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Julius Levinson was a Jewish rabbi and the father of David Levinson.



A son of a dockyard worker, Julius grew up and lived in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. He attended Madison High School and later, with support from his father, Brooklyn College. During his tenure in college, he first fell in love with his fellow student Sarah Holtzman. He graduated in May 1961 with a bachelor's in business administration. In the same year he married Sarah at East Midwood Jewish Center and honeymooned in Niagara Falls. Within a year, the couple gave birth to their son David. By 1964, they gave birth to their daughter Judith.[1]

In 1980, Julius invested his savings in opening a deli, Deli Levi, with his wife and daughter. Tragedy struck Julius when Sarah died from breast cancer in 1994. Not long after his wife's funeral, Julius sold the deli to Judith and her husband Samuel, and retired. Pained by the loss of his wife, Julius stopped practicing his faith, never speaking to God. He never told to David about his loss in his faith until years later during the War of 1996.[1]

War of 1996[]

During the arrival of the City Destroyers, Julius' neighborhood was in a state of panic and he was forced to arm himself. David went to Julius in requesting his help in driving him to Washington, D.C. to warn President Thomas Whitmore of the aliens' intentions. He and his son later evacuated Washington on Air Force One before the city was destroyed.

When an argument ensues between David, Whitmore and his staff over launching a nuclear attack on the invaders, Julius quickly came to his son's defense and derided the officials that they did nothing to prevent the attacks. Julius further ranted that the government had always knew about alien life by referring to the Roswell incident and Area 51 - in which Secretary of Defense Albert Nimziki then chose the inopportune time to reluctantly revealed Area 51's existence to everyone present. The group arrived at Area 51, where Julius' theories were proven true.

After Whitmore ordered a failed nuclear strike against the aliens, Julius later found David in a drunken stupor. He consoled his son, telling him about how everyone loses faith at some point while revealing that he himself stopped being a rabbi after his wife died, and that there is always something to appreciate. Shortly after consoling David, Julius offhandedly told him not to “catch a cold,” which inadvertently gave David the idea on how to defeat the invaders: using a computer virus to infect the alien mothership to temporarily disabled the energy shields of the City Destroyers akin to "catching a cold." When David volunteered to infiltrate the mothership, Julius gave his last two cigars to his son and Captain Steven Hiller, along with some airsickness bags for the former. David in return gave his father a Siddur prayer book and a kippah.

During the aliens' attack on Area 51, Julius led a prayer reading with some refugees, including the recently fired SecDef Albert Nimziki. Following Earth's victory against the invaders, Julius reunited with David after his son's and Captain Hiller's mission that destroyed the mothership.


After the War of 1996, Julius chose to write and published an auto-biography entitled How I Saved the World, which self-explained the events of how his role led to winning the war against the invaders (much to David's embarrassment).[2] The book became an instant sensation.[3] In 2005, Julius moved back to a rebuilt New York City.[1]

In 2013, Julius once again consoled David following the loss of Constance in a car accident four years prior. He invited David on his book tour to spend time together to shed away his son's grief, and as well trying to find him a new wife.[3]

War of 2016[]

By July 2016, Julius lived in retirement in Galveston, Texas after sales of his book waned. On the 20th anniversary of the War of 1996, Julius spent his celebration by fishing off the Gulf Coast where he saw the return of the aliens in the form of a massive mothership. Julius attempted to escape from the mothership's landing but was swept up by the tsunami. Fortunately, he survived and was founded by the Blackwell family, who consists of only children after their parents are separated and believed to be dead. Julius suddenly became a surrogate guardian for the children and helped to take them to Area 51.

Julius and the Blackwells later came across a group of camp scouts, who were left abandoned by their bus driver. Julius decided to take the scouts and used their bus to continue on the journey. As Julius and the children arrived at the salt flats outside Area 51, the aliens began their assault on the base. By happenstance, Julius is reunited with David, who was preparing to set up a trap to kill the Harvester Queen.

After the trap succeeded in destroying the Queen's vessel, it did not kill the Queen. Julius, the children, and David quickly fled on the bus as the Harvester Queen started to chase after them until it was lured away to Area 51. Julius, his son, and the children survived the battle and witnessed humanity's second victory against the aliens. Soon afterwards, Julius was properly introduced to David's correspondent Catherine Marceaux and promised to look after the Blackwell children.


Independence Day[]

Independence Day: Resurgence[]

Memorable Quotes[]

Independence Day[]

"So why are you waiting? Hmm? My Social Security will expire, you'll still be sitting there."
―Julius playing chess with David.

"Hey, you have any idea how long it takes for those cups to decompose?"
"If you don't move soon, I'm gonna start to decompose."
―Julius retorting to David's mindfulness to the environment.

"It's the White House, for crying out loud. You can't just go up and ring the doorbell."
―Julius commenting David on how they will meet President Whitmore.

"If you're so smart, tell me something, how come you go to M.I.T. for 8 years to become a cable repairman?"
―Julius complaining to David.

"Everyone's trying to get out of Washington, and we're the only schmucks trying to get in."
―Julius complaining on getting to Washington.

"If I had known I was gonna meet the president, I would've worn a tie. I mean, look at me. I look like a schlemiel (an awkward/unlucky person)."
―Julius is worry about meeting President Whitmore.

"It's Air Force One, for crying out loud, and still he gets sick!"
―Julius commenting on David's air sickness.

"All you need is love. John Lennon. Smart man. Shot in the back, very sad."
―Julius to Constance.

"Don't tell him to shut up! You'd all be dead now if it wasn't for my David. None of you did anything to prevent this!"
―Julius defending his son from Albert Nimziki.

"You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?"
―Julius commenting on Area 51's black budget.

"Listen, everyone loses faith at some point. Take me, for example. I haven't spoken to God since your mother died. But sometimes you have to stop and remember all the things you do have. You've got to be thankful."
―Julius consoling David.

"I don't want you catching a cold."
―Julius, unwittingly, inspiring David.

Nimziki: "I'm not Jewish."
Julius: "Nobody's perfect."
— Julius inviting Nimziki to his prayer circle.

Independence Day: Resurgence[]

"In our darkest moment, when all hope was lost. That's when I said, 'Never give up. You have to have faith!' And in that moment, it came to me, 'pow!'... like a thunderbolt. And that's when I came up with the idea that saved the world."
―Julius quoting a passage from How I Saved the World.

"Why did I buy this boat."
―Julius, before being swept up by the wave provoked by the mothership.

"We'll get you a new one when you get your license. On the bus, everybody!"
―Julius to Sam on taking the school bus.

"This is Sam. My navigator."
―Julius introducing Sam to David.


Behind the scenes[]

  • Julius was based on one of producer Dean Devlin's uncles.[4]
  • Like Julius, Judd Hirsch is Jewish and was born and raise in New York City.
  • In the original script of Independence Day, Julius was originally named "Moishe". His and David's last name was also originally "Martinsburg" before it was changed to "Levinson".
  • Although Judd Hirsch shares the same "sixty-ish" age as his character Julius, Hirsch looked younger than his character was supposed to look with only 18 years separating Hirsch and Jeff Goldblum in real life. As a result, he had spent several hours a day in the makeup chair to look the part.[5]
  • In some cinemas in the Middle East, most particularly in Lebanon, certain Jewish- and Israel-related content in the film was removed/censored during its release. This include Judd Hirsch's character, and scenes depicting Israeli and Arab troops working together in preparation for countering the alien invasion.