Singer and social media influencer Montana Tucker made a statement at the 2024 Grammy Awards by wearing a dress adorned with a massive yellow “Bring Them Home” ribbon, calling for the release of the hostages still being held by Hamas. She also wore a silver Star of David necklace.
“Honestly, almost every other person that walked by me said, ‘I love your outfit,’ Tucker revealed to Los Angeles Magazine. “They said, ‘Thank you for wearing this — thank you.'”
But why is Montana Tucker outspoken about the Israeli hostage crisis? Is Montana Tucker Jewish? Yes. Here’s everything we know about her Jewish background.
Montana Tucker was born to Jewish parents in Boca Raton, Florida, on January 18, 1993. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors from Krakow who survived Auschwitz and moved to the U.S. after the war. Her great-grandparents were killed in the death camp.
Tucker’s family’s experiences in the Holocaust have had a huge impact on her. In 2022, she visited Auschwitz to learn about her family’s story and created a viral social media series documenting the trip.
“My grandparents were my everything,” Tucker explained in an interview with The Times of Israel. “It was so important for them to be proud of being Jewish. My Zaidi wore a pin that said, ‘Never again, never forget.’”
Tucker’s career took off at age 14 when she performed at the 2007 Super Bowl pregame. She was the first female singer signed to Pitbull’s record label and released her first single “Hola” in 2020.
With 12 million combined followers on TikTok and Instagram, she is best known for her upbeat dance clips on social media featuring performers from around the world.
Tucker celebrates Jewish holidays
Tucker loves celebrating the Jewish holidays. She told Aish in 2022, “I love Hanukkah, and I also love Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. For me, this is all about family getting together. I don’t do Shabbat all the time, but when I do have Shabbat dinner, it’s incredible.”
She particularly loves Hanukkah, saying, “There is no holiday that beats Hanukkah when it comes to food, with all the latkes, donuts, and chocolate gelt. I always loved Hanukkah because it was a way for the whole family to get together. Plus, as a kid, I loved the eight nights of presents. So it was definitely my favorite Jewish holiday overall.”
Tucker visited Israel during the war
Tucker visited Israel for the first time in 2014 on Birthright. She reflected on the trip in an interview, saying, “It was like a family there. You instantly have this crazy connection.”
In December 2023, the singer visited Israel for the second time to show her support for the Jewish state following the Oct. 7 massacre. Tucker visited Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a community that was destroyed during the attack.
She also met with representatives from Zaka, the Israeli first-responder organization, to learn about their efforts in the aftermath of Oct. 7.
On Dec. 18, she called the Zaka volunteers “superheroes,” saying in an Instagram story, “The work they do is unlike any other. They had to go collect all of the bodies/body parts after the massacres. The things they have seen…no one should ever have to see in their lives.”
She created a viral TikTok series on Holocaust education
In 2022, Tucker visited Auschwitz with a camera crew to learn more about her grandparents’ story. She released footage from the trip in a 10-part docu-series on social media titled, “How to: Never Forget.”
She decided to create the series after a survey released in September 2020 found that 63% of American Millennials and Gen Z did not know that 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.
In a particularly poignant moment during the trip, Tucker and her mother stood in the exact spot where her grandmother last saw her mother before she died.
“It was a moment that will stay with me forever,” Tucker told Variety Magazine. “It was also the first time I ever felt empowered. Because the Nazis — they were trying to erase every sign of us. And there we were, two Jewish women, standing there to honor my grandmother, who is still alive. We were obviously both crying, and we had to stop the cameras for a second because we wanted to call my grandmother at home. She’s had Alzheimer’s now for over 14 years. And we FaceTimed with her.”
She uses her platform to fight against antisemitism
With 12 million followers on TikTok and Instagram, Tucker uses her platform to speak out against antisemitism.
She frequently speaks out against antisemitism on social media and uses her platform to educate followers. In November 2023, she posted a video from the March for Israel rally in Washington, D.C. where she interviewed celebrities about their experiences with antisemitism.
“Antisemitic incidents are up 400% since Oct. 7. Your Jewish friends need you,” the video concluded.
She is a vocal advocate for the release of the remaining hostages
Tucker is a vocal advocate in the campaign to bring home the 132 hostages remaining in Gaza, evidenced by her dress at the 2024 Grammys.
The yellow ribbon is a longstanding symbol of support for the release of hostages and prisoners. The Israeli “Bring Them Home” movement, which advocates for the hostages’ release, has been distributing the ribbons.
She frequently posts messages of support on Instagram and TikTok. During her recent trip to Israel, she met with hostage families and some of the released hostages, including Mia and Gabriela Leimberg and their dog Bella.
Along with President Isaac Herzog, they sang “Tomorrow” from “Annie” in a show of hope:
One of her favorite books is Edith Eger’s “The Choice”
Tucker learned about Holocaust survivor and trauma psychologist Edith Eger while visiting Poland. Her tour guide read her a story from Eger’s book, which Tucker immediately connected with.
“Just like me, Dr. Eger was a professional dancer,” explained in an interview with Aish. “[Nazi Officer Josef] Mengele forced her to dance for him, and her very life depended on that dance.”
In “The Choice,” Eger tells her remarkable story — she was 16 when she was sent to Auschwitz — and shares her profound insights into the human capacity for resilience, healing, and the power of choice in the face of unimaginable adversity.
Originally Published Feb 5, 2024 03:04PM EST