7/18/10

Is Chelsea Clinton Jewish?

Is Chelsea Clinton Jewish? Not yet, as far as we can tell, Chelsea is not yet a Jew.

The daughter of secretary of state Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton is planning to marry a Jew, Marc Mezvinsky, on Saturday, July 31 (yes it is Shabbat, not usually a time for a Jewish wedding).

To us, Mr. Mezvinsky looks like a yeshiva bochur (student) in this picture from the Times.

It appears that the couple will wed in Rhinebeck, New York. We know the town well. Our mentor, Professor Jacob Neusner and his wife Suzanne live there. Jack teaches at Bard. We've visited the village many times. Most recently for a conference at Bard we stayed over at the Beekman Arms Inn. It's not as if there is much of a choice since it seems to be the only hotel in the town. The Times reports that the Inn is sold out for the 31st and recalls that Bill and Hillary ate there on August 12, 2008.

Even though they live nearby, we don't think Jack and Suzanne will be attending the wedding. Jack is a staunch Republican and was a supporter of George Bush. His son Noam worked in the White House for Bush as a speech writer. Be that as it may, Rhinebeck and the region as a whole is a pretty liberal area, quite a hospitable setting for the Clinton wedding.

The Sunday Styles section in the Times has an article By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and NATE SCHWEBER on the wedding plans. The operative paragraph for us at this blog is the following:
And, this being New York, the topic generating more speculation than any other is not the dress or the flowers, but religion: Mr. Mezvinsky is Jewish, raising questions about whether a rabbi will participate (likely) and whether Ms. Clinton, like her mother a practicing Methodist, will convert (unlikely).
Of course as an Orthodox rabbi (non-practicing), we are concerned with how this wedding will affect the future of the Jewish people and specifically the continued enrollment of Jewish children at Yeshivas and of Jewish families as members of Jewish congregations and as donors to Jewish charities etc, etc.

Meanwhile, we will be watching and will let you know what we find out, although surprisingly we still have yet to receive an invitation.

4 comments:

Miryam said...

You left out another important question - how will it affect the security of the State of Israel?

Dr. Claude Mariottini said...

Tzvee,

In cases like this, what happens when children are born? Will they grow up to be Jews or Christians? Who decides?

Claude Mariottini

tzvee said...

indeed - probably good for israel. children? - we will call and ask them about their plans...

The Jack Goldenberg show said...

Guys, I have one thing to say to all the American Jews , from liberal (or not so liberal) Israel: Butt-out! Leave the lovely couple alone. We have many years to think about their Children's Bar/Bat Mitzvah (or not...)

www.batbarmitzvah.webs.com
email: jgberg@gmail.com
Please see Cantor Jack on www.batbarmitzvah.webs.com - you have to see it.:
FED UP WITH THE CANTOR / Rabbi/ Tutor / ??
Or maybe you just dont want to join a congregation two years prior
to the great event, or maybe you dont have that kinda time? ? ? ? ?

Prepare your child for THE BEST Bat / Bar Mitzvah preparation online!
Check me out NOW ! It's easy call from outside Israel In Israel:
972-52-5203152

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri1MgllHoyc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0QC_s-rDQo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNXKFYe8UOg