Serbian Jewish

Alex Borstein

by ethnic on July 21, 2009

Birth Name: Alexandrea G. Borstein

Place of Birth: Highland Park, Illinois, U.S.

Date of Birth: February 15, 1971

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish

Alex Borstein is an American actress, writer, producer, and comedian.

She is the daughter of Judith and Irving J. Borstein, who are mental health professionals.

Her paternal grandparents were Polish Jewish immigrants, and her father was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was raised Orthodox Jewish.

Her mother was born in Budapest, Hungary, to a Jewish family from Hungary and Serbia. She is a Holocaust survivor. She moved to the United States after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

Alex has two children with her former husband, actor and writer Jackson Douglas.

Alex’s paternal grandparents were Paul Borstein and Bessie Kaufman (the daughter of Helen). Paul and Bessie were Polish Jewish immigrants.

Alex’s maternal grandparents were Jenö Grünfeld (later Eugene Gábor) and Vera Winternitz (the daughter of Dezsö Winternitz and Gizella Lakner/Laquer). Jenö was born in Debrecen, Hungary. Dezsö was born in Subotica, Serbia. Gizella was born in Pest County, Hungary. Dezsö and Gizella were killed in the Holocaust, in Auschwitz.

Alex has stated that her heritage is “Hungarian-Mongolian”, evidently coming from her maternal grandmother. Alex’s grandmother Vera Winternitz was the granddaughter of Zsigmond Winternitz and Netti Weitzenfeld on her father’s side, and of László Lakner and Johanna Wachs on her mother’s side. It does not appear that any of them were Mongolian.

Sources: Genealogy of Alex Borstein (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Alex talks about her Jewish background –

Creative Commons License photo credit: Gage Skidmore


Sean Paul

by ethnic on December 29, 2007

Birth Name: Sean Paul Henriques

Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Date of Birth: 9 January, 1973

Ethnicity: Sephardi Jewish (paternal great-grandfather), African-Jamaican, German, English, Chinese

Sean Paul is a Jamaican recording artist, dancehall rapper, singer, record producer, and actor. His paternal great-grandfather was a Sephardi Jew (whose family was from Portugal, as well as more distantly from the Netherlands, Germany, Serbia, and France). His other ancestry includes Afro-Jamaican, German, English, and Chinese. Sean was raised Catholic.

Sean is married to Jamaican television host Jodi Stewart, with whom he has a son.

Sean’s paternal grandfather was Ronald Barrington Henriques (the son of Nathaniel Morais Henriques and Isabel/Isabelle Viola/Violet Eisner). Nathaniel was born in Kingston, to Sephardi Jewish parents, Isaac Cohen Henriques and Hannah Vaz. Isabel was the daughter of Carl August/Augustus Eisener/Eisner and Medora Jane Tomlinson, who had German, English, and likely Afro-Jamaican, ancestry.

Sean’s paternal grandmother was Marjorie Teresa Corbett (the daughter of Alfred Clarence Leonard Corbett and Ianthe Isabel Bawn). Marjorie was of Afro-Jamaican background. Alfred was the son of James Corbett and Mary E. Ianthe was the daughter of James Bawn.


Genealogy of Sean Paul (focusing on his father’s side) –

photo by Adam J. Sablich /