Alicia Silverstone was born in San Francisco, California and grew up in Hillsborough, California.
Silverstone is Jewish. Her father is an ethnic Jew and her mother converted to Judaism before she married. She had a devout upbringing–one of which she’s grateful for. She said:
I was reared in a traditional Jewish household. We lit candles Friday night and had seders. My brother David and I went to Hebrew school and had our bar mitzvahs. I have wonderful memories of my bat mitzvah.
Silverstone still considers herself a “proud Jew”, despite some soul searching. She said:
Recently I went back to temple to see how I felt about Judaism now that I’m more mature. Judaism turned me into who I am today, and I definitely feel I live a very spiritual life. I got that from my parents.
Now, Silverstone is perhaps more popular for her advocacy of veganism than she is for her work as an actor. She connects that aspect of her life to her faith:
I’m a foodie. But I knew I had to give meat up to be able to look at myself in the mirror, to know that I’m a good person and a good Jew. How could I continue seeing myself as a person who cares about the world and yet be responsible for suffering?
I wasn’t aware of the Jewish vegan mandate–the shellfish thing, yes; the pork aversion of course; the no dairy and meat at the same time thing, but meat altogether?
Silverstone has her political position, alright. Of course, there’s the vegan issue, a part of her lifestyle born of protest against animal cruelty. She’s even done a PETA PSA nude to bring attention to her vegan cause–it worked I think. Interestingly, she refuses to do nude scenes in her films.
But that’s not all. She’s all about the environment. She’s pushed the importance of reuse/recycle and she’s transformed her Los Angeles home into an enviro-fortress, complete with solar panels, materials recycled from older buildings and energy-saving appliances.
As you might expect, this all translates to a more liberal/Democrat worldview. In terms of financial contributions, she’s given money to both Ohio uber-Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Obama. And in 2012, she tweeted right before election day:
Love my kind lifers! “Today I voted for Obama. The future of the Supreme Court and a woman’s right to choose are at stake.” #Vote
Plus, her gay rights advocacy borders on hilarious. She did a mock-PSA, making fun of doomsday conservatives who think gay marriage will usher in some sort of apocalypse, called “The Gaythering Storm.”
All in all, quite liberal.