Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
News

J.D. Hayworth: "A More Observant Jew" Than You

A Jewish representative of Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona said the lawmaker “is a more observant Jew” than the audience members at a candidates’ forum in Scottsdale on Tuesday night. Apparently, roughly 70% of the attendees then walked out jeering.

According to Hannah Kaplan, the co-president of the National Council of Jewish Women, the group that sponsored the event, the remark was made by spokesperson Jonathan Tratt. He was responding to a question about the lawmaker’s views on reproductive freedom.

“He kind of pointed at the audience and said [it],” Kaplan told the Forward this afternoon. “It was definitely not a joke. I think he came expecting that everybody would be in his camp. Because he was the surrogate, he made it a point of advising us that he was Jewish and his wife was a sabra.”

According to a press release put out by Hayworth’s opponent, Democrat Harry Mitchell, Irit Tratt was then heard saying “No wonder there are anti-Semites,” as a group gathered on the bima to ask questions.

Kaplan said she did not hear that remark, and has not heard about it firsthand. She also said that the press release put out by the Mitchell campaign wrongly says that “Hayworth bailed” on the event. He had a conflict and was never confirmed to attend.

According to Kaplan, Jonathan Tratt made his remark at tail end of the Q&A session, in response to what was the last scheduled question for the event.

Tratt, Kaplan surmised, is not a professional employee of the campaign, but rather a Jewish supporter who volunteered to speak at the event.

As of Friday afternoon, Hayworth’s campaign had not sent out a press release, and a staffer who answered the phone suggested that Mitchell’s camp was blowing the incident out of proportion.

Hayworth, Forward readers will recall, has previously come under fire for quoting Henry Ford in his book.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.