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Reader, She Married Him

Yale rabbi co-officiates Chelsea Clinton’s nuptials

Marc Tracy
August 02, 2010

Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky were married in Rhinebeck, New York, Saturday in an interfaith ceremony. Rabbi James Ponet and the Rev. William Shillady (who is Methodist) co-officiated.

Ponet, a Reform rabbi, has been Yale’s Jewish chaplain for nearly 30 years. (Fun fact! He co-teaches a class, “The Family in the Jewish Tradition,” with none other than Dr. Ruth Westheimer.) Shmuel Rosner finds, in something Ponet once penned about Hanukkah, the basis for a philosophy that seems to condones intermarriage. Wrote Ponet:

Hanukkah implicitly celebrates … the capacity to sustain intimate relations with another without totally ceding your own sense of self, the ability to love without permanently merging, to be enchanted by the exquisite beauty of another without losing sight of your own charms.

And at the Forward’s Sisterhood blog, Allison Kaplan Sommer praises Ponet, who in the case of her own marriage juggled familial backgrounds (New England Reform and Jerusalem Orthodox) nearly as disparate as those of the Clintons and the Mezvinskys.

Mezvinsky’s father was brought up Orthodox, his mother Reform; he was raised Conservative.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.