Oded Fehr

"Resident Evil: Retribution" Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals

Fehr in 2012, photo by PrPhotos.com

Place of Birth: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date of Birth: November 23, 1970

Ethnicity: Ashkenazi Jewish, as well as Sephardi Jewish

Oded Fehr is an Israeli actor. He has starred in The Mummy and Resident Evil films, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, and the series Sleeper Cell, among many other projects. In these roles and others, he has played, Arab, Hispanic, French, and Israeli characters.

He is the son of Gila (Lachmann/Lachman), who was born in Kiryat Chaim, Haifa, and Uri/Ury Ernst Fehr, who was born in Jerusalem. His father is of Ashkenazi Jewish and Sephardi Jewish descent, and his mother is of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. His father’s family was from Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and Bosnia, and his maternal grandparents’ families were from Germany and the Netherlands, respectively.

Oded is married to American, Rhonda Tollefson, with whom he has three children.

Among Oded’s paternal ancestors are Yitzhak Haim Farhi, who was born, c. 1782, in Safed, Tzfat, North District, Israel, and Rabbi Eliezer Papo, Pele Yoetz, who was born, c. 1786, in Sarajevo, Federacija Bosna i Hercegovina.

Oded’s paternal grandfather was named Joachim/Hans Fehr/Peher. Hans was evidently born in Germany.

Oded’s paternal grandmother was Miriam Bolisa Shaltiel (the daughter of Meshulam Bochor/Behor Menashe Shaltiel/Saltiel and Sarah Ashkenazi). Miriam was born in Jerusalem, to a Sephardi family. Meshulam was born in Pirot, Serbia, Yugoslavia, the son of Abraham/Avraham Saltiel/Shaltiel and Tamara, who were born in Sofia, Bulgaria. Sarah was born in Jerusalem, the daughter of Isaak/Yitzhak Ashkenazi, who had roots in Larissa, Greece, and Istanbul, Turkey; and of Rivka/Rivkah Efraim.

Oded’s maternal grandfather was Heinz Chanoch Lachmann (the son of Georg Lachmann and Paula Dörnberg/Doernberg). Heinz was born in Eschwege, Germany. Georg was from Lissa (now Leszno), Posen. Paula was born in Eschwege, the daughter of Albert Dörnberg/Doernberg, from Plaue, Thüringen, and of Cilly Dinkelspühler, from Fürth.

Oded’s maternal grandmother was Claire Ullmann (the daughter of David Ullmann and Alice Steinberg). Claire was born in The Hague, Netherlands. David was born in Rödingen, Titz, Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, the son of Philipp Jacob Ullmann and Helene Ehrlich. Oded’s great-grandmother Alice was born in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, and died in the Holocaust in 1944, in Auschwitz.

Sources: Genealogy of Oded’s paternal grandmother, Miriam Shaltiel (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Oded’s maternal great-grandmother, Paula Dörnberg/Doernberg – https://www.geni.com

Genealogy of Oded’s mother (focusing on her mother’s side) – https://www.geni.com

69 Responses

  1. Yeravam says:

    This entire conversation is stupid.

    Oded Fehr is Ashkenazi Jewish, and Ashkenazi Jews often look Middle Eastern because they ARE Middle Eastern. They are indigenous to the Levant. Why is this so difficult for people to accept?

    Ashkenazi Jews are Middle Eastern. Accept it. Move on.

  2. jackson9 says:

    I am looking at this conversation and I think this is all goofy. My Priest always has said that Jews (Ashkeanzi, Sephardic, Mizrahi, etc.) are the indigenous children of Israel. He says Jacob’s 12 sons were the 12 tribes of ancient Israel. It’s in my King James Bible.

    • passingtime85 says:

      Not sure if this is tongue in cheek humor or not, but if you want to go by the Bible, the Hebrews, a while before Israel or Jerusalem were even in the lexicon of the Levant, were from Ur originally. Which most likely means they were indigenous to modern day southern Iraq.

      • sitman18 says:

        Ur of the Bible was most likely in Upper Mesopotamia (Northeastern Syria or Southeastern Turkey). The association with southern Iraq is mostly modern.

        • passingtime85 says:

          The problem is there is contention as to which Ur the Bible referred to. Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar, Edessa, Kutha, and several more places are possibilities of where the Bible referenced. I don’t believe there’s one location that is wholly considered the most likely candidate. Although more of the locations are in Iraq though, that’s why I said Iraq. Syria and Turkey have likely candidates, but I wouldn’t consider them a lock.

      • Azazi says:

        According to Jewish tradition, only the patriarch Abraham was from Ur. He settled in Canaan and his sons married Canaanites, birthing the Israelite nation.

        The archaeological account is different.

        • passingtime85 says:

          It’s popular in early cultures to attribute a people’s origins in a distant land. It’s even more popular to attribute a people or a culture to a single founder. Neither is usually true. I personally take a more grounded approach with the Hebrew people’s origin.

          It most likely was a large band of people, not just Abraham and his family that traveled to the more coastal area of Canaan. They probably were not from a major important city of the tie, such as Ur. They most likely were nomads that traversed the surrounding areas before settling in a single location. Myth and legend typically have some base in reality, the details just get blown out to outlandish proportions.

  3. ses101 says:

    There are a lot of people here in Britain that look a bit like him, and I’m not even talking about those of foreign descent. He could pass for being George Harrison’s son.

  4. ihatemostpeople says:

    Arab???? Where do you see Arab? He looks white to me. Have you seen a real Arab??? This man looks white.

    • phaedra says:

      You must be blind or terribly ignorant.

      The average Arab from the Near East (Lebanon, Syria, excluding the gulf) looks like this man. Have you even seen Lebanese people? They’re no lighter or darker than him.

      • RadDaddy says:

        “You must be blind or terribly ignorant.

        The average Arab from the Near East (Lebanon, Syria, excluding the gulf) looks like this man. Have you even seen Lebanese people? They’re no lighter or darker than him.”

        6′ 2″ is the height of Oded Fehr, the average middle eastern male is in the 5′ 9 range.
        Is skin tone the only thing you based your assessment on?
        Olive Mediterranean skin tones commonly found in the Levant are found in massive abundance in Europe, especially southern Europe.
        In fact the populations of the Levant have quite a bit of genetic affinity to southern Europeans, particularity in the southern reaches of Italy and Greece.

        You are basing your analysts of this man on ONE photo, from a site notorious for using photos with garbage lighting conditions to exacerbate the swarthiness of a person.
        Beard stubble also makes most people look more “exotic” in the minds of race obsessed morons.
        And of course there is a thing called a TAN, that any person of Caucasian heritage can get.
        How about these photos with different lighting conditions?

        Oded Fehr looks like a typical Spaniard, if I had to cherry-pick a nation where this guy would fit info the local population nicely.
        And yeah, I have visited Spain and traveled extensively in that nation.
        Also a big fan of Spanish cinema.
        Plenty of Welsh and Scottish people have his look, too.
        Quite common.

    • Azazi says:

      He’s certainly Arab-looking enough that he is cast in Arab roles *all the time*.

  5. shobohunter says:

    Arab looking Jew also face racism and discrimination
    from their white looking counterparts in Israel.

    • isaacder3i says:

      No we don’t face discrimination, thats a myth made up by anti-zionists.

      Oded Fehr is ashkenazi, which is his religious rite, nothing more. Ashkenazi jews are middle eastern according to genetic studies.

      He looks levantine, and he could pass as Iraqi Jewish, because he is the same race. He just was born into ashkenazi judaism.

      • RadDaddy says:

        “Oded Fehr is ashkenazi, which is his religious rite, nothing more. Ashkenazi jews are middle eastern according to genetic studies.”

        That is just not true at all.
        Ashkenazim are a Jewish ethnic group and on an autosomal level cluster squarely in the southern European genetic cluster.
        There is plenty of JUNK SCIENCE with oversold headlines that are only supported by their cherry-picked data.
        They excluded South Italians and Peloponnese Greeks in their reference populations, even though the oldest Jewish communities in Europe lived in south Italy and the Peloponnese.
        They excluded Greek Islands too even though Jews have lived on Greek Islands for well over 2000 years.
        So don’t try and sell me anything about junk science studies when you don’t even understand how to read their data and dissect it.

        • Azazi says:


          With all due respect, you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about. Virtually every single DNA study over the past 20 years (including many that have used Sicilians and Greeks) has arrived at the same conclusion: Ashkenazi Jews originate in the Middle East and trace a significant chunk (i.e. more than half) of their individual genome to the Middle East. They cluster tightly with Sephardim, and in between Druze/Lebanese Christians and southern Europeans. Furthermore, southern Europeans have significant Middle Eastern ancestry themselves (Sicily *was* colonized and settled by Phoenicians, Arabs, etc after all).

          You may not like the conclusions, but that doesn’t make these reams of *peer-reviewed* studies “junk”.

          • passingtime85 says:

            To be fair it should be noted while most paternal haplogroups of the Ashkenazim are rooted in the middle east and north Africa, most of their maternal haplogroups are of European origin.

          • andrew says:


            If there’s any “MIddle Eastern” ancestry in Southern Europeans is largely due to ancient Neolithic migrations from Anatolia etc Otherwise how Greeks would score some M.E. ancestry without never have been ruled by Arabs/Saracens? Phoenicians established only a few emporiums in coastal Sicily. They did not colonize the island.

          • Azazi says:

            @andrew: Greeks have had substantial contact with the Middle East for thousands of years, arguably beginning long before there was ever a Greek Empire. It isn’t just Natufian farmers. There remains a sizable Greek presence in the Middle East (and vice versa) to this day.

            The Phoenicians did settle and colonize Sicily. See here: https://www.ancient.eu/Phoenician_Colonization/

          • Azazi says:

            @passingtime85 – Most, and in some cases all, of the European DNA in Ashkenazim is from Greek Hellenists. Nearly every Levantine population (sans Lebanese Christians and Samaritans) has this ancestry. In fact, you’ll also find Crusader ancestry in non-Ashkenazi Levantine populations, which Ashkenazim lack.

            What pulls Levantine/Mesopotamian Arab groups further East is the higher proportion of Arabian ancestry, which Ashkenazim also lack.

          • passingtime85 says:

            The Euro DNA in Ashkenazis mostly come from Italy, with bits and pieces of surrounding ethnicities thrown in, but mostly Italy. I know the Hellenistic Jews had a bit of an impact on culture 2k+ years ago, but they were a genetic dead end mostly. Romaniotes are all that remain of them…

          • Azazi says:

            @passingtime85 – That doesn’t explain how Romaniotes and other Sephardim cluster so tightly with Ashkenazim. If the admixture came from Italy, Ashkenazim would be slightly left of Romaniotes.

          • passingtime85 says:

            Nearly all Jewish ethnic groups, with a few exceptions, are related because their founder populations are the same. Jewish men from the middle east, most likely merchants, go into a foreign area, marry local women, form a community, and mostly if not completely close of ties to people outside the community.

            Paternally almost every Jewish ethnic group is related. Maternally however their genes reflect their founder mothers. So yes Jews cluster with one another more than surrounding populations, but they’re still fairly distinct from one another.

            If you were to do a blind dna study and threw in a few AJs, they’d be closer to Euros rather than sub-Saharan Africans, or South or East Asians or even those samples from individuals of a Middle East origin. They’d be distinct from the other European samples, for sure, but not all that dissimilar.

            I’ve seen several graphs on genetic drift for AJs, none of them seem to me to very definitive. Can you show me the one or ones you use as a point of reference? I’m earnestly interested and I’m not being facetious or antagonistic.

          • Azazi says:

            @passingtime85: Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrahim are not ethnic groups. They are diaspora populations, or minhagim. All three belong to the same ethnic stock.

            Yes, there was obviously some intermixing (albeit very minor) in diaspora (Mizrahim with Arabs, and Ashkenazim/Sephardim with Greeks and north Italians), but that doesn’t mean they’re separate ethnicities. For example, northern French have a different genetic makeup than southern French, but they’re not separate ethnicities.

            On most charts, Ashkenazi Jews cluster with Sephardim in between Druze and southern Europeans.

          • Azazi says:

            I can’t post pictures on here, for some reason.

            Most peer-reviewed papers have accompanying PCA plots though. Haber’s study from 2013 springs to mind.

        • sitman18 says:

          Autosomally they cluster near Greek Islanders and Sicilians, but when you break down their ancestry, it’s very distinct. Ashkenazi Jews are around 40-50% Levantine, 5% North African, 15% Northern European, and the rest is Southern European.

          • Azazi says:

            It’s more like 50-60 percent Levantine, 30 percent Greek/Italian, 10-15 percent North Atlantic with some very small African and East Asian (probably Silk Road Chinese) components.

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