Arts & Culture

The Elite Meet To Increase The Heeb Fleet

Ah, there’s nothing like a delicious amalgam of celebrity gossip and religious fervor. Tweak the details of the story to make the celebrities beautiful wealthy socialites who inherited their good fortune from their famous parents and make the religion Judaism … Read More

By / November 17, 2008

Ah, there’s nothing like a delicious amalgam of celebrity gossip and religious fervor. Tweak the details of the story to make the celebrities beautiful wealthy socialites who inherited their good fortune from their famous parents and make the religion Judaism and you find yourself with a story ripe for feature in the New York Observer, the Manhattan-centric publication that proclaims, "Everything is about style for New Yorkers, from what they wear to where they eat to how they entertain." Fittingly, The Observer is owned by Jared Kushner, who has entered the tabloid spotlight with his recent engagement to Ivanka Trump and subsequent insistence that she convert to Judaism before the nuptials are to take place. Kushner and Trump are both the recipients of vast inheritance of real estate fortunes and have each landed in the public consciousness due to their affluent lifestyles: Kushner became the owner of The Observer while still in grad school in 2006, while Trump spends her days working as Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization. Both pretty standard-issue jobs for 26-year-olds, right? With the overbearing coverage that accompanies any wedding of the glitterati comes word that Kushner had asked Trump to convert before they wed and that she was going through with it. Unlike Christianity and Islam, the other members of God’s Big Three, Judaism does not generally lend itself to proselytizing. However, the 1981 book, The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism, states about intermarriage: If the non-Jewish spouse truly shares the same values as the Jewish spouse, then the non-Jew is welcome to convert to Judaism, and if the non-Jew does not share the same values, then the couple should not be marrying in the first place. Partially due to Judaism’s lack of any sort of central dogmatic governing body, reliable statistics on conversion are hard to come by, but spousal conversion is not uncommon. Other famous converts-upon-marriage include Tom Arnold, Connie Chung, Kate Capshaw, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and recently, Sacha Baron Cohen’s fiancee, Isla Fisher.