If you’ve been keeping up with “The Bachelorette” this season, you know one thing to be true: The upcoming finale will be the most. dramatic. in. Bachelorette. history. Or, at least, that’s what host Jesse Palmer keeps telling us.
But did you know that it will include a Jewish contestant?
No, I’m not talking about nice Southern Jewish boy Jason Alabaster, whose relationship with Gabby came to a heart-rending end last week. I’m talking about Tino Franco, the 28-year-old general contractor who is the last man standing for Bachelorette Rachel Recchia!
On his father’s side, Tino comes from a blended religious background — his grandfather was a Mexican immigrant and his grandmother came from an upper middle class Jewish family.
“We have always celebrated both the Catholic and Jewish religions,” Joe Franco, Tino’s dad, told Hey Alma. “With a family as large as ours (my parents have 34 grandkids), Passover can be huge, but it is cool to see the grandkids, my sons, Tino included, many whom only know their Jewish roots through the seder, read from the haggadah and be excited about the tradition and history, as well search for the matzah.”
Joe went on to add, “I identify as both Catholic and Jewish and our parents raised us all to be very proud of our diverse and blended background, as did I for my kids. I would say my kids are equally proud of being part of both religions as well. It gives us all a great deal of perspective on the world.”
Joe Franco was at the center of attention during hometown visits, when he was more than a little skeptical of Rachel and Tino’s ability to have fallen in love over the course of filming the reality series. After fans of the show took to social media to comment on everything from Joe’s hair to stature, he shared his own “tell all” on his public Facebook account, revealing that he’s 5’6″, does not have a comb-over, and has never “been aboard the Starship Enterprise, (but I do share a Jewish heritage with Spock.)”
Considering the fact that Tino has spoken on the show about the significance he finds in giving back to his community (aka tikkun olam in Judaism and charity in Catholicism), it seems that his interfaith background has absolutely shaped the person he is.
Perhaps that might be good to keep in mind next week during part two of “The Bachelorette” finale, when Tino will almost certainly be involved with more drama…