Thursday, January 21st | 8 Shevat 5781

September 29, 2019 3:09 pm

President Trump, Democratic Frontrunner Biden Mark Rosh Hashanah With Messages to Jewish Community

avatar by Ira Stoll

Former US Vice President Joe Biden is seen during the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 16, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Andreas Gebert.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden marked the impending Jewish New Year with a fundraiser at which he emphasized Holocaust-related themes and described his father as “what the Jewish community calls a righteous Christian.”

Biden appeared Saturday September 28 in Park City, Utah, at the home of Barry and Amy Baker.

According to a pool report of the event by Lisa Riley Roche of the Deseret News, Biden “mentioned the start of Rosh Hashanah on Sunday.”

Biden said he was stirred to action against Trump by the march in Charlottesville, Va., which, according to the pool report, he said featured people with “torches, veins bulging, hate in their eyes, chanting that same antisemitic bile that was chanted in the streets of Berlin and Nuremburg, and all through Germany in the 30s, literally carrying swastikas, accompanied by the Klu Klux Klan as well as other white supremacists.”

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Biden spoke “of being raised by Catholic father, who was a student of the Holocaust,  ‘what the Jewish community calls a righteous Christian,’” according to the pool report.

A Los Angeles Times article in 1999 described Barry Baker as “the grandson of Russian-Jewish immigrants.” Earlier this year Barry and Amy Baker reportedly hosted a fundraiser in California for Jewish Family Services. One of their daughters worked for the Anti-Defamation League in Los Angeles.

On Sunday Biden also issued a Rosh Hashanah message. It quoted President Washington’s letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island: “the Government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Said Biden’s message, “At a moment when that basic premise is being questioned by too many here at home and around the world, when we are in a battle for the very soul of our nation, the mission of Tikkun Olam bears renewed urgency.”

Biden said, “these shared values are also what unite us with the people of Israel and ground our unshakable commitment to the Jewish and democratic state of Israel— and to a future that is both peaceful and secure.”

Trump also issued a Rosh Hashanah message. “Each day, with the blowing of the shofar, the Jewish people embark on a new spiritual journey to grow closer to Hashem and find a renewed sense of purpose in their faith. As men, women, and children around the world partake in traditional liturgy and enjoy customary meals with loved ones, we are all reminded of the virtues we can incorporate into our lives to better us as a Nation—kindness, compassion, and love.” he said. “Melania and I pray that those celebrating Rosh Hashanah build a more meaningful relationship with God throughout the High Holy Days.”

President’s Trump’s father also reportedly had an unusually warm relationship with the Jewish community, donating land for a synagogue in Brooklyn.

Polls have shown Biden, who served as vice president in the Obama administration after years as a Senator from Delaware, leading the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, though some recent polls have indicated he is losing ground to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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