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The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Deborah Wasserman Schultz

b. September 27, 1966

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Deborah Wasserman Schultz until we are able to commission a full entry.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz represents Florida's 23rd Congressional District. She has served in Congress since 2005.

An outspoken Democrat, Deborah Wasserman Schultz has dedicated her public life and career to serving the people of South Florida. Wasserman Schultz attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, earning her BA in political science in 1988 and her MA in 1990, with a certificate in political campaigning. In 1988, she became an aide to Peter Deutsch in the Florida state legislature. When Deutsch was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, she ran for and was elected to his vacated seat in the Florida House of Representatives, at the age of 26. She served from 1993 to 2001, retiring due to term limits, and then served in the state senate from 2001 to 2004 while also teaching political science at local universities and community colleges. In 2005, she began her first term in the US House of Representatives and her work quickly earned her appointments to the Democratic Steering Committee and the Appropriations Committee. In collaboration with Senator Arlen Spector, Wasserman Schultz penned a resolution to declare May as Jewish American Heritage Month—a resolution passed unanimously by both houses of Congress and signed by President George W. Bush. In 2008, she was national co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential. In 2011, Wasserman Shultz was appointed chair of the Democratic National Committee; she resigned in 2016, after Wikileaks released emails showing that she and other DNC staff members had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries in exchange for funding to eliminate the DNC's remaining debt from the 2012 presidential campaign. As of 2023, Wasserman Schultz still served in the House of Representatives and held a leadership role as a Co-Chair of the Steering and Policy Committee.  

Wasserman Schultz is married to Steve Schultz and they have three children. She is an active member of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Planned Parenthood, and Hadassah. Throughout her career, she has supported pro–choice, gun control, and LGBTQ equality legislation. In March 2009, Wasserman Schultz revealed that she had undergone seven surgeries for breast cancer and began promoting efforts for early screening for breast cancer.  

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Deborah Wasserman Schultz." (Viewed on December 10, 2023) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/schultz-deborah>.


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