“Today” show anchor Savannah Guthrie, who grew up Baptist in Phoenix, Arizona, is a practicing Christian who regularly attends Trinity Grace Church in Manhattan and considers faith to be an essential part of her life. She is also raising her kids in an interfaith home with her Jewish husband, Michael Feldman. As she recently told the The New York Times, they celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah.
“I’m always so fundamentally aware of not being the center of the universe,” she told the Times. “Faith really helps you know your place in the world. And I really value that. And I find it endlessly fascinating. Believing in God, loving God, believing in a compassionate God… [it] just absolutely spreads through everything I feel and the way I look at the world.”
Guthrie gained a widened perspective on religion when she married her second husband, communications consultant Michael Feldman, in 2014. The couple is raising their two children with both Jewish and Christian traditions.
The couple met in in late 2009 and got engaged on a romantic vacation in Turks and Caicos in 2013. They married under a chuppah (Jewish wedding canopy) in March of the following year, and Guthrie revealed that there was a special guest at the wedding: She was pregnant with a baby girl.
Vale Guthrie Feldman was born on August 13, 2014, and the ecstatic first-time mom expressed her elation to her Today colleagues on the phone from the hospital. “I feel so different, I feel like life just started,” she said. “I can’t get over the joy that she brings, it’s almost inexpressible…In the moment she was born, I cried a cry I’ve never heard come out of my own mouth.”
In December two years later, the couple welcomed their son Charles Max Feldman, named in the Jewish tradition of honoring a deceased loved one. Charles Max was named for Guthrie’s late father, who died of a heart attack when she was 16, and Feldman’s grandfather. “We are so grateful. Blessings overflow. Along with tears of joy,” Guthrie tweeted, updating her profile to say: “Proud mom of Vale and Charley.”
Guthrie and Feldman are raising the kids, now 6 and nearly 3, with both Christian and Jewish practices and traditions. “We celebrate all the holidays! They love Christmas—the presents and Santa Claus. We light the Hanukkah candles and Mike is teaching our kids the prayers,” Guthrie told Reveal. Vale and Charley got a big kick out of a Hanukkah gift they received in 2019, a kind of souped-up dreidel that played electronic dance music. “It was awesome,” Guthrie said.
For Guthrie, intangible gifts are more important. As someone who grew up going to church three times a week, Guthrie shared with Today.com that giving her kids the gift of faith is “one of my most important duties, maybe even more important than teaching them ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and to make your bed and don’t pick your nose (at least not in public).”
“We know that difficult questions may be coming, but we’re committed to raising them with full knowledge of their backgrounds. We hope as they get older, the kids will be inquisitive people of faith who find their own path,” she said. “Here is what my husband and I have decided together: We are going to share and expose our children to faith, and when they grow up, it will be theirs to choose what their relationship with God looks like for them.”