Yes WhatsApp founder Jan Koum is a Jew. Wikipedia reports:
Koum is Jewish and grew up in Fastiv, outside Kiev in Ukraine. He moved with his mother and grandmother to Mountain View, California in 1992, where a social support program helped the family to get a small two-bedroom apartment, at the age of 16. His father had intended to join the family later, but finally remained in Ukraine. At first Koum's mother worked as a babysitter, while he himself worked as a cleaner at a grocery. By the age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernst & Young as a security tester.Business Insider writes:
When Jan Koum was growing up, he wasn't well off. His family was Ukranian and moved to Silicon Valley when he was a teenager, according to Forbes' Parmy Olson. They lived in a tiny, government subsidized apartment; Koum's mother babysat to bring in extra money while Koum worked at a local grocery store. Additionally, the family lived on food stamps.Further, "Koum, who Forbes believes owns 45% of WhatsApp and thus is suddenly worth $6.8 billion."
So, when it came time to sign a $19 billion acquisition deal, Koum knew where he wanted it to happen.
Koum, cofounder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia drove a few blocks from WhatsApp’s discreet headquarters in Mountain View to a disused white building across the railroad tracks, the former North County Social Services office where Koum, 37, once stood in line to collect food stamps. That’s where the three of them inked the agreement to sell their messaging phenom...