As if the news that her husband was converting to Judaism wasn’t enough to make Natalie Portman your grandmother’s favorite Jewish actress, here’s something that might just give her the edge over SodaStream spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson. Portman, in Israel casting for her film adaption of Israeli author Amos Oz’s 2003 memoir, A Tale of Love and Darkness, has gotten involved with the Human Warmth Operation, an effort to aid Syrian children displaced by the country’s ongoing civil war during the winter.
According to a press release from Dror Israel International, one of the organizations behind the Human Warmth Operation, which collected 30 tons of winter equipment for distribution, “Portman donated part of her personal winter wardrobe and sent a contribution through the operation’s fundraising web site.”
While the phrase “winter wardrobe” may, for the more cynical among us, bring to mind the scene in Clueless where Cher Horowitz carts her father’s skis off to the Pismo Beach disaster relief drive, it’s nice to see a celebrity get involved with a regional issue while on location. The Israeli-born Portman certainly feels a connection with the country (she named her son Aleph, after all) and the region—her taking on the Amos Oz film project says as much—though her involvement in this particular relief effort seems to stem more from her new role as parent than anything else.
“When I heard about Operation Human Warmth I felt deeply moved and compelled to get involved. In the middle of a brutal winter, these children have no shelter and their lives are in serious jeopardy from the cold. I am proud to take part in an operation where Israeli youth of all backgrounds are taking action to help out those whom need it most.” said Portman.
It’s official: Portman’s a mensch.