Posted by: Elena's Israel Blog | 12/22/2010


Yes, he was. Tradition holds that in order to be considered a true Jew, it must be by matrilineal descent. Whether you were raised as a Jew or anything else, even an atheist, you are Jewish if your mother, her mother, her mother, etc. etc. were Jewish. There can be no male in the middle of the line or it is broken. This has nothing to do with religion. Jewishness is about ethnicity, not religion. Judaism is the religion.

Anyway, Elvis had an ancestor named Nancy Burdine who was Jewish.  She and her husband Abner had a daughter Martha who married White Mansell (Indian). Their daughter Octavia was Elvis’ maternal grandmother and her 5th child Gladys married Vernon Presley and gave birth to Elvis.

Although Elvis was brought up in the Christian faith he was befriended by a rabbi who lived in the same apartment building as the Presleys. In fact, Elvis became his ‘shabbas goy’, a gentile who was to light the stove and turn on lights on the Sabbath so the Jews wouldn’t have to do any work. Also Elvis’ mother was proud of her Jewish ancestry and her original tombstone displayed not only a Cross, but also a Star of David. Elvis donated large sums of money to the Memphis Jewish community, a testament to his legendary generosity and charity. Elvis wore a Chai (life) symbol around his neck and in his own unusual way was a Christian Zionist just like me!

from the Jerusalem Post Christian edition, Jerry Klinger



  1. Very interesting, Elena!

    I continue to enjoy your postings.

    Be joyful, especially in the Joyous Christmas Season,

  2. My friend Mel Sherr says this: “his middle name was “ARON”..”

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