NEW YORK (JTA) — Three new Jewish legislators were sworn in to the Missouri House of Representatives.
Reps. Jill Schupp, Steve Brown and Jason Kander took the oath of office last week, bringing to five the number of Jewish Missouri House members. They join Reps. Rachel Storch and Rep. Jake Zimmerman, all Democrats, in the state House’s 95th General Assembly.
Storch, who has served five years and is starting her third term, was the only Jewish legislator when she took office. At that time, she said, her fellow representatives "weren’t attuned to the fact that there was someone who was Jewish in the Legislature."
The House is geographically diverse, Storch said, but religious diversity is new.
"You have people coming from all parts of state where they simply may have not had that much exposure to other faiths outside of mainstream Christianity," she said.
Brown said he didn’t think it was a coincidence that all of the Jewish legislators were Democrats.
"Most Jews are pretty progressive, especially on a lot of social issues," he said.
Missouri state Sen. Jeff Smith also is Jewish.