What is Ilana Glazer’s ethnicity? The comedian’s Jewish roots detailed

By Chege Karomo — ON May 17, 2023
Ilana Glazer
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Ilana Glazer is at the center of a Miller Lite advertisement accused by right-wing conservatives of being ‘woke’. Celebrating Women’s History Month, the ad, through Ilana, criticizes beer commercials using bikini-wearing women to sell their products. “How did the industry pay homage to the founding mothers of beer?” Ilana asks. “They put us in bikinis… Wow. Look at that shit! Wild!”

Ilana Glazer is a Reform Jew of Ashkenazi Jewish descent

Ilana Glazer was born on 12th April 1987 to Sandi and Larry Glazer in New York City. She grew up in a Reform Jewish family of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. “I feel more Jew-y than Jewish because I feel more cultural,” Ilana told Forward. “I am a typical Reform girl. Had a bat mitzvah. Did my confirmation.”

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Reform Judaism is ‘a religious movement that has modified or abandoned many traditional Jewish beliefs, laws, and practices in an effort to adapt Judaism to the changed social, political, and cultural conditions of the modern world’.

“I really do love the culture and I’m proud of the culture,” Ilana told Forward. She told the outlet that her family members are the typical New York Jews. “I think growing up in NYC, any of the boroughs, makes you a double Jew and comedy makes you triple.”

Ilana’s comedy series Broad City chronicles the life of a millennial New York Jew brilliantly. Abbi Jacobson, Ilana’s co-star in the series, is, like Ilana, a non-observant Jew. The first episode of the series illustrates that the characters’ Jewish identities will feature throughout.

To raise money, Ilana places a classified ad reading, ‘We’re just 2 Jewesses tryin’ to make a buck.’ They are hired by a man who wants them to clean his apartment while wearing bikinis.  

Ilana and her brother, Eliot Glazer, were taught the Jewish culture by their parents, Sandi and Larry. The couple met in 1976. They worked together in finance and insurance. 

To Ilana and Eliot, Sandi and Larry are the perfect couple. “They’re sick. They have a sick relationship. They are soooo happy together,” Ilana told CNN in 2011. “They’re like each other’s first true love.” Eliot drew inspiration from his parents to write the book My Parents Were Awesome. 

Ilana said her parents couldn’t provide dating advice about men due to their limited experience with dysfunctional relationships. She told them: “You’re both so perfect. You don’t get it.”