Celebrity Updates: Ivanka and Gwyneth


Despite the frequency with which I blog about them, I actually have little care about celebrities’ lives. But they keep coming up in the news, saying things of relevance to intermarriage, interfaith families, so I guess I’ll have to keep blogging…

First, mazal tov to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner on the birth of their daughter on July 17.

The AP tells us,

Kushner is the owner of the New York Observer newspaper. He and Trump wed in 2009. She converted to Judaism before the wedding.

They’ve named their daughter Arabella Rose. I’m not quite sure where the name fits on the bizarre-celeb-baby-name chart, though it’s certainly saner than ”Alef” (and has been described as “exotic” by Donald Trump).

If you want to follow the goings on in the Trump/Kushner home, Ivanka’s tweeting, starting with this one from Arabella’s second day:

Jared and I are having so much fun playing with our daughter! Arabella Rose is beyond adorable. She’s truly a blessing.

The next update is about Gwyneth Paltrow, a regular feature in our interfaith celebrities column.

An article in the Daily Mail reveals,

She once claimed that she did not believe in religion.

But now Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed she wants to raise her children in the Jewish faith, following an appearance on the ancestry programme Who Do You Think You Are

The American actress, whose late father was Jewish film producer Bruce Paltrow, was moved to discover earlier this year on the show that her family came from a long line of influential East European rabbis.

And this has inspired her to raise daughter Apple, seven, and five-year-old son Moses in a Jewish environment, she told guests of a London event hosted by Jewish charity the Community Security Trust.

Her decision is a far cry from comments she made last year about her experience of being raised as both Jewish and Christian.

‘It was such a nice way to grow up,’ she said, but later added: ‘I don’t believe in religion. I believe in spirituality. Religion is the cause of all the problems in the world.’

Gwyneth, if you need any resources for yourself, your husband or your family, we’re here for you.

3 thoughts on “Celebrity Updates: Ivanka and Gwyneth”

  • Harold,

    Thanks for your comments; I understand where you’re coming from. I wasn’t referring to Ivanka as “intermarried.” As pointed out, she converted to Judaism and married another Jew. But her extended Trump family is not Jewish and, as Rabbi Reena Waseman Judd put it, sometimes labeling such relationships/families as “interfaith” is helpful and provides wonderful opportunities.

  • My apologies – I reread the post, and it does in fact mention that Ivanka Trump converted. My feelings about including her as an “interfaith” celebrity, however, are the same.

  • Just to clarify, Ivanka Trump is Jewish, and her marriage to Jared Kushner is 100% a Jewish marriage by any definition, not an intermarriage. Although the article didn’t mention it at all, Ivanka Trump became an Orthodox Jew before her marriage, and the two were married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony. I’m told by a friend who knows the family that in private circles, she sometimes goes by her Hebrew name.  The only relation to intermarriage is the one that any convert has, i.e. her parents and extended family are not Jewish. As one whose own spouse made a sincere decision to become Jewish and fully lives her life as a Jew, I think it’s important that converts are not simply swept under the label “intermarriage.” The vast majority of converts don’t see themselves that way. (This does not in any way diminish the commitment to Judaism that some intermarried families have, but is simply a clarification of what intermarriage is.)

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