Lea Michele

by ethnic on May 12, 2010

Birth Name: Lea Michele Sarfati

Place of Birth: The Bronx, New York City, New York, U.S.

Date of Birth: August 29, 1986

*Sephardi Jewish (father)
*Italian (mother)

Lea Michele is an American actress, singer, songwriter, and author. She is known for playing Rachel Berry on the show Glee.

Lea is the daughter of Edith Thomasina (Porcelli) and Mark David Sarfati. Lea’s father is a Sephardi Jew, from a family that moved to the U.S. from Turkey and Greece (and had originally left Spain, likely in the 1400s). Lea’s mother is of Italian descent, and is Catholic. Lea stated on Inside the Actors Studio (2012) that she was raised in her mother’s Catholic faith, and that her Jewish father “gladly” attended church with them.

Lea’s paternal grandfather was Albert Sarfati (the son of Yomtov Sarfati and Sol/Celia). Albert was born in New York, to Sephardi Jewish immigrants from Turkey.

Lea’s paternal grandmother was Celia Sylvia Veissy (the daughter of Moise “Morris” Joseph Veissy and Benuta “Bessie” Kouenkas/Cohenka). Celia was born in New York, to Jewish parents from Thessaloniki, Greece. Moise was the son of Joseph Veissy and Dona. Benuta was the daughter of Isaac Shemtov Couenca/Cohenka and Meriam Arania.

Lea’s maternal grandparents had the surnames Porcelli and Mariano. Their families were from Rome and Naples, respectively.

Sources: JVibe interview about Lea’s heritage – http://archive.is

Information about Lea’s appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? (2016) – http://ancestraldiscoveries.blogspot.ca

Genealogy of Lea Michele – https://www.geni.com

Lea’s paternal grandfather, Albert Sarfati, on the 1940 U.S. Census – https://familysearch.org


{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

neiltennant March 26, 2017 at 5:56 am

how many nights i have dreamt of LEA MICHELE ?

JOHN MAYER also had interest in her but she had no interest

Ardor February 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Jewish/Semitic eye shape.

Italian mouth.


cdonorab May 2, 2016 at 1:22 pm

Correction. Her father’s family was actually from Greece. On Who do you think you are she found out her great grandparents were from thessaloniki.

neiltennant August 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm

she is stunning. I do like her so much

and her nose which is seen by many as a problem is not a problem.

If i make her nose smaller i do have FRAN DRESCHER

neiltennant August 11, 2015 at 3:08 pm
andrew August 4, 2015 at 3:59 pm

her mother’s maiden name is “Edith Porcelli”.

andrew August 4, 2015 at 3:58 pm

In her Italian profile on Wikipedia there’s written her maternal grandparents’s surnames were “Porcelli” (from Rome) and “Mariano” (from Naples).

cwm85 July 29, 2015 at 6:53 am

She omitted her last name to sound more “american” it seems like it. Albeit fully European American.

cwm85 July 29, 2015 at 6:52 am

So her dad ks from Turkey but her ancestors are originally from Spain. Wouldn’t that make her Spanish and Italian?

margot August 19, 2015 at 4:42 am

No, because nowadays Turkish Jews are not 100% of Spanish Jewish background. Her dad’s family lived in Turkey for a long time..(i guess they came to Turkey from Spain in 1492 like most Spanish Jews).. Turkey already had a Jewish population (Turkish Jews).. Turkey also welcomed Jews from all around the world..
I guess they mixed with them…No way her dad is 100% Spanish Jew.

cwm85 August 19, 2015 at 8:19 am

But you don’t really no…

lelo4 January 3, 2017 at 4:45 pm

No, because like Ashkenazim, Sephardi Jews have little to no blood from the local population of their host countries.

Gurrl July 29, 2015 at 6:37 am

I was thinking maybe she got her nose from her Italian mother, because many Italians can also have such noses.
Her mom has a bit of a shorter nose but it looks like she got her nose from both parents.

neiltennant July 29, 2015 at 3:59 am

i think she is good looking

and if i google her name there are many things like




neiltennant July 29, 2015 at 3:45 am

can anybody tell me why she claims that first she was refused by hollywood producers ?

I mean she is really hot and good looking

even john mayer likes her and most of my male friends say she is hot

ashash November 26, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Why does she describe her father as a “Spanish Jew” when he’s from Turkey?

shobohunter November 26, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Turkish is a nationality and I am pretty damn sure her father was not ethnically Turkish.. he was just living there.

margot June 30, 2015 at 9:33 am

Her dad’s family probably came to Turkey from Spain in 1492 like most Spanish Jews who are located in Turkey…Turkey already had Jews before the Spanish Inquisition, so maybe her dad’s family (Spanish Jews) mixed with Turkish Jews?

Tom Lloyd July 29, 2015 at 12:06 am

She doens’t refer to him as a Spanish Jew but as a Sephardi Jew

chatelet7 June 8, 2014 at 9:58 am

Lea’s paternal great grandfather’s name was Yomtov, not Yontov. Yontov is not a name. Yomtov is Hebrew for “Good Day”, it basically means holiday. Many people of Jewish origin have the name Yomtov. There’s proof here:

Her paternal great grandparents are listed as passengers of this ship. It says, Mr. Yomtov Sarfati, from the Bronx, NY. Her great grandmother, Mrs. Celia Sarfati, is listed underneath. The names on the census are written in a messy script. Yomtov was probably read as Yontov by several websites. The census is known for making little errors with people’s names.

follers June 8, 2014 at 10:20 am

Thank you. If you know anything else about Lea’s genealogy, please feel free to share.

Nikki May 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm

She is spanish, turkish and italian

aroxysimon June 8, 2014 at 3:06 pm
tinasheeeee August 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Stfu. She’s Turkish Jewish & Italian. She has no Spanish in her.

Tom Lloyd July 29, 2015 at 12:07 am

She doesn’t claim to be Jewish, she says her father’s family are Sephardi Jews

alberto.r7 September 19, 2017 at 9:54 am

She isn´t ethnically Spanish, she is sephardi.

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