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Jewish Makeup of the 113th Congress

By Jspace Staff on 11/7/2012 at 5:48 PM

Categories: Politics, United States

Jewish Makeup of the 113th Congress

Four new Jewish Representatives entered the House last night, while four Senators up for reelection retained their seats for a new term.

Combined with the Congressmen and women who weren’t on the ballot this year, that brings the tally to 11 Jews in Senate and 22 in the House of Representatives.

Democrats Bill Schneider, Alan Lowenthal, Lois Frankel, and Alan Grayson were each elected to the House, in Illinois, California, and the last two in Florida, respectively. Grayson has served as a Representative before, but lost his seat in 2010.

In the Senate, Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) were each reelected. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), the son of a Holocaust survivor, also re-won his seat.

Added to the members of Congress who did not face reelection this year, there are now 33 Jewish officials serving in the 113th Congress. That’s a slight dip from the last Congress’s number of 39.

Rep. Brad Sherman is one such member who held onto his California seat, after a contentious campaign against challenger and fellow Jew, Howard Berman. Both are longtime politicos with allegiance to Israel. The men caused a media stir after Sherman grabbed Berman during a debate in October.

Notable losses for the night included Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who was running in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional district. Mindy Meyer, the 22-year-old Orthodox woman also known as the “Magenta Yenta,” also lost her bid for the New York State Senate.

Ohio Senate hopeful Josh Mandel, a 35-year-old Jewish Republican who made headlines for allegations of illegal contributions, lost to incumbent Sherrod Brown.

In general, Jewish Democrats fared better than Jewish Republicans. Eric Cantor, House majority leader, is the only Jewish GOP member in the House.