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