Us Jews love it when a member of the tribe makes it big. It’s as if their success rubs off on all the rest of us and offers a form of validation to a historically much maligned people. Everyone has that uncle that trots out the list of Jewish Nobel Prize winners as proof positive of our choseness. Yeah, yeah… but sometimes we over do it. Case in point, Internet billionaire and co-founder of Snapchat Evan Spiegel.

Spiegel was just listed in Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017 – a fact that the vaunted Forward felt the need to report when they asked 9 Jews Named to Time 100 List – Can You Guess Them All? The listed Jews included Jared and Ivanka Trump, Janet Yellin, Chuck Schumer and of course Evan Spiegel. I say of course because they had to note Spiegel’s Timely accomplishment – because they included Spiegel in the earlier 2016 Forward 50 annual list of Jews who have impacted American life the most or something. Nice!

In their write up on Spiegel, the Forward mentioned that he had recently become engaged to his girlfriend, former Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. This was also breathlessly reported by who love it whenever a Jew and a non-Jew get married “Supermodel Miranda Kerr, who is not Jewish, is engaged to Jewish billionaire and Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel. Mazel tov to all!”

Jerusalem Online reported that 6 of the 10 wealthiest Billionaires on WealthX’s list of wealthiest people under 35, were Jewish. They also reported that, at 25, Jewish billionaire Evan Spiegel was the youngest on the list. Wow.

Except that Evan Spiegel isn’t Jewish. Like at all. Not on his mother’s side, not on his father’s side. He’s Episcopalian and his ancestry is “…German, Irish, English, small amounts of French, Scottish, Swiss-German, and Welsh, and remote Cornish.” Cornish! Ever hear of a Cornish Jew? Didn’t think so.

It took me 5 minutes to find this out. From multiple sources. Evan Spiegel. Not a Jew. Ok?

So much for that Jews control the media nonsense.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • This was an interesting project for me, to discover whether this fellow was Jewish, because I personally had Jewish relatives in West LA named Spiegel, from a Minneapolis family of Spiegels. Some may recall that some of those Spiegels were the owners of Lamaur products, the makers of “Style” hairspray and hair products.

    From Wikipedia: “Spiegel is a surname of German origin. In German language Spiegel means mirror. Spiegel is an ancient German Christian surname. Family tradition says it was taken from a town or lake named Spiegel.”

    Of course, a large circulation magazine in Germany in the last 50 years has also been “Der Spiegel.”

    As with many German names, the assumption that it’s Jewish comes from the fact that a high proportion of the people who had to emigrate from Germany, Vienna, Poland and Ukraine over the last 150 years, who had German names, were Jews. A lot of this was because of anti-Semitism that was endemic in those places long before the Nazis, and required many Jews to convert or emigrate in order just to make a living and be spared persecution. A much lesser proportion of Germans who had German names needed to emigrate.

    In that Evan Spiegel has a great-grandfather who had the name Jacob Spiegel, perhaps his family was one of those families who had to convert in the early 1800’s and the heritage only sporadically appeared thereafter in given names – although it was also common for Protestants to be given Old Testament names. (On the other hand, that aspect of Lutheranism in Germany – the taking of Old Testament names and the adherence to the Old Testament – may actually be a remnant of the fact that many Jews had dispersed in that area. In the tradition of Jewish names being from the trade they were in, possibly some “Speigels” were dealers in mirrors, rather than from some place called Spiegel.

    In any event, this Evan Spiegel seems to be a real tool with little social conscience. While Zuckerberg and Benioff already have hospitals named after them, I don’t expect we will see that with Spiegel. He seems more the Larry Ellison type. I wouldn’t be proud of his being one of the tribe. In researching his background, it is clear that any Jewish that may have been there in the dark past has been watered down sufficiently that we don’t have to take responsibility for him.

    • I get what you are saying about german surnames being linked to being Jewish…(side-note I recently found out that genetically, yes I have a minute amount of Jewish heritage but it is on my matriarchal side)…my surname is Hoffman which is about as german as you can get…so yeah, people often assumed that I were Jewish.

  • He doesn’t have any jewish in him whatsoever. He is also a talented remarkable man.

  • Many Jewish-sounding surnames are actually German in origin. This may be due to a 1787 Austro-Hungarian law that required Jews to register a permanent family surname, a name they also required to be German. The decree also required that all surnames that had previously been used in Jewish families, such as those originating from a place where the family lived, should be “totally abandoned.” The chosen names were subject to the approval of Austrian officials, and if a name was not chosen, one was assigned.

  • “So much for that Jews control the media nonsense.” – CK
    Translation: A co-founder of Snapchat isn’t Jewish therefore Jews couldn’t possibly have a large influence on media. CK, you sure have a strong grasp of sound logic.

  • This is a remarkable article by the way. I am going to go ahead and save this post for my brother to read later on tonight. Keep up the fine work.

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