As I have suggested before, there seems to be a celebrity exception to the interfaith marriage phenomenon. And usually this is the case with those high profile individuals (especially in movies and sports) who are in an interfaith marriage. What has emerged of late is an addition to this phenomenon—children of intermarriage, adult or not. Consider Ashley Tisdale, a wonderful 21 year old actress who starred in Disney’s surprise hit High School Musical. As first reported by columnist Nate Bloom in the Detroit Jewish News, it seems that Ashley, who identifies Jewishly, has a Jewish mother and a father who hails from another religious background.
Before critics counter with their usual “but what kind of Jewish life does she lead?” she has appeared at the JCC of Monmouth County’s (NJ) new theater (where she actually got her start in local theater) to benefit the Macabi ArtFest, an innovative project of the JCCA to reach teens 13-16 around the world as an event parallel to its successful Maccabi program. As JOI has been saying, it is not about intermarriage, it is about how they are raising their children. Ashley is indeed a poster child.