Bernie Sanders Says He Is Proud To Be Jewish But Not ‘Actively Involved In Organized Religion’

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks to guests during a campaign stop at Berg Middle School in Newton, Iowa on January 11, 2020. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In an interview with The New York Times ahead of the paper’s endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders said he is “proud to be Jewish” but is “not actively involved in organized religion.”

“I am Jewish,” Sanders told the Times’ editorial board when asked whether he believes in God. “I am proud to be Jewish. I was bar mitzvahed from the Kings Highway Jewish Center, a long time ago. I am not actively involved in organized religion.”

The Times notes in a comment in the interview that “if elected, he would be the first Jewish president, and also one of few who have openly discussed a disconnect from organized religion.”

The Vermont senator goes on to say that he believes in God and in freedom of religion, contrasting himself with President Donald Trump, whom Sanders says practices discrimination by restricting immigration from a number of Muslim majority countries.

The Times is publishing its editorial board’s interviews with Democratic candidates ahead of its endorsement, which is set to appear on Jan. 19.

Sanders, 78, was for a long time reluctant to talk about his Jewish heritage during his 2016 presidential campaign. Some of his campaigners have made his Jewishness central to his 2020 campaign.

The Times links to an essay he wrote in the left-wing Jewish Currents magazine, in which Sanders opens up about his Jewish identity.

Asked if anyone advises him on spiritual matters, Sanders referred to his wife, Jane.

“My wife was raised as a Catholic, holds some pretty strong feelings,” he said.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. This man went to Russia in the late 50’s yo celebrate his marriage. Americans couldn’t get in. Unless you where a party member. His religion is communism not socialism
    There’s nothing Jewish in his post present or future

  2. This socialist disgrace only refers to being Jewish to swing some votes his way. Cheap shot, and we recognize it, Bernie. May we all be there to witness your fall from politics and fame. We are embarrassed that you are counted among us.

  3. The “emes” is that Bernie and Soros nerom”yoir are Yiden by halacha, according to Jewish Law. You are allowed even obligated to desecrate the Shabbes to save them. So is Bloomberg, Schummer, Schieff and Nadler. Trump , McConell and 95 – 98% of Republicans are not Jewish. Emes??? Kushner is Jewish. Was a Democrat untill 4 years ago. Hillarys son in law is Jewish too. Emes?

  4. If he is proud to be Jewish, why does he have anti-Semites on his staff?

    Why does he support the enemies of Israel and treat Israel worse than any other nation?

    Me k’amcha yisrael!

    • “Mi koamcho Yisroel” AMCHO = Your Nation. Agudah, YI, Lakewooders,Nadler and other Jewish Senators, Yerusalmis, Zionim, Bernie and Soros, Neturei Karte, Chabadskes, Reforms,Scummer and Scieff, Satmarers, Jewish gays, etc… Mi Koamcho Yisroel. Yisroel only, Not Trump,McConnel,Pelosi and the rest….

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