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Jews in House of Representatives Face Uphill Battles for Re-Election; Many Retire

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By: Cory Handlerson

Reports say that the US House of Representatives is slowly becoming Judenrein – free of Jews – as some retire and others face uphill battles for re-election.


At present, there are 27 Jews in the House.


“I’m not worried, but it will be different,” Yossi Gestetner, co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, told The New York Post. “Losing members from the tribe makes it more difficult going forward.”


Democrats Nita Lowey and Susan Davis are set to retire. Lowey has served as a U.S. Representative from New York since 1989. Her district was numbered as the 20th from 1989 to 1993, as the 18th from 1993 to 2013, and has been the 17th since 2013. Lowey, who New Yorkers first elected in 1989, chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Davis, a Californian with 19 years under her belt, will also leave behind a number of senior committee posts. Two Jews, Adam Schleifer and David Buchwald, are running for Lowey’s seat in Tuesday’s primary.


Susan Carol Alpert Davis represents California’s 53rd congressional district, having served there since 2001. Her district includes central and eastern portions of the city of San Diego, as well as eastern suburbs such as El Cajon, La Mesa, Spring Valley, and Lemon Grove.


At the same time, next door in New Jersey, Rep. Josh Gottheimer is taking on progressive Indian-American neuroscientist Arati Kreibich, an ally of former presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders. Gottheimer a lawyer, writer, and public policy adviser serving as the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 5th congressional district, which includes a swath of exurban and rural territory west of New York City. He was active in the Democratic Party as a speechwriter for Bill Clinton and as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. He has also worked for Burson-Marsteller, the Federal Communications Commission, Ford Motor Company, and Microsoft.


Also facing rough opponents on the right are Staten Island’s Max Rose and Virginia’s Elaine Luria. Rose  is a military veteran serving as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 11th congressional district, which includes all of Staten Island and parts of southern Brooklyn. He served in the U.S. Army as a platoon leader in the War in Afghanistan, where he was wounded, from 2012 to 2013. For his service, he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.


Luria is a Navy veteran who has served as the Representative for Virginia’s 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives since 2019. Her congressional district serves most of the heart of Hampton Roads, including all of Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Poquoson and portions of Norfolk and Hampton. Before running for Congress, she served as a Navy officer for 20 years. Luria rose to the rank of commander and spent the majority of her career deployed on navy ships. She defeated Republican incumbent Scott Taylor in 2018, and she is running for a second term in 2020.


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