Which member of Congress is using his bar mitzvah photo for fundraising?


This story was originally published on March 21 by the Forward. Sign up here to get the latest stories from the Forward delivered to you each morning.

In what may be that rare political fundraising email that evokes an actual “Awwww,” a California Democrat sent out his bar mitzvah picture along with a pitch for funds.

“I’ll admit, it’s easy to chuckle at this photo — the classic 1970s bow tie, the braces, the yarmulke, the looks — but it reminded me about something much more important: my faith,” wrote Rep. Adam Schiff in an email to supporters.

Schiff used the headshot from his June 1973 bar mitzvah at Temple Isaiah in Northern California to explain how the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, animates his political career.


“And over the last few years,” wrote Schiff, “there has been a lot that was broken, and a lot to fix.”

Schiff explained that he came across the photo while visiting his 94-year-old father Ed Schiff, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida.

Recounting his family’s journey, Schiff said his father began his career selling pantsuits, then moved the family to the Bay Area, where he opened a building supply business.

(Schiff wrote that his father had been in the “shmaltz” business, almost certainly meaning to write shmatte, the Yiddish word for clothing.)

Schiff, a member of the House subcommittee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the capital, then asked for a minimum campaign contribution of $10.

“Hopefully, this photo helped brighten your day and gives you a bit more insight into why I have dedicated my life to this cause,” he wrote.