23 May 2007

It's Official: Spiderman is Jewish

Nu? Only in Brooklyn does one read an entire article about Spiderman's possible religious affiliation and the rabbi who draws interesting connections.

“Peter Parker’s a nerd who grew up in Forest Hills, his middle name is Benjamin and he’s motivated by guilt. I see a connection,” jokes Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, author of Up, Up, And Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero.

I'm wearing my genealogy hat now so I have to ask about Spidey's original name. Were Peter Parker's ancestors really PARKANSKY from Tiraspol? Or did Spiderman originate in SPIDKOVSKIY from Kiev? Anyone check JewishGen's Family Finder or Ancestry's arrival records recently for possible family connections? Hint: Look for an early arrival, possibly Peter's grandfather, named Benjamin Parkansky or Spidkovskiy. Peter, of course, could be Peretz.

The founder of the Jewish Student Foundation of Downtown Brooklyn is rabbi for both Pratt Institute and Long Island College Hospital, Weinstein also draws connections to King David and spiders, loss of family and lack of super powers in Jewish history and culture. He comments on other superheroes such as Superman, Captain America, the Spirit, Batman and the Incredible Hulk.

Read more here


  1. Anonymous8:17 AM

    I that it was interesting that you mentioned Parkansky from Tiraspol. A close friend's family was from the village of Parkany, Moldova, near Tiraspol. Of course Parkansky would mean someone from the vilalge Parkan. Just curious why did you mentioned Tiraspol?

  2. Thank you for writing.

    I checked out the major online databases (Ellis Island, Ancestry, etc.) for a name that could have become the Americanized PARKER.

    One purely random choice was PARKANSKY from Tiraspol.

    Best wishes,