January 19, 2020

Was country legend Glen Campbell Jewish?

Country music legend Glen Campbell, famous for his 1975 hit “Rhinestone Cowboy,” died Tuesday, August 8, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Campbell hailed from humble beginnings, growing up Baptist in rural Arkansas. According to a 2008 article published in Reuters, Campbell and his wife Kim were practicing Messianic Jews. Although not considered part of the Jewish religion, Messianic Judaism incorporates Jewish elements into an overall evangelical Christian theology.

Messianic Judaism, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president emeritus of the Union of Reform Judaism, told the Journal in 2012,  is “built on a lie. They are lying about us and lying about themselves; they distort both.”

Campbell and his wife celebrated Jewish holidays such as Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah, but they also celebrated non-Jewish holidays such as Christmas. His wife, apparently, cooked a mean brisket (although, the article mentions her matzo balls needed some work). Inside his Malibu home, he kept a menorah on his mantle and a Hebrew book on his coffee table.

The country artist was featured in the documentary, “Hava Nagila, What Is It?” where he and his wife perform their own rendition of the Israeli folk song [Watch below].

If a traditional service is observed, the Mourner’s Kaddish will be recited at Campbell’s funeral.