House Speaker Paul Ryan is embracing his newfound Jewish roots.
Ryan, a practicing Catholic, learned he’s 3% Ashkenazi Jewish during the filming of an upcoming season of PBS’s “Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
“You could have knocked him over with a feather and then he was very proud of it,” said Gates, the show’s host.
Former Ryan advisor Dan Senor told Jewish Insider that Ryan called late at night on July 11 to break the news.
“I have something really exciting to tell you,” Ryan said. “I just learned that I’m part Jewish. I’m officially a member of the family!”
Ryan showed support for Israel long before learning he was a member of the tribe, according to the Post. In 2016, in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal, he addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and stressed that the United States needed to give Israel “more than vague assurances that we’ve got their back.”
In January last year, Ryan delivered an impassioned speech on the House floor in defense of a measure calling for the repeal of a U.N. Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli settlements on disputed land.
“I am stunned at what happened last month. Our government abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most,” Ryan said at the time.