The comedian threw herself an extravagant party for her 40th birthday on Tuesday, honoring both her Jewish and African American roots with a “Black Mitzvah,” a term Haddish coined for the title of her new Netflix special.
At the West Hollywood event, Haddish participated in several bat mitzvah traditions, including dancing the hora and making an entrance to the song “Hava Nagila”
During a red carpet portion of the night’s festivities, Haddish — who started out her entertainment career by performing at bar and bat mitzvahs for more than a decade — shared with Variety what the celebration meant to her.
“It’s very special because as black people, when we were brought here to America, a lot of our heritage was stripped from us,” she told the outlet. “Being able to do my DNA test and find out who I really am, I feel like it’s very important to share that with the world, so we can all start digging and find out who we are and start having some honor and pride in ourselves.”
Haddish added: “It will help everybody because you start to realize we are all the same. We are not that different.”
“I love Tiffany so much, and to have my sister be the rabbi was like, I couldn’t believe it,” Silverman, 49, told Variety. “It’s so funny. They took pictures on the red carpet before and everything. And she’s here from Jerusalem.”
Comedian Kevin Nealon said the event was “unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
“I’ve been at bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs,” Nealon, 66, told Variety, “ I saw in her face so much love coming from her and so much gratefulness for everything that she’s gotten in her life now.”
When she stopped by The Tonight Show earlier this week, Haddish told host Jimmy Fallon that she had been studying Hebrew for the past five months in preparation for the belated bat mitzvah, which is traditionally thrown at age 12 for girls.
Though she’s been told by family members of her Jewish heritage in the past, Haddish had her ancestry confirmed when she recently completed a 23AndMe DNA test, she said during the late-night appearance.
“I gotta represent my ancestors,” she said. “I think it’s really important to represent your ancestors — I mean, they did what they did to get you here, so why not honor them?
Tiffany Hadish: Black Mitzvah is now available to stream on Netflix.