Ten years after the election that resulted in a doubling of the number of women in Congress, the old record of 90 women was broken on Tuesday. Five newcomers will join 15 returning female senators — including two Jewish women from California — for an all-time high of 20, and there will be at least 77 women in the House (a few races are still undecided) when the 113th Congress convenes in January.
I was struck by the Jewish spirit (neshama) and the Jewish ethos that wound its way through the words of Obama’s acceptance speech last night. The emphasis on cooperation, on tenacity in the face of adversity, on individual responsibility and personal action, while underscoring the interconnectedness of the nation all rang clearly with Jewish ideals. Perhaps what I found most satisfying was Obama's return to hope. Hope.
My political views are shaped by three important facets of my life – I’m Jewish, I’m a woman, and I have kids. For starters, I grew up Jewish in Orange County, CA, where there were even fewer Jews than Democrats.
According to an August USA Today/Suffolk University poll, there are 90 million Americans who “could turn a too-close-to-call race into a landslide for President Obama, but by definition they probably won’t.” The poll found that people who are eligible to vote but aren’t likely to do so “back Obama’s re-election over Republican Mitt Romney by more than 2-1.”