Does Hollywood have a low tolerance for people of faith? “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik thinks so. She told Fox 411 this week about peer reaction to her faith and death threats she received after visiting Israel this summer.
“I’ve gotten a lot of negative attention for visiting Israel,” said Bialik, who is Jewish. “That’s what’s amazing… simply by going to Israel this summer and saying nothing more than, ‘I’ve gone to Israel,’ I got the same amount of hatred and threats and anti-Semitism for actually making a statement trying to support people whether I like it or not are serving in the army.”
“That reveals the truth. It really doesn’t matter what I support or believe, the fact that I’m Jewish and go there is enough – that should be alarming to most people,” she continued.
While Bialik revealed most of the backlash she received came from fans, she also noted the entertainment industry isn’t friendly to those who believe in a higher power.
“I think in general it’s never going to be trendy to be observant or religious in Hollywood circles,” she said. “There are people I know of faith and we tend to congregate together. I study Jewish texts weekly. That’s something really positive to me when you’re a person of faith, it stays with you all the time.”
Bialik says she doesn’t gravitate towards “the bureaucracy of organized religion,” but she does have an unwavering faith in a power greater than herself.
“In terms of my observance, my social media shuts down for [the Sabbath] and sometimes we go to the synagogue, sometimes we stay at home and we do [Sabbath dinners],” she explained. “I believe in [Jewish law] but I also believe in the permeability and changeability in the structure of Jewish law and I think Judaism has always adjusted to the times that it lived in and it’s adjusting in the time we are in now.”
The California-native, who earned a degree in neuroscience, said she’s often questioned by people who don’t understand how she can believe in both God and Science.
“Being a scientist and a person of faith, people want to know how that is. It leads to a lot of interesting conversations that I welcome but a lot of people want to open up a conversation just to tell you, you’re wrong,” she said.
Bialik’s strong faith has inspired her to launch a website to share her beliefs, but it’s not what you will find browsing Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP site.
“This is not like other celebrity websites,” she urged.
Season 9 of “The Big Bang Theory” premieres on Monday, Sept. 21.