The Shmooze

Vermont Legislator Takes Birthright Trip

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share

Kesha Ram, a Vermont State Representative, recently visited Israel for the first time — but not on the kind of Israel trip most American legislators take. The 25 year old (who happens to be the youngest state legislator in the country right now) went on a free Taglit-Birthright Israel experience together with other people her age.

Ram, whose mother is of Eastern European Jewish background and whose father is an Indian Hindu, wrote in her application for the program: “In Jewish culture, my understanding is that if your mother is Jewish, you are considered Jewish. In Hindu culture, if your father is Hindu, you are considered Hindu. I have lived in both worlds and have gone to synagogue and temple; I have been to India three times, but I have never been to the sacred places of my Jewish ancestors. I would like to better understand Israel and my heritage for both my personal and professional knowledge.”

Arutz 7/Israel National News caught up with the elected official with long brown hair and olive skin as she checked out the scene on the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall in downtown Jerusalem. “As an elected official it’s really wonderful to open my mind to what’s going on here, the political spectrum, how people live and interact. But as a young Jewish woman, this is my first opportunity to open my heart and my eyes to what’s going on here and what I can learn about who I am,” Ram said.

She also spoke about meeting artists and Kabbalists in Safed, and of the imperative for American elected officials to learn about their personal heritages and to share that knowledge with others they work with in government. Asked what she thought of Israelis her age, Ram responded that she was impressed by their seriousness, maturity and sense of service. She thought that this was an important model for young Americans, in terms of the importance of giving back to one’s country.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Taglit-Birthright Israel, Kesha Ram, Vermont

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.