ossoff by the Forward

Jon Ossoff’s last election-night party felt like a Bar Mitzvah, and more Jewish things to know about him

Jon Ossoff, the Jewish candidate for Georgia’s Senate seat, is set to enter a runoff race with his opponent, incumbent David Perdue. The two will face off again in a special election scheduled for Jan. 5.

An Ossoff win would help the Democrats strengthen their Senate minority, and maybe even help them get to the 51 seats they’d need to take control of the chamber.

Ossoff’s Jewish identity came front and center in the race, after he was smeared by Perdue in an ad which artificially elongated his nose to highlight his Jewishness.

His last election night party was akin to a bar mitzvah, according to attendees

In 2017, when running for a Congressional seat in Georgia’s sixth district, Ossoff also faced a runoff. The election-night party playlist and atmosphere were eerily similar to those seen at the quintessential Jewish right of passage.

He’s beloved by Jewish women

Ossoff has had one particular loyal support group: Jewish women. During his 2017 campaign, Jewish women came out in force to campaign for the suburban Atlanta candidate.

An supporter of Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights, he’s attracted the support of many women who have felt the need to live as closet feminists in conservative parts of Georgia.

He’s married to a Jewish doctor

During that 2017 campaign he popped the question to longtime girlfriend Dr. Alisha Kramer, who grew up in the Atlanta area.

He’s a supporter of J Street, the liberal pro-Israel group

They supported him too: During his 2017 campaign for House of Representatives, J-Street’s political action committee donated tens of thousands of dollars into his campaign.

Foreign policy hasn’t been a major issue in his races, but he’s spoken to J Street’s Atlanta chapter. Ossoff has stated that he’s a supporter of Israel and continued U.S. military aid to the Jewish state.

He doesn’t like to talk about his Judaism

That’s pretty Jewish, too, though. Like Bernie Sanders, Ossoff has been cagey about bringing up his Jewishness during his campaigning. He only addressed it briefly when faced with the antisemitic ads.

Author

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at Klein@forward.com and on Twitter @davidianklein .

5 Jewish things to know about Jon Ossoff

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Jon Ossoff’s last election-night party felt like a Bar Mitzvah, and more Jewish things to know about him

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