Elvis Aaron Presley – the most Christian icon of American pop culture – was Jewish.
In 1998, The Wall Street Journal published an article named All Shook Up in the Holy Land exposing Elvis Presley’s Jewish roots. Elvis’ maternal great-great grandmother, Nancy Burdine, was a Jew. Her daughter gave birth to Doll Mansell who gave birth to Gladys Smith who gave birth to Elvis Aaron. According to rabbinic law, which confers Jewish lineage by way of the mother, that makes Elvis Presley Jewish.
Schmelvis: Searching for the King’s Jewish Roots is a book about the Jewish roots of Elvis Presley.
The book includes the following discoveries about Elvis’s Jewish background: Elvis always wore a Jewish Chai pendant; he put a Star of David on his mother’s headstone; he spent his teenage years living in a predominantly Jewish Memphis neighborhood; cantorial records may have influenced Elvis’s singing style. According to the authors, Max Wallace and Jonathan Goldstein, Elvis grew up in a Jewish area of Memphis and as a teenager, lived downstairs from a local Rabbi, Alfred Fruchter.
The Rabbi’s widow, Jeanette Fruchter, recalls; “He was about 15 years old then and we got along so beautifully. He was such a nice boy, such manners. He called my husband Sir Rabbi.”