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Are Jews Too Elitist To Accept Gwyneth Paltrow’s Jew-ish Kids?

by Ilana Angel

July 25, 2011 | 5:38 pm

Moses, Gwyneth & Apple

Gwyneth Paltrow has, at one time or another, announced that she does not believe in religion, is simply spiritual, and is raising her kids Jewish.  Perhaps she is a little confused about what she wants to do, or practice, but at the end of the day, does it even matter?  I say yes it does.

The Jewish population is getting smaller.  With inter-faith marriage, people opting to not have children at all, or simply stepping away from religion entirely, there are less and less Jews every year, so I figure if a woman wants to raise her kids Jewish, who am I to judge?

We need more Jews!  Our faith dictates our religion is passed on from mother to child, so by that criteria, Gwyneth Paltrow is not Jewish, so neither are her kids, so she cannot possibly raise them to be Jews.  If you are not Jewish, can you raise your children to be?

Lance Armstrong’s mother was not a champion cyclist, but she raised one. Neil Armstrong’s parents never went to space, but they raised a son to walk on the moon.  I have never won an Oscar, but I am raising a child who will be an award-winning actor and director one day.

I am Jewish by birth.  My family has been Jewish, on both sides, for as far back as we have been able to trace, so does that qualify me to raise my son Jewish more than Gwyneth is to raise her children Jewish?  Are Jews so elitist that we would tell her she can’t do it?

My son spent ten years in a private Jewish Day School and I had to Google half of the holidays they closed for because not only did I not know what the holidays were, but had never heard of them. I eat lobster and make my son cheeseburgers, so am I qualified to raise a Jew?

Paltrow is a big star, people listen to what she says, so if she can make it cool to be Jewish, should we let her be?  Jews are cool.  On behalf of my Jewish self, I say welcome to those who want to embrace the faith that I love.  It’s important to give children faith, so go Jew.

To clarify, Apple will need to convert if she wants to marry my son, but no worries, Gwyneth will have done all the legwork so it will be a formality.  In a world where Jews continue to struggle to be accepted, I welcome those who wants to take it on and say to you all, keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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