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Hollywood Now: Katie Lowes and Julie Chen on Interfaith Holidays and Parenting

January 11, 2017

Adam and Katie
Adam & Katie. Credit: Facebook
Scandal’s Katie Lowes and her husband, actor Adam Shapiro, had a very festive and memorable holiday season. Lowes, whose mother is Jewish and father is Irish-Catholic, and Shapiro, who is Jewish, celebrated Hanukkah and Christmas. “We made latkes and had a Christmas tree. We do whatever is fun and involves alcohol,” joked Lowes. The couple then rang in the New Year in Edinburgh, Scotland. “I love to travel. It’s a huge priority of mine. I had always heard about Scotland’s awesome New Year’s Eve party and I had to go. It was amazing. Highly recommended. We rented my husband a kilt, and he looked incredible.”

Scandal returns to ABC January 19 with an exciting season kickoff. “When we left off, Mellie Grant [Bellamy Young] and Senator Vargas [Ricardo Chavira] were running against each other. In the first 10 minutes you’ll know exactly who won the election.” As for her character Quinn Perkins, who serves as “gladiator and go-to gal” to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), “You will see more of that and you will get more of a taste of Quinn’s personal life. There are some big life choices that Quinn is going to make,” Lowes hints. “It’s a side of her we haven’t seen before.”

Chen & Moonves
Julie, Leslie and son Charlie. Credit: Zimbio
Julie Chen, the Chinese-American co-host of CBS’ The Talk and host of Big Brother, is married to CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, who is Jewish. Religion hasn’t been a problem in their 12-year marriage. “It was never an issue. It wasn’t even a topic until a close friend asked Leslie, ‘You’re going to ask Julie to convert, aren’t you?’ He said no.”

Although Chen comes from a Buddhist tradition, “My mother decided at age 17 that she wanted to practice Catholicism. I went to a Catholic high school,” she says. “But my parents did not pick my religion for me. I’m not a big organized religion person but I believe in God,” she says. “I believe in a little bit of everything.”

Her son, Charlie, is 7 now, and she and her husband “want to inform our child of everything out there so he can make his own choices. There’s a book called Who Was Jesus? and we want to read it with Charlie together. One thing that Leslie does want is for him to have a bar mitzvah. I’m all for it, if Charlie wants it. Right now he’s like, ‘I’m not adding a day of school on my weekend!’ so we’ll see.”

Hebrew for "son of the commandments." In modern Jewish practice, Jewish boys come of age at 13. When a boy comes of age, he is officially a bar mitzvah and considered an adult. The term is commonly used as a short-hand for the bar mitzvah's coming-of-age ceremony and/or celebration. The female equivalent is "bat mitzvah." Hanukkah (known by many spellings) is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd Century BCE. It is marked by the lighting of a menorah and the eating of fried foods. Yiddish word for a potato pancake, traditionally eaten during Hanukkah.
Gerri Miller

Gerri Miller writes and reports from Los Angeles about celebrities, entertainment and lifestyle for, The Jewish Journal, Brain World, Lupus Now, and others. A New York native, she spent a summer working at Kibbutz Giv'at Brenner in Israel and attends High Holy Day services at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood every year.

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