Monday, December 07, 2009

Presidents' Daughters and Jewish Men

Chelsea Clinton isn't the first U.S. President's daughter to marry a Jew.  Caroline Kennedy did it years ago.

Other prominent non-Jewish families have welcomed Jews in recent years like the Trumps and Sarkozy's.  With Sarkozy, there are a few differences.  First, Sarkozy himself has a partially Jewish background and two that it's his son who has married a Jew, unlike the others.

There's also the suicidal daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley.  When I look at this miserable family, I'm reminded of when one of my cousins pointed to his WASPy non-Jewish wife and their daughters asking: "How can they have come from her?" 

When I  was growing up, it was rare for Jews to marry out.  The first time one of my cousins did, it was scandalous.  Then it became more common and there was no more talk of boycotting weddings.  There's hardly a branch of my family without non-Jews.

Some of the young Jews have no idea that they are Jewish, considering that they've been raised as cristians.  And some branches no longer have Jewish descendants, since male cousins' sons married non-Jews who didn't convert.

It's so sad for the Jewish People.


Rahel Jaskow said...

Jews, including religiously observant ones, suffer from depression and suicide attempts. This sort of thing doesn't skip communities.

Billy Joel impressed me a lot when he threw his famous fit in the USSR just before it fell. It seemed to me at the time -- and it was later corroborated -- that the reason he did so was to deflect attention from his audience, which was being filmed under bright lights, and some who looked like they were having too good a time were being forcibly removed from the auditorium. He was prepared to have the whole world think that he was a jerk in order to get the cameras off the people who had come to see him. That's pretty amazing in my book.

I wish Alexa Ray Joel a refuah shlemah and hope that she finds peace.

Batya said...

True, Rahel, and nothing you wrote contradicts my post.