Birth Name: Bennett Eli Rappaport
Place of Birth: Arlington, Tarrant, Texas, U.S.
Date of Birth: March 23, 1986
*Ashkenazi Jewish (father)
*French-Canadian, Irish, English (mother; who likely converted to Judaism)
Ben Rappaport is an American actor.
His father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from a family from Russia and Poland). His mother has French-Canadian, Irish, English, and possibly other, ancestry. Ben’s parents are members of a Reform temple. If his mother was not born Jewish, she likely converted to Judaism. Ben was raised Jewish and had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony.
Ben’s paternal grandfather is Sidney Rappaport (the son of Ben Rappaport).
Ben’s paternal grandmother is Roberta Marion Renkoff (the daughter of Herman Renkoff and Vera Sugarman). Roberta was born in Illinois. Herman was born in New York, to Polish-born parents Abraham David Renkoff and Miriam/Mariam Broner. Vera was born in Illinois, to Russian-born parents Louis Sugarman and Rose. Louis wrote the Yiddish-language book The God of Ben Zion, about his experiences in the shtetl.
Ben’s maternal grandfather is Francis J. Joslyn (the son of Clarence Edgar Joslyn and Florence Olive Thiffault). Clarence was born in Massachusetts, the son of Charles Frederick Joslyn and Katherine A. Kane, who was of Irish descent. Florence was born in New Hampshire, the daughter of Esdras Thiffault, who was born in Canada, and of Exilena/Exiline Chouinard/Chounard; who were both of French-Canadian origin.
Ben’s maternal grandmother is Jacqueline A. “Jackie” Jarvis (the daughter of John E. Jarvis and Anne/Annie Taylor).
Ben has written:
My family came to New York at the height of the mass exodus of Ashkenazi Jews from the Pale of Settlement in the early 1900s/1910s. When I searched for information on my Great Grandpa Ben Rappaport (whom I’m obviously named after), the amount of Yiddish speaking, Russian born men by that name on the lower east side in that time period brought me to the conclusion that Ben Rappaport was like a Jewish ‘John Smith’ of sorts.
Sources: Interview with Ben about his Jewish religion – http://jewishjournal.com
Genealogy of Ben Rappaport (focusing on his father’s side) – http://levinsongenealogy.org
Genealogy of Ben’s paternal grandmother, Roberta Renkoff (focusing on her father’s side) – https://www.geni.com