WASHINGTON – Many Jewish media outlets in the US have recently been grappling with the question – Will Chelsea Clinton convert for her fiancé? Discussions of this fateful issue are being held as the former first daughter, who is now 30, is about to marry the love of her life, Mark Mezvinsky, at the end of the month.
Jewish news agency JTA and established Jewish newspaper Jewish Week have recently been discussing the possibility that Chelsea may convert, based on assessments that the Mezvinsky family, which belongs to the Conservative movement, will not be able to find a rabbi willing to marry a Jew to a Christian. The Conservative movement discourages intermarriage and forbids its rabbis from officiating at or attending weddings in which one of the partners did not convert.
Chelsea is the daughter of a Christian Methodist mother and a Southern Baptist father. The Clinton family has been making wedding arrangements outside the public eye, and it still remains unclear how the young couple plans on overcoming the religion question.
Speculations have been flying after it was leaked that Chelsea attended Yom Kippur services with Mark at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.
People are also wondering who will officiate at the wedding – a rabbi, a priest, or perhaps even both. Rabbi David Wolpe, rabbi at the Conservative synagogue Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, said in an interview with Samuel P. Jacobs of the Daily Beast, "As a rabbi, I would be delighted to see Chelsea convert. That would be my dream scenario."
Mezvinsky, an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, first met Chelsea at the White House in 1993 when his parents were invited to visit after becoming close friends of the Clintons. They became friends and even studied together at Stanford University for their first degree.
They both lived through highly-profile media scandals in which their parents were involved. Mark's father, Ed Mezvinsky, was an Iowa congressman and served a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted on fraud charges. Chelsea's father, on the other hand, is responsible for one of the most well-known sex scandals of all time.
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