December 14, 2009 | 8:12 pm
Posted by Rob Eshman
Yes, Rachel Uchitel is Jewish.
It was the news of Uchitel’s alleged affair with Tiger Woods that set in motion the unending revelations about Woods’, um, complicated personal life. Uchitel, 34, is the granddaughter of Maurice Uchitel, a Jewish immigrant from Ukraine who parlayed a successful business in women’s shoulder pads into ownership of the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami and the El Morocco nightclub, Manhattan’s society hotspot in the 1930 and 1950s.
(Uchitel is a not uncommon Eastern European Jewish surname. The esteemed business writer for the New York Times is Louis Uchitelle—no relation, as far as we know).
This from The New York Times obit for Maurice, when he died in 2000 at age 88:
Among his diversified business interests were El Morocco, the legendary society nightclub, which he owned from 1964 to 1970, and, in the mid-1950’s, Voisin, a restaurant popular with social and entertainment figures. Before taking over El Morocco, he owned the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach for several years.
Born in Ukraine, Mr. Uchitel came to the United States in 1917. He entered the garment business, and eventually had his own business making shoulder pads before going into the restaurant trade.
His 1945 marriage to Patricia Pollack, a singer, ended in divorce in 1979. He is survived by two grandchildren.
Rachel Uchitel is one of those grandchildren. She grew up in Manhattan and was a bat mitzvah there, according to a Journal source.
In an interview with BlackBook before the Woods scandal broke, Uchitel said her dream is to recreate the kind of nightclub Maurice owned:
“My grandparents owned and operated El Morocco supperclub in the 1960s; famous people from President John F. Kennedy to Cary Grant frequented the place on a regular basis. I’ve held on to my family’s memorabilia, and my dream is to re-create, own, and operate a modern-day El Morocco. Where am I a year from now? Standing over design renderings of my new club with a fabulous investor, still yet to be found.”
Before she met Woods, Uchitel was in the news following the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Her then fiancé Andy O’Grady, a managing director for investment bank Sandler O’Neill, died after the second plane slammed into the south tower of the World Trade Center.
Uchitel is being represented by attorney Gloria Allred.
“I’m not a “home wrecker, gold digger, tramp, whore ... I’m not those things,” she reportedly OK Magazine. “I have very good qualities. When you’re judged by the nation, it’s really difficult. It’s horrible.”
Video clip of Rachel Uchitel on TV following the 9/11 attacks:
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