The Shmooze

No Jewish Royal Baby — Gad Elmaleh's Son Baptized

By Anne Cohen

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Back in December, I gushed that Jews finally had their own royal baby frenzy — Moroccan-born French Jewish comedian Gad Elmaleh and Charlotte Casiraghi had just had a baby boy.

“Grace Kelly’s granddaughter just had a Jewish baby. Win,” I wrote.

Boy, was I wrong.

When my family heard that Elmaleh was marrying Casiraghi, they were torn between pride that “un gars de chez nous” (literally: our guy) was infiltrating the royal family of Monaco, and concern about what this would mean for his Jewish faith.

“Watch, he’ll convert within a year,” my grandmother warned.

“No way, Mamie,” I answered. “He’ll lose all his Jewish fans if he does that.”

And then this. According to French gossip magazine “Voici,” Elmaleh and Carsiraghi (who is fifth in line to the throne) celebrated the baptism of their son, Raphael, in the royal chapel of Monaco last Sunday.

Not quite a conversion… but still.

Now, for some background: Gad Elmaleh is to Moroccan Jews what Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld are to Ashkenazi Jews. This is a big deal. His portrayals of Moroccan Jews living in French-speaking countries have caused many a night of stomach-holding, ab-building, raucus laughter in my living room. He just gets us.

For Montreal Sephardis, it’s a double blow — Elmaleh got his comedy start there after attending high school in the city. It’s a close-knit community (I went to school with his cousin).

Still no news as to whether baby Raphael will be circumcized. I haven’t called my grandmother yet, but I know what she’ll say. Ok, Mamie, you told me so.


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