Mia Kirshner

Mia Kirshner ethnicity

Kirshner in 2009, photo by s_bukley/Bigstock.com

Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Date of Birth: January 25, 1975

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish, Sephardi Jewish

Mia Kirshner is a Canadian actress, writer, and activist. She is known for her role in the series The L Word.

Mia’s father, Sheldon Kirshner, is a journalist for the Canadian Jewish News. Sheldon was born in a displaced persons camp in Bad Reichenhall, Germany, the son of Polish Jews who survived the Holocaust. Mia’s mother, Etti, is a Bulgarian Jew. Bulgarian Jews are considered Sephardi.

Mia’s paternal grandfather was named David Kirzner/Kirshner. David was born in Łódź, Łódź Voivodeship, Poland. He fought with the Polish Army when Germany invaded the country in 1939. He spent most of the war in the Łódź Ghetto.

Mia’s paternal grandmother was named Genya/Jean. She lost her first son in Auschwitz.

Mia’s maternal grandmother was named Reni Lazarov.

Sources: Genealogy of Mia Kirshner (focusing on her father’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Obituary of Mia’s paternal grandmother, Genya/Jean Kirshner – https://steelesmemorialchapel.com


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8 Responses

  1. lelo4 says:

    Correction: ‘Polish’ Jewish and ‘Bulgarian’ Jewish are not real ethnicities. She’s half Ashkenazi Jewish half Sephardi Jewish.

  2. lelo4 says:

    jews should change their german surnames.

    • mycarf123123 says:

      Many of them have already changed their surnames to Hebrew (Hebraization) in Israel.

      Either way, the ”German surnames” are also perceived as Yiddish.

  3. sarahle says:



    omg……. never thought that age…

  4. AJS says:

    In this interview she mentions that her Grandparents were originally from Poland. I’m guessing it is from her father’s side. Kirshner is a common name used by Polish Jews (I think it was back to the time when Poland was part of Germany).

    • ethnic says:

      Great interview AJS!

    • Freerk says:

      Many Eastern European Jewish names are of German origin (as is Yiddish to a very high degree). The reason is that the Jewish migration to Eastern Europe from the 10th century on started (at least partially) in Germany which then was a center of Ashkenazi culture (in the medieval Ashkenaz was identified with the south-western German regions of Rhineland and the Palatinate).

      “Kirsh”/”Kirsch” (German for cherry) is a common Jewish (but not only Jewish) name throughout Europe and North America; Kirshner however may derive from the profession of a peltmonger/furrier (I don’t know the correct word, these are two translations from the German “Kürschner” at dict.cc). In this case the name is originated in Poland (because in Germany the guilds would never have allowed a Jew to take this profession, but in Poland they could). but derived from the Middle High German language O_o (respectively Yiddish …)

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