Natalie's baby: Who cares if the father's not Jewish?

Natalie Portman at the premiere of Black Swan during the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010.
Courtesy of Josh Jensen.

Last week, the tabloid world went abuzz over news that Natalie Portman had given birth to her first child, a baby boy fathered by Benjamin Millepied. Portman and I have had a tumultuous relationship over the years. Had this news broken back when I was a young lad 13 years of age, I'd have been heart broken. However, due to my current status as a 25 year old cynic, I find myself barely registering this news. I pay no mind to most celebrity gossip, and politely decline to partake in most related discussions. I am guilty of gossiping about Charlie Sheen, but to be fair, I've been doing that since Navy Seals...

However, among all the hubbub regarding Natalie's child, there is one bit of gossip some have been discussing that piques my interest: Benjamin Millepied isn't Jewish.

Millepied, a French dancer raised in Senegal, doesn't seem a likely candidate for the Tribe and there doesn't appear to be any indication that he plans to apply. For better or for worse, Portman serves as an ambassador to the world, one of the most prominent and successful Jewish woman alive today. I suppose we can't help but muse and wonder how she plans to raise her children and whether a Jewish identity will be part of that plan. According to Wikipedia, she does plan on raising her children in a Jewish household and her partner choice has no effect on that decision.

For the curious, Wikipedia also states that she and Moby are close friends. LA makes for strange connections.

Personally, I don't find the question regarding Millepied's Jewish status particularly relevant. At heart, we all know what we're afraid of: the demographic shrinkage effect and gradual decline of the American Jew. We've all seen the op-eds, perused the statistics and read the studies.

So here's my question regarding Mr. Thousandlegs: Who cares?

You know how there's all those really wonderful parents, sweet, intelligent, warm parents who raise complete failures? Or how about those awful, neglectful, abusive parents who raise children who grow up to be brilliant, morally sound human beings?

I'm a big fan of trusting women to make their own decisions. I'm inclined to trust her judgment on most of her personal choices.

Star Wars Episode Prequels notwithstanding...

No, Ms. Portman. You're breaking MY heart...

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How to cite this page

Fuentes, Kenny Steven. "Natalie's baby: Who cares if the father's not Jewish?." 7 July 2011. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 30, 2024) <>.