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April 8, 2015 1:44 pm

Michael Douglas Says Son Dylan Brought Jewish ‘Spirituality Back Into Household’ (VIDEO)

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In an interview with Today, Michael Douglas talked about his son bringing Judaism back into the family. Photo: Today.

Actor Michael Douglas said on Tuesday that his son Dylan’s interest in Judaism brought religion back into the family following the boy’s experience with antisemitism and desire to have a bar mitzvah.

“He’s brought a lot of spirituality to our lives,” the star explained in an interview with TODAY. “The irony is my father [Kirk Douglas] is Jewish, my mother is protestant … I married Catherine [Zeta-Jones], who is Catholic. And our son, just from going to school and meeting a couple of Jewish friends …. six months later, [Dylan] said, ‘I want to have a bar mitzvah.’ We were touched. I have to say, Kirk was over the moon.”

Douglas first revealed his son’s encounter with antisemitism in a recent opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times. He said his family was on a summer vacation in Europe when a man verbally assaulted the youngster. Though the confrontation confused the boy, Douglas immediately identified the antisemitic nature of the incident.

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“He came up to the room really upset,” the actor recalled. “This man had been yelling at him, and he didn’t know why. And I’m looking at him — and he’d recently had a bar mitzvah and somebody had given him a Star of David — and I saw this Star of David shining, and I thought, ‘No, this couldn’t be.'”

He continued, “I went down to the pool to ask this man what the problem was, and he went off about [how] there’s too many people in the world and there’s got to be rules, regulations. … I said, ‘Well, Dylan, you’ve just had your first taste of antisemitism.'”

Douglas said he has recently become involved with the Genesis Prize Foundation, which celebrates individuals who inspire others through their dedication to the Jewish community . The actor was named their 2015 Genesis Prize laureate earlier this year. He told TODAY, “Now I’m actively involved with bringing interfaith families together.”

Watch the video of Douglas’s comments below:

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  • Kirk Duglas was my favorable Actot Z/L. I also admire
    Michael Duglas, but when peolple have wealth;
    somehow they forget their faith and traditions. It is never to late Michael keep up your good Faith, your son is a message to you from thé AllMighty in Heaven, He guides all Yid to thé right steps. You should visit thé promised land of Israel, I wish you lots of Nachat from your son Bar Mitzva. Good luck, Lea Ivgy

  • Golum

    Here Here …I always liked Michael and NOW we are also Proud of him as a Jew!
    Unlike other superstars who are afraid to speak out about their Judaism!!!

  • Unfortunately,the majority of Hollywood is Jewish with English names and none of them other Michael Douglas has come out address the anti-sentiment. That’s a tragedy. Big names like Barbara Streisand, Goldie Hawn, Robert Redford, every single one the movie directors, other than Clint Eastwood. Its a travesty that they are cowards. Cuddos to Michael Douglas!

  • Leroy

    Nice story but neither father or son is jewish. Doesn’t your mother have to be jewish? I guess you do what you have to do to make it hollywood

  • michelle

    Maybe one day young Dylan will convert to Judaism. Being Jewish comes through the maternal side of the family. Wonderful to hear he is interested.

  • I really love Michael D. As one of the best actor and also as a great human being. His kids are so beautiful. Of course his wife too. It’s good to see a Hollywood couple who really making a family and love they kids.

  • Rabbi Dr Shalom Coleman CBE AM

    This is a great story from a great actor who is proud of his origins. The spark of his Jewish spirit inherited from his father and now in his son Dylan, albeit through an anti-Semitic experience, has brought a positive Jewish religious response into a movement stimulating the importance of interfaith respect cementing goodwill interfaith relations.

  • Gathering of the Exiles of Zion

    Gathering of the Exiles of Zion, we are numerous, and will read again Torah and Rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.

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