Bernie Sanders is the first Jew to ever win a primary, and here’s why it’s awesome

Bernie Sanders reminds me of my Jewish American Grandpa. Outspoken, funny, fist in the air fighting injustice… A shlook of schnapps and extra black pepper in the chicken soup.

Bernie Sander is Jewish.

His Jewishness just Is.

He doesn’t need to wear a yarmulke or wrap himself in the Israeli flag for me to know that he is a Jew and that Judaism is part of his identity.

And he didn’t play that card.

And the Jewish community didn’t rally behind him.

In fact, the Jewish community was divided…

Some love him – but not because he’s Jewish. Progressive Jews love him because he’s progressive.
But the rest of the community? Not so much:

“Yes, he’s Jewish. But what an embarrassment,” say so many.

“Ok, fine, I guess he’s Jewish but what about his stance on Israel?!?” say so many more.
And that’s awesome.


From generation to generation, Jews have been the Other – even in America. Sure, we still are… sometimes by choice, sometimes because others chose to make us an Other.

But the straight up fact of it all is for the first time in American history that I can see, a Jewish presidential candidate won a primary… He won it without massive Jewish support. He won it WITH American support.

For the first time in American history, a Jewish presidential candidate’s religion was an incidental.

For the first time in American history, a Jewish presidential candidate was just an American.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.