From bat mitzvah guest to backer of Israel in Congress: Nancy Pelosi's Jewish journey


November 25, 2022

(JTA) — Five days after Nancy Pelosi made history in 2007 as the first woman elected to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, she held an event at her alma mater, the private Roman Catholic university, Trinity Washington.

She asked a rabbi, the Reform movement’s David Saperstein, to headline the event because she saw the movement as taking the lead on a crisis that deeply concerned her, in Darfur. “Do not stand idly by the blood of your neighbor,” Saperstein said, quoting Leviticus.

Pelosi was so pleased with Saperstein’s remarks that afterwards she pulled him into a family photo.


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