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May 30, 2003 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-05-30

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Arts Entertainment

Do The Jews
`Need' Geraldo?


Reform wedding raises eyebrows.

A spokesman for the Reform move-
ment's Union of American Hebrew
Congregations, Brian Levenson,
would not comment for the Rivera
New York
story, but Rabbi David Eliezrie of the
eraldo Rivera has rediscov-
Lubavitch Chasidic movement greeted
ered his Jewish roots, and
Rivera's return to Judaism warmly.
he declares the Jews "need"
"We're happy to see any Jew discov-
him back.
er his roots and reconnect with his
The Jews, apparently, are decidedly
heritage," Eliezrie said.
mixed about his arrival.
"I hope Mr. Rivera will do a little
Rivera, 59, the flamboyant TV
investigative reporting of Jewish learn-
reporter, recently announced to the
ing and help develop a deep intellec-
Philadelphia Inquirer and the
tual appreciation of the Jewish tradi-
Washington Post that he is planning to
marry — in a Reform cere-
Speaking of reporting,
mony in New York this
Rivera has come under
summer — TV producer
fire for some of his TV
Erica Levy, 29.
work in Israel and the
Rivera, whose mother is
Palestinian territories.
Jewish and father Puerto
The media watchdog
Rican, told the Washington
groups Standwithus.com
Post that "the Jews need me
and the Committee for
right now," apparently,
Accuracy in Middle East
according to the Inquirer, to
Reporting in America, or
help sort out the Israeli-
Geraldo Rivera,
CAMERA, blasted
Palestinian conflict.
59, is set to wed
Rivera in 2002 for his
"I think it's safe to say the
29-year-old Erica
reporting on the Israeli-
Jews need Geraldo Rivera as
Palestinian conflict.
much as everyone else does," Levy this August at
"Although uninformed
chimed in New York Daily
coverage of the Israel-
News columnist Zev Chafets. Synagogue in
Palestinian crisis is com-
Rivera and Levy are due to Manhattan.
mon, Rivera's combina-
be wed this August at the
tion of inanity and incessant self-refer-
historic Central Synagogue in
ence to his own feelings, reactions and
Manhattan. The guest list at the cere-
experiences has prompted particular
mony and reception, to be held at the
audience disgust and derisive criticism
tony Four Seasons, is said to include
from other journalists," CAMERA
the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu and
Hillary Clinton.
That April 2002 criticism came after
Rabbi Peter Rubenstein, senior
Rivera said that although he had been
rabbi at the 128-year-old synagogue,
a lifelong Zionist and "would die for
which is one of the oldest Reform
Israel," Palestinian suffering was turn-
temples in the country, will officiate.
ing him also into a "Palestinian-ist."
Rubenstein declined to discuss the
Upon learning of Rivera's Jewish
impending Levy-Rivera nuptials.
"I'd feel uncomfortable commenting wedding, Andrea Levin, executive
director of CAMERA, said, "He's not
on that," he told JTA.
going to be a Palestinian-ist anymore?"
Rivera could not be reached for
While a Jewish marriage "doesn't
comment, but he told the Washington
Post that he is going to "take this whole always necessarily guarantee level-
headed reporting," she added, "I cer-
Judaism thing seriously" from now on.
tainly hope he has a long and happy
While this is his fifth wedding,
marriage and that it helps inform his
Rivera says it's his first in a synagogue
or church. He celebrated a dual bar
But Chafets, who grew up in
mitzvah in Israel with his oldest child,
Pontiac, Mich., and graduated from
son Gabriel, now 23.

Jewish Telegraphic Agency


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