis.”

Eric Cowell died aged 81, in 1999, on the eve of Simon’s biggest break, when his band Westlife hit the top of the charts with its first number one song, Boshoff wrote.

Cowell told her: “‘I phoned him to tell him about the Number One, because that’s what I did — when something good happened, I called my dad.”

“At first, my mother couldn’t even tell me he was dead. She just listened to me burbling on. Then she called me back to tell me. Awful.”

“‘It was the ultimate irony. The worst thing that could happen  and the best — all in the one day. It just shocked me to the core. I just never thought my dad wouldn’t be around.'”

Baby Eric’s circumcision is expected this week, but details could not be confirmed on Monday.

Fittingly, Boshoff also wrote about naming her own son — George, born before Prince George — last year.

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  • Mel

    For musical (rather than Talmudic) questions, Shimon might contact Virginia Beach music impresario Richard Cowell Jr.

  • READERS WHO ARE TALMUD SCHOLARS, I suppose,all of you AND ME.the following is both abrasive abusive and rude as well as informative.take the part you like best.

    >Was her previous arrangement to a Jew.
    >What was their agreement?
    >Living together with intentions to leave each other after a year to continue dating?
    >Or agreement that they will accept each pther as man and wife without the formalities..
    >Or married if he is a Jew by a Rabbi and divorced by a rabbi
    >Or they were married secularly without a rabbi
    >Or he wasn’t a Jew at all and married by the courts…
    and more questions which leads to ther questions..
    such as will the kid be circumsized according to Jewish law or not.
    The Rabbi,that if he married her previous arrangement was TORAH ORTHODOX or not.
    ALL THE ABOVE ARE SERIOUS QUESTIONS TO MAKE A DETERMINATION ON THE STATUS OF THE CHILD.
    ____________

    EKARESKY AND RUTHY:
    The above does not apply to you at all, you are above this and wrote and live your own rules to life but the following DOES APPLY TO YOU….

    Was the rabbi male or female,
    played guitar during the wedding if female or not.
    If female what Tephilin did she wear or not
    what kind of a tallet,prayer shawl was it,narrow or wide over the shoulders.
    was the kipa yellow like the vatican hands out for its priests or formal red when Israeli politicians visit the museum of idols,maybe white for it celebration of destruction of the Temple..
    ________________

    BEFORE THE INTERNET WE DIDNT HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.WE HAD ONE RABBI LIKE AVI WEISS TO GIVE US ALL THE WRONG ANSWERS.

  • all i care that he is a good person and is pro Israel
    ViVa Israel

  • Batyah

    Moshe ~ Cowell’s not Jewish – but his child is Jewish, his child’s mother is Jewish (as they say in the article – who knows), and he donated 100,000 UK pounds to the IDF. That works for me! Marrying a Jewish woman and donating to the IDF is a WHOLE LOT MORE THAN MOST “JEWISH” BOYS ARE DOING THESE DAYS!!!

  • Moshe, your pathetic opinion is both insulting and wrong. Better you understand the Hebrew definition before attempting to attack someone.

    First leave them alone or bless their happiness. Second, worry not about the business of others.

    Michael

  • Moshe

    Cowell doesn’t want to know that he is Jewish. At this point he is better off converting. If he turns out to be born Jewish, then his little boy is a mamzer. While Cowell is currently presumed to be goy, mamzerut doesn’t stick to his son.

    • May G-d reprimand you for your words describing a new born baby who is loved by his parents. I won’t tell you any more what I think of you.

    • Deb

      not true he’s a mamzer mazer is a child born of adultery don’t see that here

    • Saidi

      Respectfully disagree on mamzarut.

      Only the offspring of another marriage to a Jewish man is a mamzer if a get was first not obtained before the second marriage.

      This child is simply another child born of a Jewish woman who had an adulterous relationship and may possibly be considered the child of her Jewish husband.

      If Cowell chooses to convert, it will have no bearing on the child since the child is already born.

      I doubt a child born to a rape victim is a mamzer.

    • good point.

      • oops, I realized my comment above is not clear, because of the placing.
        I am saying to the original comment by Moshe – that he is making a good point.
        not that I thought I would ever care about Simon Cowell or his son – but I did find this article interesting – and Moshe – your comment adds another side to it that had not occurred to me. despite all the other silly attacks on your comment – I think you make an interesting and valid point.

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