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.