Lenny Kravitz talks about his Jewish upbringing
Singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz discussed his Jewish upbringing in an interview with the New York Times discussing his new memoir Let Love Rule, which recounts his childhood to the release of his 1989 debut album.
Kravitz noted how his Russian Jewish Father, Sy Kravitz, made certain that he grew up in a Jewish household and observed Jewish traditions.
Sy was a TV producer, who Kravitz was quoted by the New York Times as saying was a “self-assured Jewish man,” raised by Jewish parents. He married Kravitz’s mother Caribbean-American actress Roxie Roker in the 1970s.
Sy’s parents refused to attend his wedding, however, after Kravitz was born around the same time his uncle on his father’s side died – to which he is named after, Pfc. Leonard M. Kravitz – his family came to terms with Sy’s decision, the singer previously noted according to the Algemeiner.
“I am deeply two-sided,” Kravitz said in his memoir, according to the New York Times. “Black and white. Jewish and Christian. Manhattanite and Brooklynite.”
In the exclusive interview, the New York Times asks about his relationship with his parents and the role his father had in Jewish upbringing. The New York Times presenter made a comment that Sy didn’t “seem to have been interested in educating you about Judaism.”
To which Kravitz remarks, “No, he wasn’t that kind of a communicator with me. And he wasn’t religious. As with many Jews in my family at the time, it was all about tradition and keeping that alive, especially after what people in the family had gone through in World War II. But I still got exposed to it, from going to temple and spending the High Holidays with my family at their houses.”
While the singer said that he couldn’t “say that [he] understood everything, or accepted” everything that his father did but that by “writing this book, [he] got to understand him as a man, instead of looking at him as [his] father who screwed up in different arenas. I ended up liking and loving him even more.”