Jewish Journal

Does JDate care about Jewish weddings?

by Danielle Berrin

June 20, 2012 | 1:21 pm

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller

JDate may be a little confused about its mission.

The online dating Website, which touts itself as “the premier Jewish singles community online” had a PR firm dredge up wedding-season publicity by releasing a list of the Top Five Jewish Celebrity Weddings of the past year.

Except, only one of those weddings actually counts as a Jewish one; the other four are intermarriages.

So you can see how silly it is, here’s the list:

  1. Natalie Portman: After falling in love on the set of Black Swan, Jewish beauty Natalie Portman and her now-husband Benjamin Millepied announced in late December 2010 that they were not only engaged, but also expecting a child! The two wed in February 2012 in an ultra-secret ceremony after their son Aleph was born.

  2. Seth Rogen: Jewish funnyman Seth Rogen said “I do” to his fiancée Lauren Miller in October 2011 after being together since 2004. They were married by a female rabbi in a Jewish ceremony in front of a star-studded crowd, which included frequent collaborators Judd Apatow and wife Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Adam Sandler and Jonah Hill.

  3. Mark Zuckerberg:  Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan surprised the world with their stealthy wedding. In May 2012, the two invited around 100 friends to celebrate Chan’s graduation from medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. The guests had no idea that the Jewish founder of Facebook would actually be tying the knot as well!

  4. Rachel Weisz: Academy Award-winning Jewish actress Rachel Weisz and Mr. 007 himself, Daniel Craig, made it official in June 2011 after a short and quiet courtship. Only four people were present for the low-key ceremony, including Craig’s teenage daughter and Weisz’s five-year-old son with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky.

  5. Nikki Reed: Twilight actress Nikki Reed married former American Idol contestant Paul McDonald in a private ceremony in Malibu in October 2011. She Tweeted last April, “@thePaulMcDonald Don’t worry I’m looking forward to tweezing your ear hair.” Now that’s true love!

The only couple on this list who had an authentic Jewish wedding is Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller (the reference to the “female rabbi” is a hint, and since IKAR’s Sharon Brous would never perform an intermarriage, this one counts). Natalie Portman was also married by a rabbi, albeit one with more lax standards, because her spouse Benjamin Millepied did not convert before the ceremony. As for Priscilla Chan, Paul McDonald and Daniel Craig (who at least played Polish-Jewish resistance fighter Tuvia Bielski in the movie “Defiance”) conversion never appeared to be part of the conversation. In fact, after Zuckerberg and Chan’s wedding, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote a story about how the impact of their intermarriage was so unremarkable.

But that’s beside the point. JDate’s job is not to sell, or soften, intermarriage.

According to a statement on their Website, “JDate’s mission is to strengthen the Jewish community and ensure that Jewish traditions are sustained for generations to come. To accomplish this we provide a global network where Jewish singles find friendship, romance and life-long partners within their faith.”

Except, apparently, for when they want to promote their brand with the exact opposite message.

People should marry the best possible life partners regardless of religious affiliation (though shared values tend be important in the sustainability of long term relationships and religion imparts many values), but for a Jewish dating Website that claims to encourage in-faith marriage to use completely self-negating Hollywood flash to expand their patronage is just weird.

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Danielle Berrin writes the award-winning Hollywood Jew blog, a cutting edge, values-based take on the entertainment industry for jewishjournal.com. A Los Angeles Times profile...

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