A very millennial Jewish love story


When two Jews get married, it’s supposed to be a win for the Jewish people.

But does it count if the ceremony is only “Jew-ish” and no rabbi is on hand?

Last week’s “Vows” column in the New York Times tells the very millennial Jewish love story of Scott Birnbaum and Tracy Podell. The two were married under a chuppah by a kippah-clad Jewish friend who became a Universal Life minister for the occasion.

Birnbaum, 39, and Podell, 32 — who live in Los Angeles and both work for tech companies — met on OkCupid in 2012, with the help of some number fudging by Birnbaum.

The 5-foot-5 “data-mad web executive looking for love” realized his short stature was negatively affecting his search-engine optimization and so elevated himself with three-inch virtual platform shoes.

Birnbaum also had a profile on JDate, which apparently didn’t get the job done.

READ: Israeli rabbinical court shames, excommunicates man who won’t divorce wife

A former actress, originally from Short Hills, New Jersey, Podell, who is 4-feet-11 but not fooled by Birnbaum’s “tall tale,” explained that the lie didn’t bother her.

“Having had to lie about my age for acting for so many years, and understanding what it means to hustle and to work every angle, I don’t think there’s anything immoral about it,” she told the Times.

Though the couple’s wedding was short a rabbi, it was long on Jewish communal support. Birnbaum and Podell both come from Jewish families with Texas roots, and a “small and loyal clan of Texas Jews” turned out for the ceremony in Austin, Texas, the day before Valentine’s Day, according to the Times.

Birnbaum and Podell’s rabbi-less wedding is yet another reminder (add it to the numerous findings of the 2013 Pew study) that millennial Jews, even those marrying in the tribe and with Jewish social networks, aren’t necessarily going to the organized Jewish community or its gatekeepers for life cycle events.On the other hand, the couple might happily accept a wedding gift from Hello Mazel — the hipster Jewish care-package startup in San Francisco that has set Jewish crowd funding records and raised more than $110,000 in a week.

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