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Forward 50 2018

Jacky Rosen

From Shul President To Nevada Senator

Jacky Rosen has climbed the leadership ladder quickly. In 2016 she was her Las Vegas-area synagogue’s president, then in 2017 she was elected to Congress, before winning an even bigger national office — being elected senator for Nevada in 2018. She’s the first freshman congresswoman to ever win a Senate seat.

Indeed, Rosen, 61, called her rabbi for advice when in 2016 she started thinking about running for Congress. Her rabbi urged her to go for it. At the time, she was wrapping up a three-year term as synagogue president. He told the Forward that she’d helped bring people together.

Rosen won her Congressional seat and then decided to run for Senate against one-term incumbent Dean Heller. She made a tight race look effortless and won with 50.8% of the vote to Heller’s 44.5%.

A former software developer, she focused her campaign on education and the environment. She has taken a pro-Israel line, and says she would have opposed the 2015 Iran nuclear pact.

After her meteoric rise, Rosen faces a tricky 2019 trying to fulfill her rabbi’s prediction in the U.S. Senate.

— Helen Chernikoff

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