Tag Archives: maternal ancestors

Natalie Portman: Movies Year by Year…


Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman (Photo credit: bigdmia)

Portman was born in Jerusalem, Israel.[9][10][11] She is the only child of Shelley (née Stevens), an American homemaker who works as Portman’s agent, and Avner Hershlag, an Israeli citizen who is a fertility specialist and gynecologist.[12][13][14] Portman’s maternal ancestors were Jewishimmigrants to the United States, from Austria and Russia (her mother’s family had changed their surname from “Edelstein” to “Stevens”).[15] Her paternal grandparents were Jews who moved to Israel from Poland and Romania. Her paternal grandfather, whose parents died at Auschwitz, was an economics professor in Israel, and her Romanian-born great-grandmother was a spy forBritish Intelligence during World War II.[16][17][18]

Portman’s parents met at a Jewish student center at Ohio State University, where her mother was selling tickets. They corresponded after her father returned to Israel, and were married when her mother visited a few years later. In 1984, when Portman was three years old, the family moved to the United States, where her father received his medical training.[14] Portman, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel,[19] has said that although she “really love[s] the States… my heart’s in Jerusalem. That’s where I feel at home.”[16]

Portman and her family first lived in Washington, D.C., but relocated to Connecticut in 1988, and then settled on Long Island, New York, in 1990.[4][20][21][22]