Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

New York - Meet the Rabbi Who Officiated at Chelsea's Wedding

Published on: August 1, 2010 09:02 PM
Change text size Text Size  
Bookmark and Share
Rabbi James PonetRabbi James Ponet

New York - The New York Times is reporting that Rabbi James Ponet officiated, alongside Reverend William Shillady, at the Saturday evening wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky.

Ponet is Yale’s Jewish chaplain and heads the university’s Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale. Read his bio here. At Yale, he’s taught a seminar on “The Family in Jewish Tradition,” with sexpert and Bintel Brief guest columnist Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

Read more at The Forward


More of today's headlines

East Brunswick, NJ - New Jersey’s first Hebrew-language charter school has been given the final go-ahead by the state to open in September. The Hatikvah... Israel - The cabinet secretly decided to cancel compulsory military service for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, desite the objections of the Israel Defense...

 

Total49

Read Comments (49)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:06 PM Anonymous Says:

'ochet mir' a rabbi.........with rabbis like this who needs 'chassidim...lol

2

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:07 PM Anonymous Says:

Nebach. Nebach nebach nebach nebach.....

3

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:28 PM Babishka Says:

I am so not impressed.

I just wish "The Forward" would stop drooling over this stupid event. Did they get this hyper when Caroline Kennedy married a Yiddel?

4

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:35 PM Anonymous Says:

my daughter (who is a grad student at Yale) tells me its one of the most popular courses and he is a great teacher and mentor. He does not hold himself out to be a "frum yid" but he has a high level of respect from the frum community in New Haven. He also could care less about what some of the self-hating yidden here might post about how terrible it is that a reform rav would be mesasder kedusshin for a shiksa.

5

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:43 PM Joshua13 Says:

So sad. So this is why the Conservative and the Reform and the National UJA/Federation made such a big stink about Israel changing the "Who is a Jew" law.

Of course it was done so that people who call themselves rabbi in America may perform intermarriage and a highly publicized Chilul Hashem r"l.

Saperstein, Yaffe and friends, we really could not gather the forces to expose your agenda for assimilation and power grabbing in Israel. You see, most observant Jews were in Synagogue observing Tisha B’Av the nine days etc. They kept a low profile while all the time you "gorged on meat and swilled wine" as a manner of expression and had nothing better than whip up an anti observance campaign amongst your rank and file so that they would believe that their Jewish identity is being questioned.

Low! and lower, how much lower can you go? Answer: Prosnit of Yale does an open act of defiance against Jewish continuity. Who knows how many innocent Jewish men and woman reading that Prosnit performs this intermarriage will now follow suit thinking that it’s not so wrong to intermarry. How sad and how much more must we take from these destroyers of everything holy by the Torah?

6

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:44 PM Anonymous Says:

i prefer this rabbi over that rabbi in israel who got arrested for inciting violence and publishing books about how we should kill the goyim.

7

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:47 PM KACH613 Says:

we all know we now lost another member of Klal Yisrael forever, I was thinking why cant everyone see the good that comes out of The State Of Israel, It has saved millions of Jews from intermarriage every Jew should acknowledge this even if they are anti Zionist.

8

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:47 PM yaakov doe Says:

Reverend William Shillady is as much a Rabbi as is James Ponet.

9

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:57 PM Anonymous Says:

Mechalel shabbos

10

 Aug 01, 2010 at 09:59 PM Anonymous Says:

The Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding is over. We must all get over it. It's done!

11

 Aug 01, 2010 at 10:26 PM nebach Says:

Nebach. How sad. Heartbreaking.

12

 Aug 01, 2010 at 10:28 PM Anonymous Says:

Many posters here are critical of the groom. The groom, nebach, knows very little about his Jewish heritage. He proudly wore his "talit" and a "kippah", and believes that he was "yotze", the Jewish requirements. The "Rabbi", however, does know better. Regardless of his own background, he knows that most Reform clergymen, will not perform weddings on Shabbat. Many others, will still not perform an intermarriage.. By lending his imprimatur, he is, in effect, teaching the groom, that his actions are acceptable. So, a 4,000 year old chain is broken.

Shame on you, "Rabbi" Ponet. For a brief moment in the limelight, you've broken our chain. From Avraham to Moses, to King David, Ezra, the Maccabees, through the Roman Exile, Crusades, Inquisitions, Pogroms, and to the crematoria and back, we've survived as Jews, And now, thanks to you, the Mezvinsky branch of Jews, has reached a dead end. Shame! Shame ! Shame!

13

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:01 PM Chucham from MA nishtanu Says:

I don't get it if they decide to have children the rabbi will tell them they are not Jewish because we go according the mother and the rev. Will say tey aren't goyim because we go according the father

14

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:13 PM Anonymous Says:

He just gave them a "Hechsher Tzedek"

15

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:20 PM Paskunyak Says:

Rabbit James Ponit.

He's no rabbi! Maybe those phony religion guys - the Reform and Conservative guys who practice something OTHER than Judaism but lie to people and tell them that it is indeed Judaism. He's NO rabbi!

16

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:26 PM Paskunyak Says:

In response to # 13:

The Reform guys say you're Jewish if your father was Jewish even though you mother is a goya! That's one of their silly reformulations of our religion called which they refer to as Judaism. Unfortunately, there are Jews who don't know any better and believe their reformulated crap.

17

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:34 PM Anonymous Says:

'ochet mir' a rabbi.........with rabbis like this who needs 'chassidim...lol

18

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:35 PM Doesn't know a simple Jewish law Says:

Reply to #4  
Says:

my daughter (who is a grad student at Yale) tells me its one of the most popular courses and he is a great teacher and mentor. He does not hold himself out to be a "frum yid" but he has a high level of respect from the frum community in New Haven. He also could care less about what some of the self-hating yidden here might post about how terrible it is that a reform rav would be mesasder kedusshin for a shiksa.

By all means this rabbi doesn't know or doesn't care on a open law in the shichan arich it is assur to makadash on sabath this may sound old fashion but it is still a Jewish law .can some of you people who think they are smart answer this question

19

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:50 PM Doesn't know a simple Jewish law Says:

Reply to #4  
Says:

my daughter (who is a grad student at Yale) tells me its one of the most popular courses and he is a great teacher and mentor. He does not hold himself out to be a "frum yid" but he has a high level of respect from the frum community in New Haven. He also could care less about what some of the self-hating yidden here might post about how terrible it is that a reform rav would be mesasder kedusshin for a shiksa.

By all means this rabbi doesn't know or doesn't care on a open law in the shichan arich it is assur to makadash on sabath this may sound old fashion but it is still a Jewish law .can some of you people who think they are smart answer this question

20

 Aug 01, 2010 at 11:57 PM Anonymous Says:

#4 u r either a goy or a reform jew get out of this site

21

 Aug 02, 2010 at 12:06 AM ablydec Says:

Reply to #12. You are so right. This Rabbi most certainly does know better. When I was an undergraduate at Yale, in 1982, Jim Ponet was the Hillel Rabbi. Although trained in Reform, he had just returned from Israel, inspired, and was keeping kosher, Shabbos, putting on tefillin, and wearing a yamulka at all times. I was just starting to discover Yiddishkeit, and was inspired by his classes. However, in a two hour conversation I had with him (set up by my father who was afraid because I was becoming frum) I asked him again and again, "Forget 'Reform', forget 'Orthodox', the only question we need to answer is, 'Are these mitzvos binding on us?'. For two hours, he avoided the question. As sad as today's news is for me, I guess this is the inevitable result of his inability to face that ultimate question.

22

 Aug 02, 2010 at 12:07 AM Anonymous Says:

I do not understand the cries of nebach, what a tragedy, we survived the crusades ect. Mark Mezvinsky is not religious. Do we go nuts whenever he walks into a non kosher restaurant, drives on shabbos, or eats on Tisha B'av ? If this is how he was raised and what the Mezvinsky family believes then he was lost to judaism long before he met Chelsea. He may not ever have jewish kids but who cares. Jewishness goes after the mother so its not like the jewish population will decrease. In fact it may be better if his kids are not jewish as he is certainly not going to raise his children al pi torah.

23

 Aug 02, 2010 at 12:42 AM Anonymous Says:

i heard they had sheva brachos.bwasbit done in hebrew or english?

24

 Aug 02, 2010 at 01:16 AM shtika Says:

Reply to #10  
Says:

The Clinton-Mezvinsky wedding is over. We must all get over it. It's done!

Rabosi, this is ourt fault, what are WE doing to help our lost brothers in klal yisroel? Are we doing our share of kiruv rechokim? This is our present day Holocoust and we are sitting idely by!! WAKE UP!! Do we care enough about our lost brothers and sisters?

25

 Aug 02, 2010 at 07:30 AM Reply to #4 Says:

Quote "He also could care less about what some of the self-hating yidden here might post about how terrible it is that a reform rav would be mesasder kedusshin for a shiksa". He couldn't care less about what god says, that's the right words. Jews who care about a Yid marrying a shikse are not self hating, Jews who don't care are self hating. Please get your concepts straight.

26

 Aug 02, 2010 at 07:37 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Doesn't know a simple Jewish law Says:

By all means this rabbi doesn't know or doesn't care on a open law in the shichan arich it is assur to makadash on sabath this may sound old fashion but it is still a Jewish law .can some of you people who think they are smart answer this question

Your problem is that he's breaking the law of being mekadesh on shabbos? The problem is much worse, that being mesader "kedushin?" (The kidushin has no effect by Jewish law) on an intermarriage

27

 Aug 02, 2010 at 07:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
Says:

I do not understand the cries of nebach, what a tragedy, we survived the crusades ect. Mark Mezvinsky is not religious. Do we go nuts whenever he walks into a non kosher restaurant, drives on shabbos, or eats on Tisha B'av ? If this is how he was raised and what the Mezvinsky family believes then he was lost to judaism long before he met Chelsea. He may not ever have jewish kids but who cares. Jewishness goes after the mother so its not like the jewish population will decrease. In fact it may be better if his kids are not jewish as he is certainly not going to raise his children al pi torah.

Yes I would cry like that whenever I see a Jew going into a treife restaurant, and if it doesn't bother you then something big is missing in you

28

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:03 AM Berl Says:

This is the kind of rabbi American Jews look up to and whose conversions American Jews expect us to recognize here in Israel! The only tyupe of conversions such Rabbis are qualified for are like converting Arlen Specter from Republican to Democrat
I hear that the "Rabbi" also performed a conversion for Bill, since Bill is already circumcised the "Rabbi" paskened that Bill was yoitzeh a bris with Monica's metzitzah

29

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:05 AM Yalie Says:

Jim Ponet spent 8 years in Kfar Chabad ('73-'81) and was once pretty frum. He left when someone asked his wife to stop singing sholom aleichem so loud...

30

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:26 AM favish Says:

#4 his sidder kedisun' is not worth the the paper its printed on...and thats the halacha..has to be 2 'kosher' witnesses ' and a person shomer torah umitzvos. he can have a rabbinical ordinance from theological cemetaries till knigdom ome its not worthanythink..any siddur kiddishun by these 'clergy' does not make a jeish daughter 'eishes ish' snd shos mutter to marry againg without divorce as amatter of fact sho shoudlt even gat a divorce s one should not have a havah amine that the keddushun was valid..see poskim especially 'igros moshe'

31

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:35 AM 5TResident Says:

It is interesting, though - in Orthodox Judaism, everything passes through the father, such as being a Kohen, being a bechor, et al, but only the issue of Jewish identity passes through the mother. Why is that anyway? If the mother is the daughter of a Kohen, why isn't her male child a Kohen?

32

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:39 AM 5TResident Says:

I work with a lot of frei Jews (one of whom told me recently that he keeps nothing except he fasts a half-day on Yom Kippur) and some of them come over to me to explain why they are frei. I tell each of them that the level of their observance is not nearly as important as who they marry. As long as they marry Jews and have Jewish children, that's the most important thing, because as long as there is a "pintele yid" in there somewhere, you never know what they could aspire to. But if they marry non-Jews, and have non-Jewish children, its pretty much ballgame over.

33

 Aug 02, 2010 at 08:52 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23

Than you must be crying like a baby 24X7 with no time to do anything else. Hundreds of thousands of yidden in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn every day walk into treife restaurants without a second thought and I don't see you or your chevrah outside bawling away. Perhaps you are to busy giving musar others about they should live their lives.

34

 Aug 02, 2010 at 09:05 AM Anonymous Says:

He looks like a typical intelectual guy.

35

 Aug 02, 2010 at 09:15 AM Anonymous Says:

I have a feeling the goyim are going to start liking us now. We are starting to fit in. History has shown that when we start acting like secular humanists, reasonable, logical, and not into silly constructs like torah and mitzvot then the goyim accept us! Bravo you smart, smart man rabbi reverent dr. Ponet! I hope you get all the kavod you crave and deserve! Don't believe those superstitious fools who say your soul will pay for this, us enlightened folk know there is no soul!

36

 Aug 02, 2010 at 09:35 AM favish Says:

#33 listen mr ignoramus..it doesnt mean i'm standing in front of every restaurant...ever heard of dovid hamaelech? he wrote a holy book alpi ruach hakodesh (most of it) and in chapter 119 he writes 'palgay mayim yorda eynei al lo shomru torasaycha' and he did not stand in front of every restaurant when he was crying. ant way you seem to berooting for those desecraters of the torah ..what about

37

 Aug 02, 2010 at 10:19 AM 5TResident Says:

Anonymous 35: Unfortunately, his soul won't pay for this, but all Jews may end up paying with their lives. History has shown time and again that every time Jews try to assimilate into gentile society, all Jews, observant or assimilated, eventually are persecuted. My uncle who was in Auschwitz in 1944 and 1945 tells me that when he was on the train on the way to the camp, he was confronted by a German Jew who had been totally assimilated into a gentile family and was a member in good standing in upscale German society, but now was lumped in with the rest of the Jews.
The principle of "Eisav Soneh Es Yaakov" is a constant through history no matter what. Every generation thinks theirs will finally figure out how to make the gentiles "like" us and every generation is eventually proven wrong.

38

 Aug 02, 2010 at 10:45 AM Keep Hope Alive Says:

Rabbosai, we can't give up on this Mizevsky guy. He works in NY. I'm sure he'll meet some nice frum guy @ work, he'll start asking about his heritage, he'll start learning a little chumash then he'll wanna become frum. Then he'll divorce Chelsea, become frum & marry a sweet (prettier than Chelsea) ba'alas teshuva from Boston & build a big beauty family which will b a nachas to all of Klal Yisroel. You watch.

39

 Aug 02, 2010 at 11:18 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #38  
Keep Hope Alive Says:

Rabbosai, we can't give up on this Mizevsky guy. He works in NY. I'm sure he'll meet some nice frum guy @ work, he'll start asking about his heritage, he'll start learning a little chumash then he'll wanna become frum. Then he'll divorce Chelsea, become frum & marry a sweet (prettier than Chelsea) ba'alas teshuva from Boston & build a big beauty family which will b a nachas to all of Klal Yisroel. You watch.

apparently u think that knocking someone else who u disagree with makes you a better jew. speaking of nachas. you are way too far gone to bring anyone nachas. you are one big oysvorf yourself. go looknin the mirror and i bet you would faint looking at that meeyuskiet .

40

 Aug 02, 2010 at 12:27 PM favish Says:

#39 of course i'm a better jew, why, its comparing empire staye bldng to a dog house .i am a shomer torah umitzvos and he has nothing to do with judaism and if you dont agree then you are chaive mise just like 'lo sacmol vl'o sechase alof..' such jews tha tbring the wrath of midas hadin on klall yiroel is ok by you, but me who goes in derech yisroel saba whos children and grand childern look exaclrty as the ancensters is a oisvorfe he ?? you shygetz

41

 Aug 02, 2010 at 02:28 PM Anonymous Says:

What did Bilaam say. Yisrael is a nation that DWELLS alone. Everytime we try to assimliate Hashem and only Hashem sends a patch by the goyim until we are forced to run away and start again. It is a reminder to DAVEN for Hashem's rechamim. It is written when the Jews don't make Kiddish the Goyim will make Havdalah. It might come with the couple or not but Hashem is watching and he does not forget. Tshuva lets start now Elul is coming next week

42

 Aug 02, 2010 at 03:18 PM Anonymous Says:

I bet this Rabbi would not protect molestors and go after innocent people.

43

 Aug 02, 2010 at 04:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

i prefer this rabbi over that rabbi in israel who got arrested for inciting violence and publishing books about how we should kill the goyim.

domble he is not a rabbi he is a jew but not observant he does not know the torah and hashem will pay him harshly for this I think he is nuts to even call himself rabbi and for your comment I will say makes no sense and is pure nonsense your just as insane as is this troubled man who thinks he is so called rabbi "(apkross)"if anything you deserve no response for your wasteful comment

44

 Aug 02, 2010 at 05:08 PM favish Says:

#41 please dont isnult the title 'rabbi'

45

 Aug 02, 2010 at 06:53 PM Shmuel Says:

Reply to #32: "...if they marry non-Jews, and have non-Jewish children, its pretty much ballgame over."

I actually agree with everything you said, and at one time would have even agreed with your concluding statement. But I have a good friend, an exceptionally generous man of very noble character, and a very successful businessman, but was brought up reform, and was suppressing his 'pintele yid' by giving money 'to Israel'. Needless to say, years before I knew him, he 'married' a shiksa. At around the time I met him, he started getting very curious about Yiddishkheit, and what bothered among other things was that even though he had two children, boy and girl, he had no Jewish ones. I am sure you know where this is going, so I will skip several years. He was gradually becoming frum while still 'married', ditched the shiksa when his goyisher son was 13, stayed single for several years, and then married a very nice lady. He is now a pride of the community where he lives.

Would we all prefer that what happened to him, not to mention to the shiksa and two (now grown) children, never happened. Yes. But... to me my friend is an inspiration that the ballgame is never over!

46

 Aug 02, 2010 at 07:30 PM marry me ablydec Says:

Reply to #21  
ablydec Says:

Reply to #12. You are so right. This Rabbi most certainly does know better. When I was an undergraduate at Yale, in 1982, Jim Ponet was the Hillel Rabbi. Although trained in Reform, he had just returned from Israel, inspired, and was keeping kosher, Shabbos, putting on tefillin, and wearing a yamulka at all times. I was just starting to discover Yiddishkeit, and was inspired by his classes. However, in a two hour conversation I had with him (set up by my father who was afraid because I was becoming frum) I asked him again and again, "Forget 'Reform', forget 'Orthodox', the only question we need to answer is, 'Are these mitzvos binding on us?'. For two hours, he avoided the question. As sad as today's news is for me, I guess this is the inevitable result of his inability to face that ultimate question.

you went to yale and BECAME frum there? Wow! Most m.o.'s who go to prep day schools and then to the ivies slide in yiddishkeit. how did you not become enamored of Ponet's style and charisma? yes, the "bright blue line" in yiddishkeit is fealty to halacha even while being an imperfect human being. The Jewish population survey shows clearly that those who adhere to the supremacy of Torah will have many Jewish descendants whereas those who don't, even if they appear to be traditional for the time being, unfortunately will not. p.s. When are you coming home?

47

 Aug 02, 2010 at 10:17 PM favish Says:

# 45 what we mean 'ballgame is over 'as things stand now..and usually thats where it stays..

48

 Aug 03, 2010 at 01:41 AM ablydec Says:

Reply to #22:He may not ever have jewish kids but who cares. Jewishness goes after the mother so its not like the jewish population will decrease. In fact it may be better if his kids are not jewish as he is certainly not going to raise his children al pi torah.
Who cares if your own brother doesn't have Jewish kids? Maybe you need to learn Tanya, perek 32. We are all one soul, literally. This guy is your own right arm. ("Who cares if my right arm falls off?"). If we see differences, better and worse Jews, that's because we are looking at the bodies and not at the souls.

49

 Aug 03, 2010 at 01:47 AM ablydec Says:

Reply to #46. Totally true, that many of the M.O. students were sliding the other way at Yale. They weren't nispoel by Ponet's charisma, but by the glamour of the secular social life, or the rush of their own ego/intellect. Who knows? But there were a couple of students there who were "the real thing", and I will be forever indebted to them.
P.S. Hey "Yalie", comment #29. Were you one of them?

50

Sign-in to post a comment

Scroll Up
Advertisements:

Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!