For a staunch Roman Catholic, Joe Biden has a very Jewish family.
All three of his children married Jewish spouses, and the baby grandson that he cradled in his arms after his victory speech is halachiacally Jewish, as are the children of his late son Beau.
Beau’s wife, Hallie Olivere was the Biden’s first Jewish daughter in law.
Joe Biden had known her mother Joan since childhood, and once quipped that he’d have liked to have married her, and he said that he was the Catholic kid. She was the Jewish girl, and he said he still tried but that he didn’t get anywhere.
Hallie Olivere and Beau married in 2002 and had children Natalie and Robert.
In 2015 Beau died of brain cancer, and in the aftermath of his passing, Hallie turned to his brother Hunter, who was separated from his wife, Kathleen, the mother of their children Naomi, Finnegan and Maisy.
Joe and Jill Biden, as well as Hallie’s parents, supported the couple, with Joe Biden saying that the couple had his and Jill’s complete support, and were happy for them.
Hallie and Hunter split up, in part because of the continuous attention from the press. Not long afterwards Hunter met Jewish South African filmmaker Melissa Cohen, and inside 10 days the couple were married in a ceremony in her Los Angeles flat. Hunter marked the occasion by getting a tattoo to match Melissa Cohen’s, the word ‘shalom’ in Hebrew letters.
According to the South African Jewish Report, it was love at first sight, and her family were left reeling by the news.
Her parents Zoe and Lee Cohen would not comment, but her brother Garyn said that it was pretty much a fairytale and that all they wanted was for Melissa to be happy, and for there to be a happy ending.
Melissa grew up with three older brothers, attended a Jewish day school and studied interior design before moving to Los Angeles. Garyn Cohen said that his sister had always been a champion for nature conservation and the environment, as well as the underprivileged and people from all walks of life, and he said that she was exceptional, intelligent, and has a special neshoma (soul).
The couple’s child, named Beau, was born in April, just under a year after they first met and married.
Joe and Jill Biden’s daughter Ashley also has a Jewish husband, Howard Krein, an ENT specialist at a Philadelphia hospital. They married in 2012, in a Catholic Jewish service followed by a reception during which the then Vice President danced the hora.