When Dad-of-the-Year Jon Gosselin of “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ started dating Hailey Glassman a few months ago, I don’t think many of us (and by “us” I mean fans of the show, people who read tabloids, and/or those in the media forced to actually pay attention to what’s going on with the Gosselin family) expected him to take an active role in her faith life. I don’t think many of us even stopped to think about whether she even had an active faith life or was in some way a practicing Jew. I didn’t. So it came as somewhat of a shock to hear Gosselin talk about participating in Jewish holidays with Glassman and her family, occasionally keeping Kosher, and professing his love for challah bread in this interview with ParentDish.com:
I just went through Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur and learned about the new year and every Friday is the Shabbat dinner. I love challah bread. I’m learning about Jewish food, going to Zabar’s. I love that place. I’m learning about kosher and when not to order a bacon, egg and cheese and make an ass of myself. Hailey makes fun of me. My mom came to the city on Yom Kippur and asked where all the traffic was. I got from the West Side to Midtown in five minutes. She wants to come to the city every year on Yom Kippur.
Gosselin also mentioned he’s spoken to Beliefnet blogger Rabbi Shumuley Boteach, hinting that he may have had questions about the religion.
I talked to Rabbi Shmuley a couple of times. He has nine kids. I was really nervous dating a Jewish girl. She’s like the best girl ever. All my friends are like ‘I’m so jealous’ and I’m like, ‘Stay away, she’s mine.’ She’s the rock of my life. She’s been through hell in the tabloids. They made up lies that she’s a lesbian and she’s doing drugs. We’ve both been through all this turmoil. And we just keep on loving each other.
For me, the real interest is whether Jon was ever really the devout Christian that he claimed to be back when he and Kate were together. I mean the whole (allegedly) cheating on Kate thing was an indicator that he probably wasn’t. But the couple did speak about their Christian faith on the show on a number of occasions, Kate wrote about it in her book “Multiple Blessings” (and spoke about it with me during a Beliefnet interview earlier this year), and they have also made money speaking at churches about their faith. Although they used to have a section of their website SixGosselins.com with information on their church speaking engagements, that section is no longer there. However, they still do have an area with devotionals.
I’ve also felt that part of the reason why so many people were interested in Jon and Kate’s break-up was because they did profess to be a strong Christian family, and as such, one would imagine they would have done a bit more to save their marriage.
So what do you think? Was Jon genuine about his Christian faith on the show? Or was that just to capture the faith-based audience? Do you think he’ll eventually “officially” convert to Judaism? And, if you’re Jewish, do you even want him to?