Over the past several decades, many Hollywood stars have found themselves drawn towards Kaballah. Kabbalah is a form of Jewish mysticism sprouting from Orthodox Judaism and has been gaining traction with many celebrities.
Madonna was one of the first celebrities to find interest in Kaballah and start publicly advocating for its teachings. Many other celebrities who didn’t grow up with the Jewish tradition have turned to Kabbalah as well, including Sandra Bernhard, Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, and Paris Hilton. Each has sought out the teachings at the Kabbalah Centre, located in Los Angeles. Many have fully converted to Judaism as a result and learn more about Kabbalah.
The reasons for celebrities’ interest in Kabbalah have been as varied as the celebrities themselves. In an interview with More Magazine, Paris Hilton revealed that going to the Kabbalah Centre helped her get through her personal struggles related to her separation with Nick Carter. The late Sammy Davis felt a pull towards Judaism itself, telling Time Magazine that “wanted to become a Jew because Judaism held an honesty and spiritual peace that was lacking in my personal makeup.” Sandra Bernhard credited Kabbalah with eliminating “at least 80 percent of the chaos in my life” in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
The Kabbalah Centre is a non-profit organization that provides Kabbalistic teachings and courses internationally and is based in Los Angeles. Kabbalah is meant to work together with existing spiritual and religious beliefs, viewing other belief systems as simply pieces of a larger universal truth. The Kabbalah Centre was founded in 1965 by Rabbi Philip Berg and his wife Karen Berg.
Historically, teachings of Kabbalah were reserved for men over the age of 40 as part of an oral tradition through select individuals. Now, the practice has become much more open and accessible at the Kabbalah Centre. Students are not required to learn Hebrew, but rather are taught various approaches to come to a better personal understanding of themselves and divine truth, described as the Light.