Goodbye to Dennis Kucinich, the other would-be kosher president


There are so many reasons to love E.J. Kessler.

And Dennis Kucinich’s primary defeat reminded me of one of my favorites: Back in 2004, when most reporters were stuck on the religious habits and dietary habits of Joe Lieberman, Kessler — then at the Forward — broke the real news … Dennis Kucinich was (is still?) a kosher vegan:

It turns out that Kucinich is actually the second entrant in this year’s Democratic presidential field, following Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, who observes kashrut. The reason: his eight-year “friendship” with Yelena Boxer, a Croatian-born Jewish employment lawyer whom he describes as his “best friend.”

And that’s not all … the guy loves matzah. And we’re talking hardcore — shmurah matzah:

She said that she and Kucinich don’t attend the Reform synagogue in his district much because she was raised Conservative and prefers a more traditional service. They have attended a Passover Seder at the home of the local Aish Hatorah rabbi.

Kucinich also likes to light Chanukah candles and “knows all the kashrut laws.”

“I keep kosher,” she said. “He changed his diet to mine — it’s a vegan diet, with no dairy and no meat.”

Kucinich loves to nibble on matzo, particularly the handmade “shmurah” kind, Boxer said. “I told him, ‘Matzo is the bread of oppression. You shouldn’t like it so much.’ But this man likes matzo.”

Not sure what Kucintch is doing next. But perhaps he can, um, take a page from Lieberman’s new book and write an ode to the beauty of being a kosher vegan.

Recommended from JTA