Doug Emhoff, husband to Vice President Kamala Harris, has already brought a lot of Jewish representation to the White House. Just this week, the Jewish (and first-ever!) Second Gentleman shared a sweet tweet wishing everyone a happy Purim, and back in December 2020, and Emhoff and Harris shared a moving and historic Hanukkah video.
Now, in honor of the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day — which is Tuesday, March 2 — Emhoff is paying tribute to one of his Jewish heroes: the iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away this past September.
Aside from their joint Jewish heritage, Emhoff and Ginsburg also share a passion for the law — Emhoff was a successful entertainment lawyer who left his firm to support his wife’s VP role, though he is currently teaching a law course at Georgetown University.
Also, one can’t help but notice the poignant parallels between Emhoff and RBG’s doting and supportive husband, Marty Ginsburg, who was, like Emhoff, a successful lawyer himself, but was never conflicted and always happy to bask in the limelight of his more successful wife.
In a video, made in collaboration with The Conscious Kid — an education nonprofit whose Anti-Racist Children’s Books Education Fund donated more than 120,000 books to 3,000 elementary schools across the country since November — Emhoff reads I Dissent, a picture-book biography of RBG written Debbie Levy and beautifully illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley.
In the book, Levy explores Ginsburg’s life, from her childhood in Brooklyn, to her law career, to her rise to the highest court on the land. In the book, Levy recounts Ginsburg’s history of “dissenting” and speaking out against injustice, starting from the time she was a child and was faced with antisemitism, like when she saw a sign outside a hotel that read “No Dogs or Jews Allowed.”
As Levy told Kveller back in 2017, “I realized, the story of [Ginsburg’s] life offers this inspiring lesson: Disagreeing does not make you disagreeable, and important change happens one disagreement at a time. What fine ideas for a children’s book!”
We couldn’t agree more, and we’re so glad Emhoff chose this book. You can watch his reading below:
At the end of the video, Emhoff thanks those who watched for letting him share this story with them, and urges them to keep on reading.
It’s so thrilling to have this video of Emhoff to share with our kids, as well as kids across the nation, who may be learning about Ginsburg’s life story for the first time. We love that this history-making Jewish figure is using his voice to share the story of another Jewish legend in order to honor diversity and justice for all.
Image via the Conscious Kid YouTube