Kesha Ram, a Vermont State Representative, recently visited Israel for the first time — but not on the kind of Israel trip most American legislators take. The 25 year old (who happens to be the youngest state legislator in the country right now) went on a free Taglit-Birthright Israel experience together with other people her age.
Ram, whose mother is of Eastern European Jewish background and whose father is an Indian Hindu, wrote in her application for the program: “In Jewish culture, my understanding is that if your mother is Jewish, you are considered Jewish. In Hindu culture, if your father is Hindu, you are considered Hindu. I have lived in both worlds and have gone to synagogue and temple; I have been to India three times, but I have never been to the sacred places of my Jewish ancestors. I would like to better understand Israel and my heritage for both my personal and professional knowledge.”