Paula Abdul

Abdul in 2011, joe seer/

Birth Name: Paula Julie Abdul

Place of Birth: San Fernando, Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: June 19, 1962

*father – Syrian Jewish
*mother – Ukrainian Jewish, Russian Jewish

Paula Abdul is an American dancer, choreographer, singer, songwriter, actress, and television personality. She is known for being a judge on the show American Idol.

Paula’s father, Harry Abdul, was a Syrian Jew from Aleppo, who emigrated to Brazil, and then to the U.S. Paula’s mother, Lorraine (Rykiss), is Ashkenazi Jewish, and is originally from Saint Boniface, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. All four of Paula’s maternal great-grandparents were born in Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine.

Some have associated her with the black community, because of her style of music.

Paula’s maternal grandfather was William Alexander Rykiss (the son of Avram/Avraham Rykiss and Bessie Peshe “Passy” Malamed). William was born in Katerburg, Ukraine. Bessie was the daughter of Moishe Malamed and Dvora/Dovrah Berg.

Paula’s maternal grandmother was Sally/Sarah Naomi Riceberg (the daughter of Moishe Leib “Maurice” Riceberg and Mariam Goldbreski/Golubitsky). Sally was born in Manitoba, Canada, to parents who were born in Russia and Ovruch, Ukraine.

Sources: Genealogy of Paula Abdul –

Genealogy of Paula Abdul (focusing on her mother’s side) –

Paula talks about being Jewish –


Curious about ethnicity

125 Responses

  1. ethnogenesis says:

    Paula Abdul is a Syrian Arab-Jewish/Ashkenazi of Brazilian and Canadian origins, but in her career, she passed off as she’s Black, Mexican or Chicano, or some say she looked Indigenous or a bit “Asian/Filipino” (on the B&W music vid “straight up and tell me”) and finally, “multiethnic”. The info posted here states she’s Jewish or comparable to Tara Strong, who was born in Canada of solely Jewish heritage, and so is Paul Anka of non-Jewish Lebanese.

  2. Mooooose says:

    What is it about you Americans when describing other countries for the origins of people? You quote that Abduls mother came from “Saint Boniface, Winnipeg Canada? THATS WRONG! She came from St. Boniface, which is a suburb of Winnipeg in the province of Manitoba, Canada!!! I certainly never read that someone came from Van Nuys, Los Angeles, USA…..No, you always seem to get it right when it is your country.

  3. mycarf123123 says:

    You should update her ethnicity: “Syrian Jewish” (father), to “Sephardi Jewish”
    and the *Ukrainian Jewish, Russian Jewish” (mother), to “Ashkenazi Jewish”

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