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These 13 Jewish Women Are Running for Congress

midterms

The midterm elections are a-coming! Are YOU registered to vote? (Check here — it will take a fraction of the time it takes to get your kids out the door in the morning.)

This year, a record number of women are running for office. Some are even coining 2018 as the “Year of the Angry College Educated Woman.”According to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics, 3,381 female candidates are on the ballot for their state legislatures. That’s roughly 1,000 more than in the past two decades, which is pretty amazing.

What spurred their interest this year?  For the most part, these women were inspired by the actions of the Trump administration. Only 27 percent of college-educated women approve of President Trump, according to NBC/WSJ’s April survey. And between the Women’s March and the ongoing #MeToo movement, the current political climate galvanized women into action. Yass!

On the national level, 256 women are running for Senate and House seats this election. Among them are 36 (double chai!) Jewish women and, of those, a bakers’ dozen (13) are challenging the incumbents.

Read on for a brief look at these 13 badass Jewish women; 12 of whom are running for House seats and one for the Senate.

See you at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6!

Lauren Baer (D) – Florida 

Occupation: International law attorney and mother to an almost 3-year-old girl.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Brian Mast.

Noteworthy: If she wins, Baer would be the first mother in a same-sex marriage to be sent to Congress. Her daughter, Serena, is what propelled her campaign, she told The Daily Beast.

“What happened in 2016 was that a presidential election went a direction that was completely unexpected — and two weeks before that, I gave birth to a baby girl. I thought my daughter was being born into one world and she ended up bring born to a completely different one,” she said.

Liz Watson (D) – Indiana

Occupation: Labor lawyer and mother to a son and daughter.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Trey Hollingsworth.

Noteworthy: Her Israel position paper, which states her views on Israel-related issues, begins with the iconic “Hineh mah tov” psalm, which means “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together.” Watson believes that a two-state solution is the only way to achieve peace and ensure the stability of a Jewish, democratic state.

Elissa Slotkin (D) – Michigan

Occupation: Former national security official and mother of two daughters.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Michael Bishop.

Noteworthy: Slotkin says it was Bishop who inspired her candidacy. “My mom, who died in 2011 of ovarian cancer, had breast cancer many years before that. When I saw [Mike Bishop] smiling at the White House after voting to gut protections for pre-exiting conditions, something inside me broke. And it’s why I’m running for congress,” she tweeted. 

(P.S. That paczki, a Polish jelly doughnut, is totally a sufganiya, amirite?)

Dana Balter (D) – New York 

Occupation: Professor at Syracuse University and a “mom” to three dogs.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican John Katko.

Noteworthy: Her parents were Holocaust refugees.

Kathy Manning (D) – North Carolina 

Occupation: Philanthropist, former immigration lawyer, and mother of three.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Ted Budd.

Noteworthy: Her daughter’s chronic illness is what pushed her to run for congress. She was inspired to help others dealing with the exorbitant costs of life-saving medicine for pre-existing conditions.

Jill Schiller (D) – Ohio 

Occupation: Former attorney, founder of a children’s literacy nonprofit, Obama Administration member, and mother of two.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup.

Noteworthy: She says Judaism’s “empowerment of strongly female leaders” partly inspired her to run. Plus, her favorite book is the Lord of the Rings series.

Susan Wild (D) – Pennsylvania 

Occupation: Attorney and mother of two kids.

Challenger: None. She’s running to replace Republican Pat Meehan who stepped down due to a sexual harassment scandal.

Noteworthy: She whips up delicious meals using fresh ingredients from her garden, and every Wednesday she features a woman on Twitter with #wildWCW (woman crush Wednesday).

Elaine Luria (D) – Virginia 

Occupation: Mother and small business owner. In 2013, Luria and her husband opened Mermaid Factory, a boutique shop in Norfolk that sells paintable mermaids and dolphins. If that isn’t adorable enough, a portion of the proceeds go to organizations that support the youth and arts.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Scott Taylor.

Noteworthy: During her 20-years as a Navy commander, she led a Passover seder on an aircraft carrier. Luria has said it was “critically important” for her to give her daughter a Jewish education.

Kim Schrier (D) – Washington 

Occupation: Pediatrician and mother.

Challenger: Republican incumbent Dave Reichert.

Noteworthy: She’s fluent in Spanish and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes as a teen.

Lena Epstein (R) – Michigan

Occupation: Businesswoman and mother.

Challenger: Incumbent Republican Dave Trott.

Noteworthy: Judaism is an important aspect of Epstein’s identity, and in 2016 she wrote a piece called “Why this Jewish millennial woman supports Trump.” She loves to cook during the week for her husband and newborn daughter.

Naomi Levin (R) – New York

Occupation: Software engineer.

Challenging: Incumbent Democrat Kathleen Rice.

Noteworthy: At 35-years-old, she’s the youngest Jewish candidate running for congress. She speaks Hebrew fluently.

Beverly Goldstein (R) – Ohio 

Occupation: Audiologist, mother of three, and grandmother of three.

Challenging: Incumbent Democrat Marcia Fudge.

Noteworthy: She’s active with ACT! for America, otherwise known as the “largest anti-Muslim group in the United States.”

Jacky Rosen (D) – Nevada

Occupation: Former consultant, software designer, synagogue president, and mother.

Challenging: Incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller.

Noteworthy: Rosen told The New York Times that “if you can be a president of a synagogue, you can be president of the United States very easily.”

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