Of Eric Cantor, Dirty Dancing and 8 Other Things About (Jewish) Virginia
1) 95,520 Jews live in Virginia.
2) Congregation Beth Israel, built in 1882 in Charlottesville, is the oldest synagogue in the state.
3) Late Minnesota senator Paul Wellstone, who died in an airplane crash in 2002, was raised Jewish in Arlington. The Wellstone family name was originally Wexelstein.
4) Much of Steven Spielberg’s film “Lincoln” was shot in Virginia.
5) Singer-songwriter Andrew Goldstein was born in Reston in 1986.
6) At the start of the series “Homeland” — based on the Israeli series “Hatufim” — CIA officer Carrie Mattison works at the agency’s Counterterrorism Center in Langley.
7) Former U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor represented Virginia’s 7th District and served as House Majority Leader from 2011 to 2014.
8) Though it supposedly took place in New York, the majority of the Wallace Shawn-Andre Gregory film “My Dinner With Andre” was actually shot in the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.
9) The 1987 film “Dirty Dancing” recreated the world of the Catskills at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke.
10) In 1965, Benjamin Rubin, a graduate of Virginia Tech, invented the “bifurcated needle,” which was instrumental in the eradication of small pox.