More than half of the unofficial House of Representatives’ Jewish caucus turned out Tuesday evening for the National Jewish Democratic Council’s celebration of the swearing-in of the 111th Congress.
New Jewish Reps. Alan Grayson of Florida and Jared Polis of Colorado were among those who stopped by to say a few words, shake a few hands and munch on some hummus and veggies.
Grayson, who called himself "the congressman from Disney World," joked that when he called his mom after his victory, she responded, "Can’t you be a doctor instead?"
The NJDC had shofars presented to the new members — the group even had one on hand for Al Franken, who was declared the victor in the Minnesota Senate race on Monday but was not sworn in with the rest of the new members on Tuesday.
Among those who came by — and since we weren’t there for the entire two hours this is only a partial list — were Sen. Ben Cardin (Maryland) and Reps. Nita Lowey (N.Y.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Shelley Berkley (Nev.), Bob Filner (Calif.), Paul Hodes (N.H.), John Yarmuth (Kent.), Barney Frank (Mass.), Howard Berman (Calif.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) — who noted she was the only member of Congress who is a former NJDC staffer — Brad Sherman (Calif.), Susan Davis (Calif.), Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Jane Harman (Calif.), along with non-Jewish Reps. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and new Rep. Chellie Pingree (Maine). Eric Lynn, former Jewish outreach staffer for the Obama campaign and now a senior adviser to the inaugural committee, was also on hand, as was former top Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Ann Lewis and Washington representatives of a host of Jewish organizations.