Michael Douglas is attributing his newfound spirituality to his young son Dylan.
Douglas says he reconnected with Judaism after the boy became intrigued by their Jewish roots and asked to have a Bar Mitzvah.
The Wall Street actor reveals his 14-year-old boy with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones has completely embraced the religion, much to his grandfather Kirk Douglas’ delight, and his enthusiasm has rubbed off on the movie star, too.
Michael tells talk show host Jimmy Fallon, “Our son, just from going to school and meeting a couple of Jewish friends (became intrigued by Judaism), and on weekends he would go to their house and have Friday night Seder, and then six months later, he said, ‘I want a Bar Mitzvah’. We were touched. I have to say, Kirk was over the moon, he couldn’t believe it!
“So we did it and Dylan was extremely proud of it, and as a result, he’s brought a lot of spirituality to our lives. I’ve gotten involved in the Genesis Foundation (which celebrates Jewish culture), was fortunate enough to win a prize (from foundation officials) this year…, and now I’m actively involved in bringing interfaith families together.”
Douglas’ charity work has since become all the more poignant for him after Dylan experienced his first brush with anti-Semitism while on a family vacation last year, when a man “hurled insults” at the boy for no apparent reason.
The actor penned a candid column about the incident in the Los Angeles Times in March, and Douglas admits the support he received from fans online was overwhelming.
He says, “I was surprised by this op-ed, which kind of went viral, it was picked up a lot, a large part just because a celebrity’s writing it.”