And so, another Jewish man marries out. Clearly, a Jewish husband is the lastest must-have accessory. Ivanka got hers last year, Chelesa did yesterday and there's a slew of pretty It-girls with Jewish boyfriends hoping that he'll turn into that nerdy-yet sexy, dependable Jewish husband. It would be churlish not to wish Chelsea and Marc mazal tov on their wedding, but quite frankly, all the self-congratulations about this union signalling the ultimate acceptance of 'The Jew' leaves me cold.
I'm worried about all the single Jewish women. There's a glut of single Jewish women who would prefer to marry a Jewish man, but they've all been taken by the waspy girl-next-door. And when that waspy girl wants to convert, well then every celebrity rabbi is elbowing her way forward to become the spiritual mentor of the moment.
All this makes me even more despondent about the situation facing single Jewish women, particularly those in the Orthodox community. But here's where I am going to make myself really unpopular - the number of women converts far exceeds male converts and these women converts are encroaching on the local home grown talent, taking away potential husbands for the women in their 30s and 40s who have been searching for a suitable mate for so long. It's very disheartening for these women to watch what happens when a woman converts and within a few months is married to a local fellow. I say this tentatively and with respect, for we are obliged to welcome the converts and the tremendous sacrifices they make, particularly given the demands of London's notoriously rigorous Beth Din are very impressive. And of course, we're all familiar with the convert who eventually dumps her Jewish boyfriend because he is not frum enough for her - it's usually enough to make him run into the arms of the nearest shiksa.
The only solution I can come up with is a proactive campaign to convert more non-Jewish men. It's hardly a new idea but someone has to take the lead in enticing all those interesting non-Jewish men in our workplaces to explore the benefits of converting. And maybe it doesn't even have to be a halachic conversion: recently I saw the term 'sociological converstion' whereby people are absorbing the social mores and values of a Jewish lifestyle without confining themselves to a rabbinical conversion.
Of course, it's not ideal, but it could prove an option for men and a solution for women as the halachic status of ensuing children will not be compromised. And in a reversal of many other cultures where boys are prized over births, Jews will always be relieved if a daughter is born – it’s an halachic assurance of Jewish grandchildren no matter what reckless decisions her mother makes.