Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Mazal Tov, Mr. Mayor?

When I saw the recent article about the birth of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's first grandchild, it brought mixed emotions. The NY Times reported that,

Ms. Bloomberg and her boyfriend, Ramiro Quintana, welcomed a son, Jasper Michael Brown Quintana, at 4:34 p.m. on Tuesday in New York City. He weighed 7.7 pounds. 
I figure that it's pretty safe to assume that Mr. Quintana is not, in fact Jewish (although these days, you really can't know!). While reading the article, I made a small mental note lamenting yet another Jewish child born to a non-Jewish father. Great news for the mayor, and his daughter and her boyfriend (the issue of marriage not even being an issue any longer). But not such great news for Am Yisrael.
But then, with a quick Google search, I discovered that the Mayor's daughter is herself not Jewish. This left me with two questions:
  1. What does this small news item say about the Jewish people as a whole, given that Mr. Bloomberg is the inagural recipient of the Genesis Prize, (ridiculously dubbed the "Jewish Nobel Prize") bestowed upon his as a model of “exceptional people whose values and achievements will inspire the next generations of Jews.” Really? What if the next generation - and the one after that - isn't Jewish at all? Who is the prize going to inspire?
  2. Secondly, and perhaps tragically, when a Jew celebrates the birth of a non-Jewish grandchild (or child) for that matter, do we wish him Mazal Tov?

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