You oughta know… that Alanis Morissette only discovered her Jewish family history when she was in her late 20s. The Canadian singer-songwriter was a guest this week on PBS’ ‘Finding Your Roots.’
Her mother, Georgia Feuerstein, was born in Hungary to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust. The trauma was so great that Georgia never spoke of their Jewish history—a decision that Morissette believes resulted from her mother feeling terrorized and making an effort to protect her children from antisemitism and hate.
Morissette’s maternal grandfather, Imre Feuerstein, had two brothers, Georgie and Sandor. Imre managed to survive and move to Canada but never knew what happened to his brothers.
On the episode, Morissette is shown documents from Yad Vashem, which recorded the last known whereabouts of both of her great-uncles. It was testimony that listed the circumstances as slave labor army sent to Russia. This is the first time Morissette is seeing these documents.
Next, they were able to trace back to Morissette’s great-great-grandfather, Izrael Blumenkranz, born around 1845 in Galicia, which is present-day Ukraine. Izrael’s death certificate provided the names of his parents, Freida Hardstein and Isaac Blumenkranz, likely born over 200 years ago.
Morissette said that throughout her life, she has somehow always shown up at a Passover Seder, and now she knows why—she was coming home.