Nicky Hilton Weds Jewish Heir James Rothschild
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Nicky Hilton Weds Jewish Heir James Rothschild

Paris Hilton will be quite the aunt.

Hannah Dreyfus is a staff writer at the New York Jewish Week. She covers abuses of power in non-profit and religious settings. She heads up the Investigative Journalism Fund, an initiative to fill a gap in investigative and enterprise reporting. Reach her at hannah@jewishweek.org

A million-dollar "mazal tov" is in order.

Hotel-heiress Nicky Hilton and Jewish banking-heir James Rothschild tied the knot last week at Kensington Palace in London, according to People Magazine.

Hilton, 31, wore a custom-designed ivory and silver guipure Valentino Haute Couture gown embellished with crystals. Actress and television celebrity Paris Hilton presided as her sister’s maid of honor.

“So happy that my sister found the man of her dreams,” Paris posted on Instagram on the wedding day.

The only glitch in the wedding proceedings was when Hilton's vintage lace cathedral veil got caught under the tire of a Bentley as she headed to the palace. Things could be worse.

Did Hilton and Rothschild pull a Cameron Diaz and have a Jewish ceremony? Though reports are equivocal, Rothschild pulled a mensch move when he reportedly flew to the United States on a secret trip to ask Hilton’s parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

The reception, a candlelit crab and lobster dinner, definitely did not meet most standards of kashrut.

To be sure, James is not strictly Jewish in this late stage of the Rothschilds’ diaspora history. However, he still has Jewish roots. The Rothschild family descends from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, a court Jew to the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel, in the Free City of Frankfurt, who established his banking business in the 1760s. During the 19th century, when it was at its height, the Rothschild family is believed to have possessed the largest private fortune in modern world history.

His fellow Rothschild, Nathaniel Rothschild, known as Nat, is the director of the Rothschild Foundation, which aims to support and strengthen Jewish life in Europe. Nat has also been linked in the past with Jewish starlet, Natalie Portman. Though Nat’s father, Jacob Rothschild, was raised in a Jewish home, his mother comes from a Christian background. Cousin James’ specific Jewish heritage is unclear.

So no, the children of James and Nicky probably won’t be going to Jewish day schools anytime soon, but they will be part of a legacy committed to Jewish causes and values. And, Paris Hilton will be quite an aunt.

hannah@jewishweek.org

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