Jew of the Week: Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman

Joe Lieberman

Joseph Isadore Lieberman (b. 1942) was born in Connecticut, the grandson of Jewish immigrants from Poland and Austria-Hungary. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, and earned degrees in political science, economics, and law from Yale. After working at a successful law firm, Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut Senate and served as a state senator for 10 years. Following this, he served as Connecticut’s Attorney General. He then ran for the U.S. Senate and won a seat, serving for three full terms as a Democrat, and another term as an independent, for a total of 24 years of service on the U.S. Senate. Over those years, Lieberman chaired and was a member of a wide range of committees, including Homeland Security, Environment and Public Works, as well as Armed Services. Despite being a Democrat for so long, Lieberman has a reputation for being quite conservative. He supports a strike on Iran, and has criticized Obama for avoiding terms like “Islamic extremism”. He has always been fervently pro-Israel, and it has been said that “there is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman”. This is most likely because Lieberman is actually a practicing Orthodox Jew. In 1967, after his grandmother’s death, Lieberman returned to his Jewish roots, and has kept kosher and Shabbat ever since. When Al Gore ran for president in 2000, Lieberman was selected as his running mate, making him the first Jew to run for vice-president of the U.S. Although Gore and Lieberman actually won the election in terms of popular vote, Bush and Cheney were awarded the presidency after a long legal battle. In 2008, Lieberman received an award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected Official. He has been called a “national treasure” and “one of the greatest Senators we’ve ever had…” Lieberman has also written 7 books, one of which is The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath.

UPDATE: Sadly, Joe Lieberman passed away on March 27, 2024.

Words of the Week

Whoever saves a single life, is as though he saved an entire world.
– Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a