Ron Wyden is a Democratic politician who is currently serving as the senior United States Senator for Oregon, a seat he has held since 1996. He previously served in the United States House of Representatives (1981-1996). He is also the current dean of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation.
Ron Wyden is the son of Edith Rosennow and Peter H. Wyden, both of them who are Jewish Refugees that had fled Nazi Germany. Wyden, while teaching Gerontology at several Oregon universities, founded the Oregon Chapter of the Gray Panthers, which he had led from 1974-1980. He also served as the director of the Oregon Legal Services Center for the elderly, a nonprofit law service. And, from 1977-1979, he served on the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.
In October 2015, Wyden was one of the Senate Democrats to unveil a new gun control campaign after the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College shooting. Wyden said the three areas the senators were focusing on, which consisted of increasing current background check requirements, closing “loopholes” on background checks when guns are purchased at gun shows or online, and closing the “pipeline of illegal guns” by rendering gun trafficking as a federal crime, were “common sense” and should have bipartisan support.
In late 1995, Wyden became the first U.S. Senator to publically support same-sex marriage. He was one of 14 senators to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. He has voted against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have proposed an amendment to the constitution to bar recognition of same-sex marriages. Wyden also appeared up in the Senate Chamber in December 2010 to vote for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010.
Robert Battle’s Genealogy Projects, web.archive.org/web/20150512105445/freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/.
Charles Ellis Schumer is an American politician serving as the senior United States senator from New York, a seat he was first elected in 1998. A member of the Democratic Party, he also served as the Senate Minority leader since 2017. He is the current dean of New York’s congressional delegation.
Schumer was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009. He was elected Vice-Chairman of the Democratic Caucus in the senate in 2006. In November 2010, he was also chosen to hold the additional role of chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee
In April 2012, he introduced a bill that would kill Arizona’s anti-immigration law. He backed his position, saying; “States like Arizona and Alabama will no longer get away with saying they are simply ‘helping the federal government’ to enforce the law when they are really writing their laws and knowingly deploying untrained officers with a mission of arresting and anyone who might fit the preconceived profile of an illegal immigrant.”
In May 2017, Schumer co-sponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which made it a federal crime, punishable by a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, for Americans to encourage or participate in boycotts against Israel and Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories if protesting actions by the Israeli government. The bill would make it legal for U.S. states to refuse to do business with contractors that engage in boycotts against Israel.
Cardin, Benjamin L. “Cosponsors – S.720 – 115th Congress (2017-2018): Israel Anti-Boycott Act.” Congress.gov, 23 Mar. 2017, www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/cosponsors.
Bernard Sanders, better known simply as “Bernie”, is an American politician without an official party affiliation. He currently serves as the junior United States Senator from Vermont, a position he has held since 2007. He previously served as U.S. Representative for the state’s at-large congressional district from 1991 to 2007.
Sanders is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history; however, he has a close relationship with the Democratic Party. He has caucused with House and Senate Democrats for the majority of his congressional career.
Sanders described his upbringing as an American Jew in a 2016 speech. His father generally attended synagogue only on Yom Kippur; he attended public schools while his mother “chafed” at his yeshiva Sunday schooling at a Hebrew school, and their religious observances were mostly limited to Passover seders with their neighbors. Larry Sanders said of their parents, “They were very pleased to be Jews, but didn’t have a strong belief in God.”
Sanders became interested, he observed, “A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932. He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including six million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.” While at the University of Chicago, he joined the Young People’s Socialist League and was active in the civil rights movement as a student for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Sanders ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign in the 2016 election, and again in 2020. Both of his campaigns had an extremely high amount of public support. Analysts have suggested that Sanders’s campaign shifted both the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party politically leftward. Noting the increasing acceptance of his national single-payer health-care program, his $15-an-hour minimum wage stance, free college tuition and many of the other campaign platform issues he introduced, an April 2018 opinion article in The Week suggested, “Quietly but steadily, the Democratic Party is admitting that Sanders was right.”
Berger, Joseph. “Bernie Sanders Is Jewish, but He Doesn’t Like to Talk About It.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 24 Feb. 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/02/25/us/politics/bernie-sanders-jewish.html.
Spross, Jeff. “Bernie Sanders Has Conquered the Democratic Party.” The Week – All You Need to Know About Everything That Matters, The Week, 24 Apr. 2018, theweek.com/articles/769073/bernie-sanders-conquered-democratic-party.
Brian Schatz is currently serving as a Senator for the U.S. state of Hawaii. This is a position he has held 2012. Before that he had been in the Hawaii House of Representatives and the chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
Brian Schatz was born alongside his identical twin brother, Steve Schatz, in 1972. He studied at the Pomona College, where he spent some time studying overseas in Kenya as part of the school’s international training program.
Brian has had the honor of being named a “strong voice for the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement” by JStreet, a non-profit liberal organization dedicated to “peace in the Middle East”. On top of that, Schatz has voted in favor of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, a bill that is fiercley opposed by civil liberties groups.
Schatz is currently married and has two children.
Peters, Cynthia. “Brian Schatz ’94 Appointed to U.S. Senate Representing Hawaii.” Brian Schatz ’94 Appointed to U.S. Senate Representing Hawaii – Pomona College, 26 Dec. 2012, web.archive.org/web/20130124154840/pomona.edu/news/2012/12/26-schatz-hawaii-senator.aspx.
Schatz’s page on JStreet – https://donate.jstreetpac.org/candidate/brian-schatz/
Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, 114th Congress – https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=1&vote=00291
Jacky Rosen has been the junior United States Senator from Nevada since 2019. She is a Democrat, and previously was a US Representative for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional district from 2017 to 2019.
She was elected to her current position in the 2018 election, when she defeated the sitting Republican senator Dean Heller.
Rosen was born on August 2, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Her father’s family were Jewish emigrants from Austria and Russia. In 1979, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. She later attended Clark County Community College, where she recieved an associate degree in Computing and Information Techonology.
In 2018, Rosen recieved an endorsement for her Senate run from former vice president Joe Biden. Her policies can be viewed on her campaign website. She ran on a progressive platform, a theme which is reflected in her campaign advertisements:
Her platform includes better funding for public schools, affordable higher education, strong environmental protection laws, affordable health care, immigration reform, and more. She helped introduce bipartisan legislation to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented citizens under the United and Securing America Act.
The New York Times.. “Midterm Election Results Leave a Divided Congress.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Nov. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/11/06/us/politics/election-day.html.
Dianne Feinstein is currently serving as the oldest Senator representing California and has held this position since 1992. She has also had the honor of serving as mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
Feinstein began her political career after graduating from Stanford University in 1955, where she worked in her city’s government as part of the California Women’s Parole Board in the 1960s (https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-10-30-ss-57841-story.html).
Throughout her political career, she has voted in favor of the Patriot Act (https://www.ontheissues.org/SenateVote/Party_11-SV019.htm), regulating tobacco, banning assualt rifles(https://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Sen-Feinstein-rolls-out-gun-ban-measure-4222428.php), and selling over a billion dollars worth of weapon to Saudi Arabia (https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/vote_menu_114_2.htm).
“Decision ’94 / SPECIAL GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA’S ELECTIONS : U.S. Senate : THE DEMOCRAT: DIANNE FEINSTEIN.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 30 Oct. 1994, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-10-30-ss-57841-story.html.
Benjamin Cardin is a Democratic politician currently serving as the Senior US
Senator for Maryland. He was first elected into this position in 2006, and has
won every re-election campaign since then.
Cardin is the grandson of Russian Jewish immigrants and began his political
career in 1966 when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates while
still attending law school . Cardin served as a chairman until 1979 when he
became the 103rd Speaker of the House.
In an article by the National Journal, Carding was been described as “The 5th
most liberal senator in the country”. Interestingly, 2 of the 4 politicians ranked
as more liberal than Cardin are also of Jewish ancestry.
With this in mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that Cardin has an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association.
Cardin also halted the sale of over 20,000 weapons to the Filipino government who had requested it for their police departments and is strictly opposed to US citizens owning assault rifles. He has also opposed the UN’s condemnation of Israeli occupation of Palestine, saying that, “Congress will take action against efforts at the UN, or beyond, that use Resolution 2334 to target Israel.” Cardin also supports the dealth penalty.
“About: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland.” Home, www.cardin.senate.gov/about/.
Congress (U S ) Joint Committee on Printing. “Official Congressional Directory 114th Congress, 2015-2016, Convened January 2015.” Google Books, Government Printing Office, 15 Apr. 2016, books.google.com/books?id=8v1cikke5SIC.
Southern Maryland Online. “Md. Senate Contenders Differ Over Death Penalty.” Southern Maryland Online, 3 Nov. 2006, somd.com/news/headlines/2006/4747.php.
Richard Blumenthal is a democratic politician who has served as Attorney General of Connecticut from 1991 to 2011. He is currently the Senior Senator of Connecticut and has held this position since 2011.
Blumenthal attended school at Yale at the same time as several other famous political figures such as Bill and Hillary as well as future secretary of labor Robert Reich, another notable Jewish figure. His father, Martin, had immigrated from Frankfurt to the United States at the age of 17.
During his election campaign in 2010 Blumenthal was exposed for making the claim that he had served in Vietnam, even though this wasn’t true. Blumenthal later apologized to voters for misleading them, saying that he should have been more “clear or precise” . During his time as senator, Blumenthal signed the anti-Israeli boycott act, an act that made it illegal for United States Citizens to engage in boycotts against the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Blumenthal was also among 12 people that put forward the Home Owners Dreamer act, a law that would make it illegal for the federal government to deny mortgage loans based on the immigration status of an applicant.. Blumenthal is also an advocate of gun control and LGBT rights.
Aside from his political career, Richard is noted as one of the richest people in Connecticut. Much of this wealth comes from his wife, a member of real estate developers known as the Malkin family.
A lawyer, a businessman, and a politician; Michael Bennet has done all three!
Since 2009, he has served as a Senator from the state of Colorado.
When Senator Ken Salazar became Secretary of the Interior for the federal government, Bennet was appointed to replace him in the Senate. Previously to
his work as a politician, he had worked as a managaing director for the Anchutz Investment Company, chief of staff to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and Superintendent of Denver Public Schools.
He is the son of Douglas J. Bennet, who was a US Department of State official,
as well as the president of Wesleyan University. Early on, he worked for Ohio
Governor Richard Celeste. He graduated from Yale Law School, where he recieved his Juris Doctor degree. Following his graduation, he found himself employed as
a law clerk. Later on, he worked as Counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney
General in the Clinton Administration.
Bennet was born in New Delhi, India in 1964. Douglas, his father, was working
as an aide for Chester Bowles, the U.S. ambassador to India.
Michael’s mother is a Jewish Holocaust survivor who was born in 1938 in
In 2019, Michael Bennet embarked on a presidential campaign. He had trouble garnering support, due to a lack of name recognition and weak support outside
of his home state of Colorado.
Turkewitz, Julie. “Michael Bennet, Senator From Colorado, Is Running for President.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 May 2019, www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/us/michael-bennet-president-2020.html.