До Йом Кипур осталось
4 дня
27 Нисан
Until Rosh Chodesh Av left 1 day
Oksana Fandera. Source: Deviant Art/Cristian Jereghi Oksana Fandera. Source: Deviant Art/Cristian Jereghi

Our girls. Part 1

The top-5 contemporary Jewish beauties born in Ukraine

Oksana Fandera –film and theater actress

“I went through a difficult ordeal before I told myself: stop blushing when Jews are discussed…”

Oksana Fandera. Source: Deviant Art/Cristian Jereghi

The daughter of an ancestor of Gypsy barons and a Jewish woman was born in Odessa on 7 November 1967. At the age of 12, Oksana played a bit part as a schoolgirl in the renowned Soviet series “Adventures of Electronic”, although she wanted the part of Maika. After she finished school, at the exam at the Russian Academy of Theater Art, where she decided to enroll at the age of 16, Fandera turned up barefoot, in clothes several sizes too big for her, performing songs from the repertoire of Villi Tokarev, with risqué lyrics. The enrollment committee did not approve of her Odessan chic, and she failed the exam.

She did receive acting education at the academy, but somewhat later. Meanwhile, she worked as a secretary at the Vyacheslav Zaitsev House of Models, as a head of child models at the House of Models on Kuznetsky Most, and a cleaning lady at Lidiya Soseliya’s “Theater of Fashion”. Four years after failing the exam at the Russian Academy of Theater Art, she received a prize at the first “Moscow Beauties” competition, after which she was invited to perform in her first feature film – Valery Fedosov’s thriller “Morning Highway”.

As a child she considered herself to be a real headache for the family: she made friends with boys, climbed trees, stole liqueur from her grandmother, and once, as a present to her mother, she cut out portraits of Lenin from a wad of 100-ruble notes and used them to make a collage.


Mila (Milena) Kunis – film star

“My parents didn’t hide their Jewishness, they instilled a feeling of pride for my roots in me”

Mila Kunis. Source: wikimedia.org

Milena was born on 14 August 1983 in Chernovtsy into a true Jewish family. When she was eight years old, the Kunis family moved to Los Angeles. She couldn’t adapt in the new country, she found the language difficult, and the American mentality was foreign to her. To make Mila happy and help her to socialize, her parents sent her to acting lessons, and by the age of 11 she was appearing in advertisements and getting small roles in movies and TV series.

One of Mila’s most famous film roles is the ballerina Lily in “Black Sawn”, where her partner was another no less Jewish woman from Jerusalem, Natalie Portman, and the director was Darren Aronofski, also one of our people, but born in America.

When Mila accidentally says something live on air that may displease her family, she says “oy vey”. Her favorite food is dressed herring.


Tina Karol (Tatyana Liberman) – singer and actress, soloist in the Ukrainian Armed Forces Singing and Dancing ensemble. Honored artist of Ukraine

“My father is Jewish, and when I was a child I went to Jewish children’s camps, and I can pray in Hebrew. I went to church and to the synagogue, but later I chose the church.”


Tina Karol. Source: Deviant Art/pearldead

Tina was born on 25 January 1985 in the village of Orotukan in the Magadan Oblast, and in 1992 her family moved to Ivano-Frankovsk. From the age of 15, Tanya sang at Jewish festivals and was noticed by Eli Itzkhaki, the then-head of the delegation of the Jewish Agency (“Sokhnut”) in Ukraine and Moldova. In 2001, he invited Tina to make a concert tour of America. Later she performed at the festival “Shalom, Ukraine”, and in 2004 she won the international youth festival “Atikva”. Tina’s auditioning album featured songs in Hebrew, Russian, Ukrainian and English.

Her pseudonym Tina Karol arose after she performed at “New Wave” in Jurmala in 2005. Alla Pugacheva, giving Tina the special prize, said that she had long been waiting for a truly talented young singer to appear: “Don’t worry, now I’m going to help you with your career!” Tina has released a military, concert and five studio albums, several of which have gone gold and platinum.


Irian Rozenfeld — singer.

“In my case, it [“the Jewish question”] can be summed up with the succinct saying: “you can’t squash genes with your fingers”. From childhood I knew I was Jewish. And it has always been interesting for me to find out more about my people, their history, religion and culture.”

Irian Rozenfeld.  Source: wikipedia.org

Irina was born in Kerch on 10 December 1988. In the maritime city with a Jewish community of several hundred, Irina attended a Jewish Sunday school and often went to child and youth camps organized by the Jewish Agency. She is very fond of Israel and said in an interview that she would like to serve in the Israeli army.

She has been singing from an early age, and not just for her family and friends. Irina has won prizes in over 30 international, national and republic singing competitions and festivals (she has over 40 awards and certificates). Rozenfeld studied at the Crimean republic lyceum of arts in the vocal and choral department, at the popular music and circus college in Kiev, and then at the vocal department of the Academy of managing personnel of culture and arts. She writes music, and composes songs and melodies.


Klara Novikova (Gertser) — actress

“Before my visit to Israel I had no idea about Jewish culture and traditions. I only felt them there. I swoon when people compare me to Ranevskaya.”

Klara Novikova. Source: wikimedia.org

Klara was born in Kiev on 12 December 1946. The famous “Aunty Sonya” dreamed of an acting career from an early age, which her father opposed strongly. Boris Zinovevich believed that a woman should have a profession that involved wearing a white coat: a cook, doctor or engineer – only in this way would she take her place in life. When Klara failed the entrance exams at the Karpenko-Kary state institute of theater arts in Kiev at the age of 16, she thought that her dream was over. She says she was on the point of suicide. But her father was openly delighted. She was consoled by Faina Solomonovna, the head of the theater studio that Klara attended: she recommended that Klara enroll in the circus academy. Klara did so – and never regretted it.

In 1974, the young comedian won the All-Union competition of popular artists in Moscow, and her father had to give in. But Klara was very scared to move to the capital, and she often complained about this to Faina Solomonovna, until Faina threatened to throw her out of her house if Klara didn’t work in Moscow.


Back to articles

Photographer Asher Svidensky: Story is the only thing that matters

The 25-year-old photographer on his inspiration, Mongolia and secrets of capturing a good image


Our Jewish Hollywood: 5 facts about Mel Brooks, alive and loving it

The master of parodies and farce who became famous thanks to Hitler, wrote rap lyrics and left a six-finger handprint on the Walk of Fame


Our Jewish Hollywood: 5 facts about Marty Feldman, the young Frankenstein

The author and screenwriter who was a vegetarian, smoked five packs of cigarettes a day and could act with his eyes