13 fantastic Jewish characters who'll be celebrating Hanukkah

Contributed by
Dec 16, 2012, 12:07 PM EST

Since tonight marks the beginning of the Festival of Lights, we thought we'd run down a roster of noteworthy pop culture characters who'll be lighting a menorah—including a master of magnetism, a mistress of magic and Jews in Space!

Everyone deserves their own heroes—and villains—so as our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate the light that wouldn't go out, here are some characters who'll never go out of style.

Willow Rosenberg

(Alyson Hannigan)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The good Miss Willow has been many things on Buffy: nerd, dork, ally, villain, computer wonk, magic user, in love with boys and in love with girls—but she's always been Jewish.


(Michael Fassbender)
X-Men: First Class

Here's a character defined by his pain: the loss of his parents at the hands of concentration camp goons kick-started the emergence of his magnetic powers. And that pain drove young Erik Lensherr to become the "peace was never an option" man he is today.

Ben Grimm

(Michael Chiklis)
The Fantastic Four

The Thing's Judaism has never been pushed to the fore—his background wasn't revealed until 2002—but his creator, Jack Kirby, always thought of Big Ben as Jewish.


(David Burke)
The Tick

You'll believe a former accountant (and current sidekick to a nigh-invulnerable simpleton) in a bunny suit can fly.

Susan Ivanova

(Claudia Christian)
Babylon 5

To butcher an old joke, this first officer of the deep space station Babylon 5 really puts the she in yeshiva.

David Levinson

(Jeff Goldblum)
Independence Day

The brains behind mankind's retaliation against a horde of alien invaders, this computer genius manages to build an extraterrestrial-crippling virus on his by-now-archaic Apple.

Kyle Broflovski

(Voiced by Matt Stone)
South Park

He's the smart one, the moral one, the one member of South Park's kid quartet who will bring logic and reason to bear when dealing with the ridiculousness of their lives ... which includes Satan, aliens, Barbra Streisand robots and talking poop.

Lester Patel

(Vik Sahay)

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this Buy More clerk and Jeffster frontman is television's first self-identified Hin-Jew.

Krusty the Clown

(Voiced by Dan Castellaneta)
The Simpsons

His full name is Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofski. He could not be Jewish, theoretically, but the rabbi father is a sure tipoff.

Kitty Pryde

(Ellen Page)
X-Men: The Last Stand

Erik Lensherr isn't the only mutant in the Marvel Universe to have ties to Nazi concentration camps: The girl who can walk through solid matter had a grandfather who was detained during World War II.

Dr. Zoidberg

(Voiced by Billy West)

He's never been explicitly described as Jewish, but this alien doctor certainly walks the walk and talks the talk—even if he was once prohibited from attending a robot bar mitzvah because, as a crustacean, he wasn't kosher.

Harley Quinn

(Voiced by Arleen Sorkin)
Batman: The Animated Series

This unhinged femme fatale made her debut on the Emmy-winning cartoon, before infiltrating both Batman comics and videogames. Twisted by love, this former Arkham Asylum psychiatrist became infatuated with the Joker and kicked off a career as a maniac's moll.

Jews in Space

Leave it to Mel Brooks to put a tantalizing look at the Chosen Starfighters at the tail end of History of the World Part I and never give us a Part 2!