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We Will Have an Interfaith Family in the White House Either Way

Politics are unavoidable this year and interfaith families are definitely part of the conversation. Regardless of who is in the White House in 2021, the administration is sure to include an interfaith family.

Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner

Before her family was in politics, Ivanka Trump was already in the interfaith spotlight. She converted to Judaism in 2009 before marrying Jared Kushner. They had an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony, and their Jewish practices made headlines when they received special permission from rabbis to work or ride in cars on Shabbat as part of official government business. Ivanka is the first Jewish member of a presidential family.

Kamala Harris & Doug Emhoff

Kamala Harris was born to interfaith parents and is herself in an interfaith marriage. She was raised with both Hinduism and Christianity, and her husband, Doug Emhoff, is Jewish. Their wedding reflected both Jewish and Hindu traditions, including breaking a glass during the ceremony. Her stepchildren call her by a Yiddish-inspired nickname–Mamaleh.

This won’t be the first time interfaith families play a role in American politics.

Chelsea Clinton & Marc Mezvinsky

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton, married her Jewish husband, Marc Mezvinsky, in 2010. Their wedding was co-officiated by a rabbi and a Methodist minister. The couple now lives in New York City with their three young children.

Bernie Sanders & Jane O’Meara Sanders

Bernie Sanders, the Jewish senator from Vermont and previous Democratic presidential hopeful, is married to Jane O’Meara Sanders, who was raised in an Irish Catholic family. They’ve been married since 1988, and Bernie adopted her children from her first marriage–creating a blended, interfaith family.

Nancy Pelosi

Though Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi herself comes from an Italian Catholic family, one of her daughters is married to a Jewish man. Pelosi has spoken proudly and publicly about her Jewish grandchildren.

Stephen Breyer & Joanna Freda Hare

The Supreme Court has been in the news a lot lately, but not all of its members get the same level of media attention. Justice Stephen Breyer has been on the court since 1994 and was the 7th Jewish justice to join the bench. His wife, Joanna Freda Hare, grew up in the Church of England.

Who would you add to this list? Are there interfaith families involved in politics where you live on the state or local level?

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth is passionate about bringing people together, fostering a cohesive Jewish community and helping individuals find their Jewish paths. She serves in multiple professional roles in the Philadelphia Jewish community, including as the creator and writer of Miriam’s Advice Well for the Jewish Exponent. Miriam lives in Center City Philadelphia with her husband and two children.