The Shmooze

Meet the Rabbi Who Officiated at Chelsea's Wedding

By Gabrielle Birkner

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Rabbi James Ponet (click to enlarge)

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.

He has written about the Hanukkah story for Slate, and, back in 2003, the Forward reported that Ponet was among those who voiced concerns about controversial poet Amiri Baraka’s visit to Yale. During that visit, Baraka offered “evidence” that Israel was forewarned about the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

A Reform rabbi, Ponet received ordinationin 1973 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

The Clinton-Mezvinsky nuptials took place about two hours before the end of Shabbat.


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