For a staunch Roman Catholic, President –Elect Joe Biden has a remarkably Jewish family.
All three of his children married Jewish spouses. And the baby grandson that he cradled in his arms after his victory speech last week is halachically Jewish, as are the children of his late son Beau.
Beau’s wife, Hallie Olivere was the Bidens’ first Jewish daughter-in law. Joe Biden had known her mother Joan since childhood, and once joked that he’d have liked to have married her. ‘I was the Catholic kid. She was the Jewish girl. I still tried. I didn’t get anywhere.’
Hallie and Beau married in 2002, and had children Natalie and Robert. In 2015 Beau died of brain cancer. In the aftermath of his death, 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 “full and complete support, and we are happy for them.”
Hallie and Hunter split up last year, in part because of the constant attention from the press. Not long afterwards Hunter met Jewish South African film maker Melissa Cohen, and within 10 days the couple were married in a ceremony in her Los Angeles flat. Hunter marked the occasion by getting a tattoo to match Cohen’s – the word ‘shalom’ in Hebrew letters.