I confess this political couple hasn’t been very much on my radar screen, but this caught my eye today and it’s the first I’d read about the Vermont senator’s wife and her religion:
The average American knows little about Jane Sanders. Of the spouses of presidential candidates, former president Bill Clinton is, of course, already a towering figure in the public eye. Melania Trump is a conventionally attractive former model, and has a delightful rags-to-riches story—not that she has any desire to be the focus of her husband’s tumultuous campaign. Jane O’Meara Sanders, on the other hand, has quietly stood beside her husband throughout his political career, taking on different hats such as “administrative assistant” and “policy analyst” and “media buyer.” Jane is an academic who has served in various positions at colleges across Vermont. She has a PhD in Leadership Studies in Politics and Education from the Union Institute and University, and often juggled her academic career with her husband’s campaigns. Like Bernie, Jane came from a family where the fight for economic reform was important and social justice values were imprinted on her from a young age. She’s a great match for Bernie personally and politically, and made a devoted husband out of a man who once wrote a manifesto on free love back in the ‘60s. She’s also a Roman Catholic. Bernie Sanders seems to have purposefully gone out of his way to avoid calling attention to his Jewishness. He shrugs and simply repeats that he isn’t “actively involved in organized religion.” But he has also stated that he does believe in God, and spent a few years in Israel at a leftist kibbutz. Even if he’s not attending temple every Sabbath, there’s no denying the fact that Bernie Sanders is the first Jewish candidate to ever win a state’s presidential primary. If he won the election, he’d be the first Jewish president ever. Moreover, if Bernie won the election, he and Jane would be the first president and First Lady in an interfaith marriage.