Everything we know about Grammy Award-winning singer and producer Jack Antonoff’s Jewish background

Like in the other parts of his life, Jack Antonoff is not shy about his Jewish identity.
U.S. musician and record producer Jack Antonoff accepts the "Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical" on stage during the 66th Annual Grammy Awards pre-telecast show at the Arena in Los Angeles on February 4, 2024. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Producer, songwriter and singer Jack Antonoff is one of the most successful musicians in the world. 

Working with artists like Lorde, the 1975 and Lana Del Rey, the 39-year-old’s most famous production work is his collaborations with Taylor Swift.

Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff perform onstage during “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour” at MetLife Stadium on May 26, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

On Feb. 4, Antonoff was awarded Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, at the 2024 Grammys. This was his ninth Grammy overall and his third consecutive win in the category.

Like in the other parts of his life, Antonoff is not shy about his Jewish identity. Here’s everything we know about Jack Antonoff’s Jewish identity.

Read more: Who are the celebrities supporting Israel during the war?

The basics

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers performs onstage during the 2017 Governors Ball Music Festival – Day 1 at Randall’s Island on June 2, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Jack Michael Antonoff was born March 31, 1984, to parents Shira and Rick Antonoff

He grew up in New Milford and Woodcliff Lake in New Jersey. For elementary school, Antonoff attended the Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County.

The second of three kids, his older sister is fashion designer Rachel Antonoff and his younger sister Sarah died from brain cancer when she was 13 and Jack was a senior in high school.

Antonoff’s little sister’s death in 2002 has had a major impact on his identity as a musician — “my whole career has been revisiting that through a different lens,” he said

Antonoff’s musical journey

While he loved music as a child, Antonoff’s first official musical endeavor was in high school when he joined the punk band Outline. 

Between 2001-02, Antonoff dated his Professional Children’s School classmate and fellow famous Jew Scarlett Johansson. He joined the band Fun. in 2008. In 2014, he began his solo music career under the name Bleachers. 

Jack Antonoff performing as Bleachers at the VMAs “Artist to Watch” Concert at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood California on August 23, 2014. (Photo: Justin Higuchi/Wikipedia Commons)

“I need a hobby, and I don’t want it to be ­basketball. I want it to be music. So to get away from music, I do other music. If I’m producing someone’s song or writing with someone else, then doing a Bleachers song or a Fun. song is an escape. It keeps me creative and it keeps me locked into what I want to do,” Antonoff told Vulture about his many musical outlets in 2014.

Antonoff has written and sang hits like “We are Young,” “Anti-Hero,” “Brave” and “I Wanna Get Better,” among dozens of other chart-toppers.

He previously produced the soundtrack to 2018’s “Love, Simon,” based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” Written by Jewish author Becky Albertalli, the story follows teenager Simon Spier as he falls in love with an anonymous Jewish-episcopalian interfaith boy from his high school.

“I believe Love, Simon is pivotal, a major step for a new generation,” Antonoff wrote at the time on Twitter.

Antonoff responded to Kanye West’s antisemitic comments

In October 2022, Kanye West blasted antisemitic theories on various platforms, pledging to go “death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE. The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.”

In addition, West was traveling with known antisemites and did a podcast with white supremacist Nick Fuentes where he praised Adolf Hitler and said people should “stop dissing the Nazis.” 

Amid the rapper’s social media frenzy on Oct. 9, Antonoff expressed his disapproval:

In a 2022 Bleachers tour stop in Columbia, Missouri, Antonoff began speaking about basketball before landing on the topic of West. The musician blasted the disgraced Yeezy creator for his comments on Jewish people and antisemitic sentiments:

He often wears a Star of David

Antonoff often dons a chunky gold Star of David necklace, most famously while performing at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.

His then-girlfriend Lena Dunham said he ordered the flashy Judaica “the minute Nazis became a…mainstream thing again” following the neo-Nazi parade in Charlottesville in 2017.

“Nazis come out, so does the necklace,” Antonoff wrote in a 2017 Instagram caption of him wearing his new bling.

Antonoff has called for Black and Jewish solidarity

During the height of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, Antonoff took to Twitter to explain why Jewish and Black Americans need to stand together as they did during the Civil Rights Movement.

“Been very focused on the music business – quick break from that to speak to my fellow Jews. We speak with ZERO nuance about the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Just strictly an act against murder and evil. Let’s bring that same passion and zero tolerance to racism in America,” Antonoff wrote.

“Let’s bring some culture-wide ‘never forgets’ to all the ways Black people have been oppressed. Everyone should look at their own community right now, so today I ask Jews to hold the Black experience in the same unwavering place they hold the Holocaust,” he added in a separate tweet.

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