Jay Baruchel

by ethnic on December 3, 2009

Birth Name: Jonathan Adam Saunders Baruchel

Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: April 9, 1982

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish (paternal grandfather), Irish, French, English, German

Jay Baruchel is a Canadian actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, and producer.

Jay is the son of Robyn (Ropell) and Serge Victor Haim Baruchel. Hus father, who was born in Paris, France, was of half Sephardi Jewish and half French, non-Jewish, ancestry. Jay’s mother, who is from Canada, was raised Catholic, and has Irish, English, and German ancestry.

Jay’s paternal grandfather was Johnny Baruchel (the son of Victor Baruchel and Rose Forté). Johnny was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and was a Sephardic Jew. Johnny’s recent ancestors had lived in Egypt, Algeria, and Italy (including in Ravenna). Victor was born in Tanteh, Egypt, the son of Yacoub Baruchel/Beruchiel/Berouchel, who was born in Oran, Algeria, and of Stelina “Stella” Calamaro. Rose was born in Cairo, Egypt, the daughter of Isaaco “Zacchetto” Forte and Allegra De Botton. Jay’s Forte ancestors, originally named Forti, were from Lugo (now Province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna), Italy, where a Jewish community has been recorded since 1285. The former Duchy of Ferrara had three Jewish ghettos: Ferrara, Cento (where Benjamin D’Israeli’s ancestors were from), and Lugo (established in 1639, Jews were 10% of the population).

Jay’s paternal grandmother was Marie-Madeleine Virlouvet (the daughter of Coutant Virlouvet). Marie-Madeleine was French. She may have converted to Judaism.

Jay’s maternal grandfather was Robert William Ropell (the son of Robert Joseph Ropell and Grace Bridget O’Malley). Jay’s grandfather Robert was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Jay’s great-grandfather was the son of Robert J. Ropell, who was a German emigrant, from Danzig, Prussia, and of Frances “Fanney” Martin. Grace was the daughter of John O’Malley and Catherine Fultz.

Jay’s maternal grandmother was Helen Margaret Saunders (the daughter of Andrew John Saunders and Rachel Francis Cullen). Helen was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Andrew was the son of Henry Saunders and Mary Ann Cookson, whose father was English and mother was Irish. Rachel was the daughter of John Michael Cullen and Mary Ann Phillips.

Sources: Genealogies of Jay Baruchel (focusing on his father’s side) – http://www.farhi.org

Biography of Jay’s paternal grandfather, Johnny Baruchel – http://genealogie.planete.qc.ca

Genealogy of Jay’s maternal great-grandfather, Robert Joseph Ropell – http://worldconnect.rootsweb.ancestry.com

Obituary of Jay’s maternal grandmother, Helen Margaret Saunders – http://www.federationgenealogie.qc.ca

photo by Prphotos

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

andrew August 4, 2017 at 6:55 pm

His Italian Jewish ancestors (originally “Forti”) were specifically from the town of Lugo (now Province of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna), where a Jewish community is recorded since 1285. The former Duchy of Ferrara had three Jewish ghettos: Ferrara, Cento (where Benjamin D’Israeli’s ancestors came from), and Lugo (established in 1639, Jews were 10% of the population)

Otherwise “De Botton” family is said to have roots from the town of Boton, Castile and León, Spain. Possibly he descends from this man: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_de_Boton

bearboy August 3, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Not sure anyone cares but, “my father’s family is Jewish. I am but a half breed.”

bearboy August 3, 2017 at 6:14 pm

This was his twitter post btw in case anyone is confused. Was Jay’s father raised in the Jewish faith even though he had a non-Jewish mother?

passingtime85 August 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Maybe they practice Reform Judaism. They accept people with patrilineal lineage.

follers August 5, 2017 at 6:23 am

Baruchel’s paternal grandmother may have converted to Judaism.

andrew March 5, 2017 at 11:11 am

His paternal grandfather looked somewhat like Liev Schreiber

vilgotaan March 4, 2017 at 3:24 am

Take number 69! It’s hilarious!

bearboy March 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Jay Baruchel is hilarious, especially in, “Man seeking woman.” This is a hypothetical question but if Baruchel was tested by ancestry DNA would he come up as about 25% European Jewish or 0%? The reason I wonder this is because by definition Sephardic Jews would fit under European Jews but he isn’t Ashkenazi which some people say European Jewish really is the equivalent to Ashkenazi Jewish from 23andme.

visokozen February 5, 2015 at 7:02 am

Yes he wants to be Irish:) even got a tattoo.

andrew July 21, 2013 at 3:50 am

from the main cast of “This is the end” he is the actor with minor Jewish ancestry lol

follers July 21, 2013 at 4:30 am

Danny McBride has a Jewish great-grandfather. That is one generation removed from Jay Baruchel.

andrew July 21, 2013 at 6:37 am
me December 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm

He looks like Frankenstein

follers October 27, 2012 at 1:54 am

Here is the whole lowdown on what he is:

Jay’s paternal grandfather, Johnny Baruchel, was Jewish, and was the son of Egyptian-born parents Victor Baruchel and Rose Forte. Johnny Baruchel was Sephardic, and his family was from Algeria, Egypt, and Italy.

Jay’s paternal grandmother, Madeleine Virlouvet, was French, and was of non-Jewish background.

Jay’s mother was raised Catholic, and was from a family of Prussian (German), Irish, Scottish, Northern Irish, and English descent. Some of Jay’s mother’s ancestors were American-born.

So I would say:
Ethnicity: Sephardic Jewish (paternal grandfather), French, German, Irish, Scottish, Northern Irish, English


Two of Jay’s maternal great-grandparents, Robert Joseph Ropell and Jean Bruce


bearboy October 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm

How come Jay Baruchel isn’t listed as Scottish, Northern Irish, and English?

follers December 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Because Jean Bruce turned out to be his step-great-grandmother.

Anya April 15, 2012 at 10:44 am

I love Jay, he is uber cute. His face is so expressive! Great mix.

Someone July 22, 2011 at 2:31 am

I think hes really cute. Lol

Dave May 12, 2010 at 11:07 pm

According to this, Jay Baruchel is one quarter Jewish, with the other bits being French (presumably on his father’s side) and Irish Catholic


ethnic May 12, 2010 at 11:59 pm

thanks Dave. His surname appears to be French. So I wouldnt doubt that. But he seems to regard his dad as Jewish as seen in the quote above.

Fuzzybear May 13, 2010 at 4:13 am

To Ethnic

just curious,your did like the picture?

Fuzzybear May 13, 2010 at 4:14 am

excuse,meant to say didn’t like the pictures?

ethnic May 13, 2010 at 6:40 am


the ones you submitted? They are great but Im just worried about the copyright on those. If they aint free then I shouldnt put them up.

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