Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trying to Clarify Religion of Rahm Emanuel's Wife and Children

A comment to a previous post of mine claimed that Emanuel's wife and children aren't Jewish, but then another commenter, Shy, included a link that he's a member of a Modern Orthodox synagogue.  That made me think that most probably his wife is a convert, Orthodox Beit Din (religious court) which required some semblance of religious Orthodox life for the family.

Here's the wikipedia report about her:
Emanuel's wife, Amy Rule, converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding.[16] They are members of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel, a Modern Orthodox congregation in Chicago.[10] They have a son and two daughters.
Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for the 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign. Axelrod signed the ketuba, a Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel's wedding, an honor that goes to a close friend.[17]
Rabbi Asher Lopatin of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation is quoted as saying: "It's a very involved Jewish family"; "Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago."[10] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: "I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me."[10] Emanuel's family lives on the North Side of Chicago, in the North Center neighborhood.[8]

That confirms, as best as I can at this point, my guess.  I'll leave the details between them and G-d.


Anonymous said...

There are 2 issues here:

1. Being a member of a MO synagogue doesn't prove or disprove anything, especially when Emanuel sends his kids to the same conservative pluralistic elementary school he went to in his childhood.

2. Would you "leave the details to G-d" if any of these people wanted to join a religious community or get married to someone Jewish?

Look at what I quoted from Rabbi Lopatin and how he avoided saying something as simple as "of course Mrs. Emanuel and the children are Jewish - how dare anyone think otherwise." Instead he bent words over backwards to be as "non-judgmental" as one can be. This is supposed to be their rabbi, for heavens sake!

Batya said...

Conversion is so complicated. There's no probation. If the conversion itself is sincere and kosher and even for the shortest time after the convert follows whatever was demanded, it stays kosher and her kids are Jewish.

I guess that's why the rabbi sounds like he's walking a tightrope.

yoni said...

the rabbi didn't sound like he was walking any sort of tightrope. the fact is that you, or shy, or any of us calling the very jewishness of this guy's (not my favorite guy, i'll admit) family into question from over here, all of a sudden, based on something we DIDN'T see even on the internet is an obscenity.

shy, maybe you'd prefer if she had converted under the auspices of "eternal jewish family" and leib tropper? that seems more your speed.

disgusted, really. i'm commenting on this over at muqata, too. it's just gross.

yoni said...

in fact, shy, i recall the first interaction i ever had with you, on this blog, involved you calling my own jewishness into question because of the way i talk! what kind of "pureblood" trip are you on, anyway? it doesn't sound very jewish to me.

Anonymous said...

Yoni, I do recall something with you several months ago. I'm glad you found it worthwhile to register in memory.

"Pureblood"? I never used the word. Never intended to. Did you put words into my mouth back then, too?

Why do you think I have anything positive to say about Tropper? More false assumptions.

In fact, I disagree with Batya. There are opinions that if a conversion is kosher but not so sincere (impossible for me to define), it is nevertheless a conversion - unless that was completely not the intention of the convert to begin with.

Yoni, take a pill.

yoni said...

shy, you are calling a persons jewishness into question based merely on the fact they are a convert, with no facts whatsoever about the conversion itself to back you up, other than extraneous information about the "kashrut" (in your eyes) of the jewish education of their children.

this is exactly the position of tropper and his ilk, and many other paranoid racists and self-proclaimed "gaurdians of the purity of the jewish people".

my remarks to you stand, i will make assumptions freely and as i like, just like you did. i know "where you live", hashkafically speaking. don't try to weasel out of it.

Unknown said...

At the moment, I do not care to speculate about the validness of his wife's conversion. I would only want to look into it if someone suggested a shidduch between one of his children and one of my grandchildren in a decade or so. I am more disturbed by the restaurant that he is said to have eaten at and the menu that they claimed he ste (not to mention his behavior with the bill).

In any case, we will see what his children do in the next few decades as they mature and if he himself does teshuva for acting more like Ravshakei than Daniel (והמבין יבין)

jonathan becker said...

saba hillel, yeah, i think emmanuel and his family should be persecuted by us real jews because in future generatiions one of his offspring might marry one of your offspring, and because he himself may or may not do tshuva. i bet emmanuel's father (who was in the irgun) feels the same way about you.

really, and you're not even paid for this.

yech. i feel dirty.

Batya said...

I'm against traumatizing the kids. The best scene would be their wanting to live as true Torah Jews and they will handle it, not us.

Daniel said...

For what its worth, many posters in the blogosphere have said his wife's conversion was conservative.What We do know is that he met her on a blind date. While some ehrliche yidden fall off the derech after incidentally falling in love with a gentile, they don't go on blind dates with one.
There is also a difference between marrying a Ger and having your fiance " convert shortly before the wedding

Anonymous said...

Is there a reason, other than being a yenta, that Mrs. Emanual.s religion is of any importance to anyone other than herself?

yoni said...

"There is also a difference between marrying a Ger and having your fiance " convert shortly before the wedding"

no there isn't, doofus, except for very specific circumstances which none of us are privy to in this case. and even if it were so:


batya, are you just going to let this trash talk pass? they're aiming at the women and children now. when do you put your foot down? i'm glad to hear you're against traumatizing the kids. let's see some action. should we start a chain of motzei shem ra against his cousins now?

Batya said...

Yoni, this is all too close for comfort; reminds me of my relatives. time has come to close comments.