The News is Out: Co-officiation for Chelsea and Marc


The New York Times reported that Rabbi James Ponet, the Yale Hillel director, and Reverend William Shillady, a Methodist minister, co-officiated at the wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky on July 31. According to the Times, at 7:23 p.m. the family made an announcement via e-mail. The Times said that the ceremony “included elements from both traditions: friends and family reading the Seven Blessings, which are typically recited at traditional Jewish weddings following the vows and exchange of rings.” Cathy Grossman, on USA Today’s Faith and Reason blog, reported the story at 8:57 pm, relying on the account in the Times. You can see the first photos, of Chelsea and Marc (with a clearly visible yarmulke, and the couple with the Clintons, here. The Times has a photo of the couple with Marc wearing a tallis


We’ll have more to say in the days to come. Now that the wedding is over, it will be very interesting to see what decisions about religious life this prominent couple makes in the future.

About Ed Case

Ed Case is Founder of InterfaithFamily and works at IFF Headquarters in Newton, MA.

3 thoughts on “The News is Out: Co-officiation for Chelsea and Marc”

  • It looked like a beautiful wedding.. It speaks volume of their feelings that the couple decided to respect each others faith’s – this must have been one of the characteristic they loved about each other, for one of them to change an aspect of their character may have unbalanced their relationship so early into their marriage.. Hopefully they can encourage each other faithfully and grow together as husband and wife, mother and father and friends.. What I am looking forward to is any useful relationship advice they may like to share with the millions of other married couple in the world.

  • I was relieved when Chelsea decided not to convert to Judaism.  The fact that this was a high profile marriage creates a model for other interfaith couples to retain their identifies in marriage.  I married a Jewish man 33 years ago and we’re still married, but one of the biggest struggles of our marriage has been our intermarriage.  And this has nothing really to do with belief or spirituality but instead with the cultural differences.  Now my daughter is seriously dating a man who is half Jewish as she is.  At first I was worried that he wasn’t going to accept her Christian half but I am relieved that he is open to two religions in one household.  I’m sure the Chelsea/Mark example helps. 

  • This wedding also shows how the image of Judaism and of Jewish people as marriage partners has changed since the early days of the Enlightenment.  The Clintons were more than delighted to have Rabbi Ponet co-officiate.

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