While Whoopi Goldberg has long contended she does not practice any particular religion, she does consider herself Jewish. Speaking at an event in London in 2011, Goldberg said the Jewish faith and traditions are integral parts of her life, The Jewish Chronicle reported at the time. “My mother did not name me Whoopi, but Goldberg is my name, it’s part of my family, part of my heritage. Just like being black,” she said. “I just know I am Jewish,” Goldberg continued, adding, “I practice nothing. I don’t go to temple, but I do remember the holidays. Religion is a lot of work, it’s exhausting. So I keep it simple, I have a pretty good relationship with God. We talk.”
Nearly 20 years earlier, in December 1993, Goldberg was accused of anti-Semitism when she included a recipe for her “Princess American Jewish Friend Chicken” in a Connecticut fundraising cookbook, “Cooking in Litchfield Hills,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. The recipe, which included directions like sending “the chauffeur to your favorite butcher shop” and letting the “cook prepare the rest of the meal while you touch up your makeup,” was deemed “insensitive” by the Anti-Defamation League.
Speaking with the Orlando Sentinel the following year, Goldberg dismissed the criticism as “political correctness.” She added, “I am a Jewish-American princess. That’s probably what bothers people most. It’s not my problem people are uncomfortable with the fact that I’m Jewish.”