Is Caroline Kennedy's Husband Edwin Schlossberg Jewish?

Yes, Edwin Arthur Schlossberg is a Jew.

All four of Schlossberg's grandparents were Russian (Ukrainian) Jews born near Poltava and arrived in the United States at Ellis Island.

In 1986 Schlossberg married Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at Hyannis Port when Caroline was 28 and Ed was 41.

Their afternoon wedding ceremony was held at the Church of Our Lady of Victory in Centerville, Massachusetts and did not include a mass.

How Jewish is Schlossberg? Nate Bloom refers to "American Legacy: The Story of John and Caroline Kennedy" by C. David Heymann as follows:
Heymann writes that Schlossberg was raised in a "devout Orthodox Jewish family" that belonged to a modern Orthodox synagogue in Manhattan. He attended Hebrew School and had a bar mitzvah ceremony.
Bloom adds some of the speculation regarding Schlossberg's current religious practice:
The harshest comment about Edwin Schlossberg and religion came from film producer Susan Pollock. She is a relative of Edwin's and has dined now and again with Edwin and Caroline. Pollack told Heymann that she believed Ed actually converted to Catholicism to marry Caroline and "I know he [Ed] takes Holy Communion which means he would have to convert?..."
UPDATE: See the comment below signed by "Edwin Schlossberg" denying the Bloom account. ["I have never had a conversation with Susan Pollack. I have not converted to Catholicism and have not taken Holy Communion.I am proud to be Jewish and am disappointed that this misinformation has been presented on this site and hope that you will remove it immediately." Edwin Schlossberg -- Posted to The Talmudic Blog at 3/10/2009 1:59 PM].



Anonymous said...

Our nation's First Mother Bouvier Onasis loved her Jewish stock adviser who enlarged her fortune. MT didn't convert, but was unable to provide his own wife with a get as she was mentally incapable of receiving one.

Bridget loves Bernie, too.

ES said...

I have never had a conversation with Susan Pollack. I have not converted to Catholicism and have not taken Holy Communion.I am proud to be Jewish and am disappointed that this misinformation has been presented on this site and hope that you will remove it immediately. Edwin Schlossberg

muse said...

Tzvee, didn't you notice who commented on your blog?
I've been looking for the quotation (online) of ES's mother at the time of their engagment. I think it's exactly what Anthony Wiener's mother just said. I'm posting about that one on shilohmusings.blogspot.com

SSilver567 said...

As a long time admirer of Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy; as a Jew, I was very interested to read Mr. Schlossberg's comment. I wonder if that was really him? I heard Ms. Caroline Kennedy, say, on Larry King, that she never took the name Schlossberg, but did not mind if other's addressed her as Mrs. Schlossberg or Ms. Kennedy-Schlossberg.

I had read that when reporters sought Ed's mother's feelings/thoughts about her son's marriage to the very Catholic Miss Kennedy, the Sr. Mrs. Schlossberg replied to the effect that she & her husband were Jews. She did not elaborate; but I had the feeling she was somewhat sad, confused or both. I heard she had also had to deal with a bad bone or ankle injury at time of wedding and actually left her son's wedding reception early.

While America's Jews were very interested in the "Jewish Angle" to the Kennedy Legend, Ed and his family have been very, very quiet. We all know Caroline Kennedy is closed mouthed. I recall reading that Ed cooperated w/Catholic Protocal regarding an interfaith wedding held in a church; that he agreed to raise his kids Catholic. There has been no further discussion of Caroline being married to a Jew or of Edward Schlossberg's feelings about intermarriage.

Watching Ed at the Ted Kennedy's funeral yesterday, I noticed he particpated in the Lord's Prayer. This prayer has also become very popular & mainstreamed because of it's use in 12 Step Recovery Meetings. It may not mean anything signifigant for Ed to be participating in the service; though most of my Orthodox-raised friends get persnickity about this.

On a personal level, it was reassuring to read that Mr. Schlossberg has a healthy Jewish Identity; that he is not so overwhelmed by his wife's celebrated family as to forget his own beautiful faith. I have always loved the Kennedys, but it somehow, makes me sad when I read of the kids, and think they might not know anything about their Jewish heritage. Right now, Pope Benedict does not appear to be too friendly towards Jews. For all we know Caroline might be very gracious and inclusive about her Jewish in-laws; but we don't know. This is probably the most high-profile intermarriage of the 20th Century, and the Jewish Community knows nothing about how this celebrated family is REALLY treating the "Jewish Issue".

Avni said...

Whether he converted or not, he is one Jew is not going to father any Jewish children. This is our loss. I think Shlossberg's request that you remove any other views is out of line.

Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that others speculate about his religious practice. He doesn't say when this "proud Jew" visited a shul recently.

Irv Mermelstein, Ann Arbor MI

marsha e said...

religion is over-rated and always out of line ... get with the program & respect them as 'good american citizens.'

Anonymous said...

Thank you, marsha, for your common sense reply. It is amazing to me how people will mind other people's business and even imagine information where there is none.

Anonymous said...

I am Jewish. Jews are as guilty as tea party Christians of discriminating against anyone who does not share their faith. It is a very divisive force when what we need now is acceptance and inclusion. If he is good to Caroline and she to him, who cares?

Milka said...

I do not think Mr. Schlossberg's request is "out of line". His request should be respected. Religion is a private matter and is no one's business. Belief is mote important than any dogma, and as we all should realize, faith is personal and subjective. We do not know what or where we came from, so any beliefs are based on our own suppositions and emotions. He has been a good husband to Caroline and no one other than he should be concerned about when he last visited a shul. Meddling is a hobgoblin of all religions, but true faith opens your heart to the preciousness of each life and its own decisions to live as it pleases as long as it harms no one. God is in all of us, not just the chosen few.

Anonymous said...

Being Jewish does not mean one is religious . A Jewish atheist is as much a Jew as an Orthodox Jew. It impossible to erase our Jewish culture and upbringing when we were born from Jewish parent whether or not we practice or adhere to religious Jewish customs. I was born and raised conservative Jewish went to Hebrew school got Bar Mitzved went to services, but as an adult I haven't attended services or even fast on Yom Kippur, but my Jewish identity means more to me now than ever. I believe the Kennedys children are aware of their Jewish culture and have never denounced it but as a general rule a child born from a non Jewish mother and a Jewish father is not considered Jewish

Barth said...

The children of a Jewish father brought up Jewish are, where I pray, Jews. http://ccarnet.org/responsa/carr-61-68/

Anonymous said...

Caroline Kennedy is just a Good person. May God bless Her and Her family!

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that when a Jewish person married a non-Jew, it was the mother's faith that the children followed. I have a step sister who married a Jewish man, she is Lutheran, and her twin sons were raised Lutheran... one of them married a Jewish girl, and their son is being raised Jewish... the other man had a child w/a Jewish woman, and he is raising the boy as Lutheran as the mother is no longer in the picture... so complicated...

Anonymous said...

If the mother and grand mother etc was Jewish so are the children.
It always follows the mother. Ms Kennedy children are not Jewish.
Thats the rule.

drjsau said...

Re: what Barth says, the Jewish Reform movement allows for of patrilineal as well as matrilineal descent. Children whos father was Jewish and mother not Jewish are considered non-jews by the Orthodox and the State of Israel. You could say who cares? Should such a child from become Orthodox and want to marry into that community they will quickly find out that they are not Jewish and need to be converted.

Thus the mother of a child is a Jew so is the child. No mater who the father is.

The father of a Jewish child passes down his tribal identity for example children who father was a Cohain or Levi still keep track of their tribal identity.