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Though their website doesn’t mention it (yet?), Hadassah just sent out a press release:
NEW YORK â€“ Hadassah, the Womenâ€™s Zionist Organization of America, salutes Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman for speaking out publicly against John Galliano, Christian Diorâ€™s recently dismissed head designer. Portman, who endorses Diorâ€™s Miss Dior Cherie perfume, recently used her spotlight from winning this yearâ€™s Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Black Swan to denounce Gallianoâ€™s remarks.
Hadassah National President Nancy Falchuk released the following statement:
So here’s the question I pose to The Jewish Establishment in general: are we now acknowledging that Jews who have interfaith families (Portman is engaged to Benjamin Millepied, who is not Jewish, and is also pregnant) can be Jewish leaders? Great!
Good to know that denouncing anti-semitism is all it takes to have Jews welcomed back into the community’s good graces.
There were certainly many accounts in the Jewish media and blogosphere and from the Jewish Establishment (Haddassah wasn’t among them) about how Portman had done wrong, had made a mistake, etc., for being in an interfaith relationship. What I find interesting is that a mainstream organization like Hadassah is now clearly saying that intermarried Jews (or engaged-to-be-intermarried Jews) can be leaders in the Jewish community and passionate advocates and supporters of Jewish organizations. Fantastic! We agree. Intermarriage isn’t the be all end all. It’s one decision. And it doesn’t detract from someone’s ability to be an involved, passionate Jew.
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