Elon Musk is one of the richest and most successful people in the world. His companies revolutionized the world and brought about multiple technological advancements.
Although many have extensively reviewed his life, from his early childhood to his grand achievements, there remains a question left unanswered: is Elon Musk Jewish?
Elon Musk: Early Life, Childhood, and Achievements
Elon Reeve Musk is one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. With a net worth of $219 billion USD as of April 2022, he’s currently the wealthiest person alive—at least according to the Forbes real-time billionaires list.
Elon Musk is the co-founder of Tesla (TSLA) and PayPal (PYPL), and the sole founder of Neuralink, SpaceX, and The Boring Company. He’s also Tesla and SpaceX’s CEO and lead designer.
Born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa, Elon Musk was the first son of Maye Musk, a Canadian-born model and dietitian, and Errol Musk, a South African engineer, consultant, pilot, and property owner (among other things).
He and his siblings are all high-achievers; his sister, Tosca Musk, is an award-winning director and producer, known for movies such as Hollywood Dirt (2017), The Matchmaker’s Playbook (2018), Driven (2018).
His brother, Kimbal Musk, is a chef and entrepreneur who owns The Kitchen Restaurant Group. As an environmentalist, his personal mission is to “pursue an America where everyone has access to real food.”
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Although Elon Musk was born in a wealthy family, his childhood was anything but easy.
According to Musk, his father—who he lived with after his parent’s divorce—was “a terrible human being.” He often described his childhood as “miserable” and “lonely,” claiming that his father was extremely violent when he was young.
He was also bullied as a child because his classmates found him nerdy, boring, and too smart for his own good.
His tough upbringing didn’t deter him from achieving success. With his unending curiosity, he discovered the wonders of technology and used it as an escape.
When Elon Musk turned 17, he migrated to Canada to avoid serving in the South African military.
There, he stayed with his mother and enrolled in Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he met his first wife, Justine Wilson. He studied at Queen’s for two years before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania.
Elon Musk graduated with two degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Bachelor of Science in Physics.
In 1999 at the age of 28, Elon Musk co-founded X.com, which would later become the money-transfer service we know and love today: PayPal.
When PayPal was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion, Elon received 11.72% of the shares, approximately $175.8 million.
With this money, he contributed funding of around $70 million for Tesla and the rest of the proceeds to launch an interstellar travel company, the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (or SpaceX for short).
If all goes to plan, Elon Musk hopes to send an astronaut to Mars by 2025 with the help of NASA.
Is Elon Musk Jewish?
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The truth is, nobody really knows. Elon Musk hasn’t explicitly stated that he is or isn’t Jewish. In fact, he never talked about his religious views openly.
Here’s what we do know, though: Elon Musk had attended a Jewish school in South Africa when he was a kid.
Furthermore, the name “Elon” (as well as “Maye” and “Errol”) is of Hebrew origin, and thus often given as a Jewish surname. It means “Oak Tree.”
The name also appears in the Old Testament, given to one of Israel’s ruling judges.
For the reasons given above, alongside his South African ancestry, it’s likely that Elon Musk is Jewish. He even once said in an interview with Bloomberg that “there were many Jews in South Africa, so I guess it’s fair to say that I was raised as a Jew.”
Additionally, there’s some proof that Elon Musk converted to Judaism when he married Justine Wilson in 2008. But now that they’re divorced, he may have left the religion ages ago.
So while we can’t conclusively say that Elon Musk is Jewish (because the man himself hasn’t confirmed nor denied it), there is some speculation that he is, indeed, Jewish.
He’s always been a bit of a mystery, though; he might not identify with a particular faith at all.
Why Is There Such a Question?
Elon Musk has become a household name over the years; even the little ones know who he is. As such, it’s not surprising that people want to know everything about him, down to the very last detail, from his childhood to his religion.
Religion helps people understand another person’s beliefs and culture, so it makes sense that people want to know what the world’s richest and most successful man believes in.
Also, people ask this question because Elon Musk never really discusses his religious views to the public.
From an outside perspective, Elon is very much a Jew—his name is common in the Jewish community, he studied in a Jewish school, and his family is part Jewish.
However, religion is often a personal choice. Even though Elon is “supposed” to be Jewish, he might not be. In fact, he may not have a religion at all.
Until the day Elon verbally confirms his religion, there will always be discussions of his religious beliefs.
Elon Musk is quite possibly Jewish. His name is of Hebrew origin and he studied in a Jewish School while he was young.
However, Elon Musk hasn’t confirmed nor denied this claim, so no one really knows for sure if this is true. Musk has confirmed that he was raised with Jewish beliefs, but the status of his religion is still unknown.