Not to be outdone by Rabbi James Ponet, who officiated at Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s presidential wedding last summer, Central Synagogue’s Rabbi/Cantor Angela Buchdahl apparently did the honors this weekend as Lauren Bush (W’s niece and George H.W.’s granddaughter) married David Lauren (fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s son).
From what I read on the Us Magazine website (I wasn’t able to make it to the wedding myself due to my daughter’s birthday party), this was, unlike the Clinton-Mezvinsky ceremony which was co-officiated, an all-Jewish interfaith wedding. Or, as some commenter will no doubt hasten to add, a “Jewish-style” interfaith wedding, since “interfaith Jewish wedding” is, to many, an oxymoron.
I actually find it amusing that the children of the Bronx-born, yeshiva-educated Ralph Lauren (nee Lifschitz) have both gone on to have Jewish weddings, since his line of clothing and the advertising associated with it, always used to romanticize the WASP/New England preppy aesthetic. It’s as though, despite his best efforts, he just can’t get his family to assimilate.
I’m not sure if this is why she was recruited to do the gala Colorado ranch wedding, but Rabbi/Cantor Buchdahl, one of five clergy members (and senior cantor) at the prominent East Side Reform temple, was, earlier this year, one of a handful of women to make Newsweek’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis list. Plus, as I noted then:
Born in Korea to a Jewish American father and a Korean Buddhist mother, Rabbi Buchdahl is, according to her bio on the Central Synagogue website, the first Asian American to be ordained as cantor or rabbi in North America. And she may be the first child-of-intermarried-parents rabbi (and patrilineal at that) to make the Newsweek list.
In case you were wondering, the bride is not changing her name to Lauren Lauren, but will instead be Lauren Bush-Lauren. I don’t know why the whole family can’t just change their name back to Lifschitz, to save her the awkwardness of a palindrome name. Except that Lifschitz is arguably an even more awkward surname than, say, Wiener.
So, now that I’ve blogged about reality shows and celebrity weddings and made petty comments about other people’s names, all in one day, I want to assure you that I’ll be steering this blog in a more highbrow direction tomorrow. Stay tuned for my interview with Einat Wilf, a Harvard-and-Cambridge-educated (and intermarried) member of the Knesset.