New flicks with celebs in interfaith relationships and from interfaith backgrounds, plus their baby news!Go To Pop Culture
Have we reached a tipping point on the issue of intermarriage? And is Michael Douglas the new face of Judaism? Douglas, who comes from an interfaith family, identifies with Judaism and is intermarried to Catherine Zeta-Jones, was just honored with the second annual Genesis Prize. As reported in The Jewish Week, âGenesis was founded by and is largely supported by wealthy Russian-speaking Jews committed to sustaining and deepening Jewish identity among young people.â
The Genesis Prize Foundation told The Jewish Week that they had a goal this year to âemphasize âinclusiveness of Jews of intermarriageâ within Jewish life.â
We applaud the foundation for focusing their efforts on what Stan Polovets, co-founder and chairman of the Foundation calls âa growing reality, which must be addressed.â
He goes on to say, âThe Genesis Prize Foundation is proud to honor Michael Douglas, both for his professional achievements and for his passion for his Jewish heritage and the Jewish state.â Last June, Douglas celebrated the bar mitzvah of his son, Dylan, in Jerusalem and got so into the Hora that he left with a limp. âThe Douglas familyâs experience of connecting with its heritage and embracing it on their own terms embodies an inclusive approach for Jews of diverse backgrounds,â said Polovets. âThis is particularly important today,â he noted, âwhen the question of what it means to be Jewish has become more pressing than ever.â
Read the whole story here.
Today Jewcy thoughtfully reported on the recent break-up of Bachelorette star Andi Dorfman and her chosen suitor Josh Murray. While this is not a surprise (few Bachelor/Bachelorette engagements lead to successful marriages), we were wondering how this interfaith couple would go about planning their wedding ceremony and how religion would play into their lives together. Though this doesnât tell us anything definitive about their own plans for religion (if they had any), from the look of Andiâs Instagram profile, there was lots of Christmas holiday celebrating with Joshâs family and no mention of Hanukkah.
The couple put out the following statement: âAfter several months of being engaged and working on our relationship, we have decided that itâs best for both of us to go our separate ways,â reads the statement.Â âWe are very sad that it has come to this point, but this is whatâs best for both of us individually.â
Elissa Goldstein pretty much sums it up below, wondering what role religion played in their pre-engagement conversations and why religion is so under wraps on the show. In any case, we say talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more before getting engaged!
âHere atÂ Jewcy HQ, we canât help but wonder how much the coupleâs religious differences might have contributed toÂ the splitâsheâs Jewish (and seeminglyÂ pretty secular),Â heâs a devout Christian (with Jewish heritage). Close readers ofÂ Tova Rossâ season 10 recaps will recall thatÂ theÂ showâs producers conveniently elided these facts in their race to the ratings altar. We never saw Andi orÂ Josh (or anyÂ of theÂ suitors) discuss hot-button topics like politics or religionâyou know, the sort of stuff couples should talk about before getting engaged. Did these conversations take place? Perhaps, but weâll probably neverÂ find out, which isÂ kind of a shame. Regardless of the reason for the split (hey, maybe Andi just didnât want to marry into a family of Chiefs fans),Â itâs weirdâeven remissâthatÂ The Bachelor franchise has an embargo onÂ conversations aboutÂ interfaith dating.â
Update: As suspected, Benji Madden has Jewish ancestry and it is likely this couple had a Jewish wedding for a reason.
If youâve seen the news buzzing about Cameron Diaz and Benji Maddenâs quick, surprise Jewish wedding, you might be wondering: Are one of these people Jewish? It seems pretty strange to have a Jewish wedding, complete with breaking the glass, a yichud (a ritual where the bride and groom take time alone immediately following the ceremony) and other religious traditions if neither Diaz nor Madden practice Judaism or have Jewish relatives.
Which is why I am of the opinion that there is some meaning behind these ceremonial customs. Wouldnât it seem a bit disrespectful to incorporate a religion that has no personal meaning to you into your wedding day of all days? I wouldnât put it past Hollywood, but I have a feeling a rational explanation will eventually come out. Or at least I hope so.
What do you think? Did the couple have a Jewish wedding just for kicks or do they come from diverse religious backgrounds and chose to connect with Judaism?