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The Schmooze

Is Scooter Braun The Matchmaker Behind Ariana Grande’s And Justin Bieber’s Fast Engagements?

We owe some major mazels to two celebrity couples:

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson dated for a maximum of five weeks before confirming their engagement in June.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin (who, to be fair, are exes) dated for an estimated four weeks before becoming engaged over the weekend.

We have a lot of questions about these unions, but the one that springs most readily to mind is: Are these people Hasids?

Sure, all members of the quartet are covered in tattoos and tend towards donning strips of fabric rather than clothing, and Davidson is the only one with a drop of Jewish blood. But then all four also seem exorbitantly joyful, enthusiastic about the immanence of God, and determined to be betrothed at a young age after only a handful of meetings. They’re not Hasidic Jews, but they’re sure doing a fascinating impression.

Davidson, a comic on Saturday Night Live, and Baldwin, a model, are rising stars. But Grande and Bieber are two of the biggest pop stars working today, and for both of them to become engaged at almost the same time after outrageously short courtships, is unheard of. So much so that fans of both artists have traced their parallel paths back to their longtime shared manager: Scooter Braun.

Braun is a conservative Jew from Connecticut, a grandchild of Holocaust survivors who is credited with discovering Justin Bieber and now manages a host of huge names while operating his own multi-media entertainment company.

So proud of you @arianagrande. #realdeal

A post shared by Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) on

After news of Bieber’s engagement broke on Sunday, both Bieber and Grande fielded so many tweets claiming that Braun must have orchestrated their engagements that Grande was moved to respond.

Grande commented on a now-deleted tweet from a fan that read: “First Ariana get engaged to Pete Davidson and now Justin Bieber to Hailey Baldwin the devil works hard but Scooter Braun works harder.” In several replies, Grande wrote defending herself and Bieber as well as Braun’s character: “Scooter is a wonderful human being too who cares first n foremost [about] our health and happiness,” she said. The tweet that earned Grande’s retort was one of many that compared Braun to the devil.

Is comparing a powerful Jewish media presence to the devil and cooking up accusations that he is a Machiavellian sexual powerbroker some kind of ultra-contemporary blood libel? Or is it reasonable that any good manager would happily work as a shadkhan for unions which are garnering outrageous levels of attention for his clients?

“Enjoy happiness with a woman you love all the fleeting days of life that have been granted to you under the sun,” reads Ecclesiastes, 9:9, suggesting that haters should leave the young couples and their hardworking manager alone. In other words, as Grande wrote in her defense of Braun, “Love is lit.”

Jenny Singer is the deputy lifestyle editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny




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