Michael Douglas talks about son Dylan's faith in Judaism following his 'first taste of anti-Semitism'

Michael Douglas credits his son Dylan's interest in Judaism for bringing religion back into his life. The actor said the 14-year-old has "brought a lot of the spirituality into our household" since he asked his family to have a bar mitzvah.

The Oscar-winner, who is married to Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, revealed their son developed an interest in Judaism at school.

"The irony is my father is Jewish, my mother is Protestant. I married Catherine (Zeta-Jones) who is Catholic," he said in an interview with NBC. "With our son just going to school and meeting a couple of Jewish friends, on weekends he would go over to their house and they would have a Friday night Sadr. Six months later he said I want to have a bar mitzvah. We were touched."



Michael Douglas and Catherine with Dylan and Carys in 2011

Michael added that his father Kirk Douglas, who is also Jewish, "couldn't believe" that his grandson wanted to join the faith.

"Not to say, Kirk was over the moon. He couldn't believe it. So we did it, we're extremely proud of it. As a result he's brought a lot of the spirituality into our household."

This spirituality led Michael to rediscover his own faith, and he has since been named the 2015 Genesis Prize laureate in recognition of his devotion to the Jewish community.

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Michael Douglas said his son's faith has brought spirituality into their home

However as the 70-year-old recently revealed, Dylan experienced what he described as the teenager's "first taste of anti-Semitism" on a family holiday in 2014. In an Op-Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, the Oscar-winner wrote: "During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him."

"I stared at him. And suddenly I had an awful realisation of what might have caused the man's outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David."

Michael said he then walked down to the pool, where he asked attendants to point out the man in question.

"We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion," Michael stated. "Afterwards, I sat down with my son and said, 'Dylan, you just had your first taste of anti-Semitism.'"

Michael is now involved with the Genesis Prize Foundation - a group devoted to honouring those who excel and inspire others through their devotion to the Jewish community - and is evidently passionate about the cause.

"Now I'm actively involved with bringing interfaith families together," he said.

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