REFORM JUDAISM –
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Interior of Congregation Emanu-El of New York, the largest Reform synagogue in the world.
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Category: Jews and Judaism
Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal Judaism or Progressive Judaism) is a major denomination within Judaism, which emphasizes the evolving nature of the religion, the superiority of its ethical aspects compared to the ceremonial ones, and a belief in a continuous revelation not centered on the theophany at Mount Sinai. It is characterized by a lesser stress on ritual and personal observance, regarding Jewish Law as of basically non-binding nature, and great openness to external influences and progressive values. The origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principles were formulated by Rabbi Abraham Geiger … – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – NATHAN AUSBEL – The Book of Jewish Knowledge: an Encyclopedia of Judaism and the Jewish People, Covering All Elements of Jewish Life from Biblical Times to the Present by Nathan Ausubel (Crown Publishers, Inc: New York), 1964
NATHAN AUSBEL on the dedication page paid homage to his “elders” – his parents:
“To the Memory of my father and mother … Gentile People who in a world of dross and tumult
walked beside the still waters. The Example of their own devout lives taught me the urgency of
finding a motivation for my own. The ethical and spiritual truths i learned from them I have
entered in this, their book. May these truths drawn from the accumulated wisdom and humanity
of the Jewish People find their continuity in the lives of others! Selah.
In the Foreward he stated:
The learned Jews of ancient times showed no less dedication in their pursuit of knowledge THAN THE SCHOLAR PRIENTS OF EGYPT, the Magi of Persia, the Pundits of India, and the Philosophers of Greece. NONETHELESS, THEY GAVE IT A MARKEDLY DIFFERENT EMPHASIS. IN THAT EMPHASIS, NO DOUBT, LAY THE INDIVIDUALITY OF TRADITIONAL JEWISH CULTURE. EACH PEOPLE IN THE FAMILY OF MANKIND PLAYS, AS IT WERE, A DIFFERENT INSTRUMENT IN THE ORCHESTRA OF CIVILIZATION, CONTRIBUTING WITH ITS SYSTEM OF CULTURAL VALUES ITS OWN CHARACTERISTIC TONE, TIMBRE, AND COLOR TO THE TOTAL ENSEMBLE.
The great masses of the people, even in republican Athens, during the memorable days of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Euripides, were kept suppressed and illiterate, IN LINE WITH THE ANTISOCIAL PHILOSOPHY OF SLAVOCRACIES IN WHICH THE COMMON PEOPLE WERE LOOKED DOWN UPON AS MERE CHATTELS OR BEASTS OF BURDEN. It was different with the Jews. The pursuit of learningBespecially Torah LearningBwas highly revered among the Jews during the Second Temple Period; it has been elevated to an exalted form of religious worship by Ezra the Scribe about the Year 444 B.C.E. The obligation to study perpetually the precepts, laws, and teachings contained in the scriptures had evolved in time into a religious-national dedication. The internal conditions and social organization of Jewish community life made it possible for even the poorest and the humblest to acquire at least some learning; Many of the most illustrious of RABBINIC SAGES, LIKE HILLEL AND AKIBA , sprang from the common people. It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that, in the democratric and ethical climate of Jewish community life (in which all men, at least theoretically, stood equal), illiteracy and ignorance were scorned because they prevented the individual from acquiring an adequate knowledge of the religious-cultural heritage of Israel. – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
[NOTE; Despite his liberal and progressive perspective Nathan Ausubel believed in the “genuius of Moses” …. stating:
“But it remained for the genius Moses the liberator and of those inspired tormentors of Israel=s conscience, the defenders of the poor and weak against their oppressors the Prophets Amos, Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, and JerimiahBto evolve a new conception of the one god: one that was moral and just and girt with holiness. From this Hitherto Unprecedented Idea Developed a New Ethos in Which Ideas and Sentiments of Humanity, Brotherly Love, Mutual Aid, and Social Responsibility Predominated. It Was a New Light Intended to Lead Mankind out of the Pathless Jungle of Animism, Cruelty, Greed, and War. (Emphsis Added)
AIndeed, it Was an Awesome Design of Man’ s Untapped Potential for Food and for Self-perfection, His Optimism Remained, Despite the Fact That During Several Cultural Periods in Jewish Life THE PURE VISION OF MOSES, THE PROPHETS, AND THE RABBINIC SAGES SUDDENLY DARKENED THE AND WAS DISTORTED BY A GENERAL SLIDING BACK INTO – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – SUPERSTITUTION AND FANATICISM . – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – The Fundamentalists Wished the People to Exchange the Rational for the Irrational, the Spiritual and Ethical Content of Religion FOR THE MERELY TRIVIAL AND THE FORMALISTIC. The Gentle Philosopher of Amsterdam, SPINOZA HIMSELF DRIVEN OUT OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY BY THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS FANATICS FOR THE UNFORGIVEABLE CRIME OF THINKING HONESTLY AND FOR NOT CONFORMING, Mused Bitterly in His Essay “On Superstition” over the Ironic Condition of Man: “The Multitude, Ever Prone to Superstition and Caring More for the Shreds of Antiquity than for Eternal Truths,” Pays Homage to the Books of the Bible, Rather than to the Word of God The Generality of Men, the Philosopher Seemed to Suggest, Do the Very Opposite of That Which Would Serve Their Best Interets: THEY THROW AWAY THE KERNEL AND KEEP THE CHAFF.
… The Late Edward Sapir, THE AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST WHO HIMSELF SEEMS NOT TO HAVE HAD ANY FORMAL AFFILIATIONS WITH THE JEWISH RELIGION AND WHO DEMONSTRATED ONLY THE SCIENTIFIC HUMANIST’S IMPARTIAL INTERESTIN JEWISH CULTURE, AND WHO APPEARS NOT TO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN ANY ORGANIZED ASPECT OF JEWISH COMMUNITY LIFE, Still Became Intrigued by the Irony of this Psychological Phenomenon:
“EVEN THE MOST SOPHISTICATED JEW IS PROUD OF AT LEAST TWO THINGS. While He May Have No Personal Use for a Savior, it Pleases Him to Think That His Ancestors Gave One to Christendom; and Though Comfort and Enlightenment May Long Have Disabused Him of the Necessity of a God, He Takes Satisfaction in the Thought That His Remoter Ancestors Invented the Purest Kind of a God That We Have Record Of: the God of Monotheism. Such a Jew Has One of the Keenest of Known Pleasures Which May Be Defined as the Art of Endowing Others with a Priceless Boon That One Finds Is More Convenient to Dispense with for One=s Own Part.=
While it Is Patently True That, in the Past, the Principles and Practices of the Jewish Religion Were Primarily Keyed to the Traditional Theocratic ;Hilosophy of Jewish Life, in More Modern Times an Ever Increasing Number of Jews, Both Knowledgeable and Cultured, No Matter What the Extent of Their Affiliation with Judaism Might Be, Have Been Actively Pursuing Non-jewish InteretsBinterests Based on Scientific and Purely Secularistic Premises and Goals. Such, after All, Do Represent the Major Cultural Characteristic of Twentieth-century Civilization in Which Jews Are Playing an Undeniably Important Role.@
The Author=s (Nathan Ausubel=s) Note to the Reader:
A … Wherever Possible, I Have Sought to Present Different Points of View and Evaluations So That the Open-minded Reader Would Be Able the Better to Draw from Them His Own Conclusions. … In All Conscience, as a Serious Popularizer of Jewish Knowledge, I Could Not Bypass the Necessity of Probing for Insights, Both for the Reader=s Enlightenment and for My Own, into the Dynamics of Judaism, Jewish Life, and Culture. …
Section: The Bible – The Wisdom Books:
A More earthy kind of poetry than the hortatory verse of the prophets or the threnodies to God of the Psalmists is found in the Biblical Writings called “Wisdom Books”: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job. They are composed in pithy verse, and at least the first two works are marked by much sophistication, worldliness, and a skepticism that is in equal measure mellow and ironic. For their time, these writings were considered intellectually challenging. Read in the light of our day, they appear to be steeped in a kind of aristocratic weltschmerzBa twilight mood of world-weariness and disenchantment with life.
The writers of Proverbs and EcclesiastesBpresumably upper-class Jews belonging to the Sadducean religious -political party of the Second Temple PeriodButter with aplomb the most astonishing heresies. Among these is the Sadducean disbelief in the immortality of the soul and in the world-to-come two subjects of bitter controversy that engaged in rebuttal all the passions and dialectical skill of the rival Pharisees. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Ecclesiastes, for example, IS COLORED BY THE HEDONISTIC VIEWS OF THE GREEK EPICUREAN PHILOSOPY, It preaches a resignation to life and a quietism in all of its affairs. It also advances a raisonné for the full enjoyment of the life of the senses since the grave is man=s cold destination. This is a point of view hardly consonant with the puritanism that is traditional in Jewish life and with the moral significance it endows human strivings.
… All the advanced near eastern and middle eastern neighbors of Israel, Such as the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians, created >wisdom literatures of their own. (Emphasis Added) … Already, at the end of the third millennium B.C.E.., the Babylonians boasted a Book of ProverbsB>A Wise Book=Bto teach right and profitable conduct. … Other Babylonian compositions of this type, perhaps also more ancient in origin than the Jewish, Were: the Pessimistic Dialogue Between a Master and a Slave, and the Complaint of a Wise Man on the Injustice of the World.
AThe Egyptian Priest-scibes, too, were wholeheartedly dedicated to the pursuit of wisdom. They produced books of proverbs and epigrams almost four thousand years ago. The best-known, believed to have been written sometimes during the tenth to seventh centuries B.C.E. was the Teaching of Amenemope. This celebrated work shows striking similarities to the Hebrew Book of Proverbs. [Nathan Ausubel, The Book of Jewish Knowledge: 1964]
Robert Graves & Raphael Patai, in Hebrew Myths: Stories of Cosmic Forces, Deities, Angels, Demons, Monsters, Giants and Heroes – Interpreted in the Light of Modern Anthropology and Mythology (Anchor Books: Doubleday: New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland, Australia), 1963, 1964, pp. 226-227, indicated:
The Book of Deuteronomy, published under Josiah, bans numerous Canaanite rites, among them ritual Prostitution, ritual sodomy, and all forms of idolatry.- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – GENESIS, WHICH IS FAR MORE CLOSELLLY LINKED WITH GREEK, PHOENICIAN, HITTITE,UGARITIC, SUMERIAN, AND OTHER BOEIES OF MYTH THAN MOST PIOUS JEWS AND CHRISTIANS CARE TO ADMIT, WAS EDITED AND RE-EDITED FROM PERHAPS THE 6TH CENTURY B.C. ONWARDS, FOR MORALISTIC ENDS. (i.e
Isaac Asimov, Asimov;s Guide to the Bible: the Old and New Testaments (Avenel Books: New York), 1981 – – – – – – – — – — – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – –
REFORM JUDAISM: Its greatest center today is in North America. … – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – ” – WHAT TYPE OF JEWISH BELIEF IS SENATOR SANDERS ASSOCIATED WITH? – SENATOR SANDERS WITH A DIVORCED ROMAN CATHOLIC WIFE … “Is America ready for a Jewish president?
Bernie Sanders does not play up his Jewish faith the way Hillary Clinton plays up her gender. Associated Press
WHEN BERNIE Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, he became the first Jew to win a major party presidential primary – the first to even win delegates.
But how Jewish is he? Who even knows he’s Jewish? Will it matter that he’s Jewish?
In the recent Milwaukee debate, when asked how he felt about possibly “thwarting history” by blocking the path of the first woman president, Sanders replied enigmatically that, “from a historical point of view, somebody with my background, somebody with my views” would also be a first. Not exactly playing the Hebrew National card.
Hillary Clinton makes frequent mention of gender in her candidacy. Sanders never volunteers anything about his religion, and reluctantly replies to those questions. Is it personal, tactical, or practical?
Two of the three previous Jewish candidates for president – Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter in 1995 and Pennsylvania Gov. Milton Shapp in 1976 – were early flameouts, probably more because of policy and personality than religion. The same for Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who ran briefly in 2004. (Shapp, however, told friends he doubted he would have been elected governor under his obviously Jewish birth name, Shapiro, which he changed while in business to avoid prejudice.)
One person of Jewish ancestry was nominated: In 1964, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater got the Republican nod. Goldwater’s father was Jewish, but the conservative senator was raised Christian. At the time, Jewish journalist Harry Golden quipped, “I always knew the first Jewish president would be an Episcopalian.”
In the ’90s, as a rising-star big-city mayor, Ed Rendell brushed off questions about presidential ambitions, saying he wasn’t interested. He added, “Besides, I’m Jewish.”
“Ed always said, ‘I’m a Jew from Pennsylvania. It didn’t work out for Shapp and Specter,’ ” political strategist Neil Oxman told me.
As chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2000, Rendell said Al Gore’s selection of Lieberman as a vice presidential candidate was “bold and courageous,” but also risky.
“I don’t think anyone can calculate the effect of having a Jew on the ticket,” Rendell said. “If Joe Lieberman were Episcopalian, it would be a slam-dunk.”
Have things changed since then?
Rendell said they have. “If I were 15 years younger, and Hillary wasn’t in the race, I think I would run and I wouldn’t feel any compunction about it,” said Rendell, who is not religious.
It was a little different with Lieberman, a religious Jew who didn’t work on Saturdays. “Bernie is much more like me,” Rendell said. “Lapsed.”
I doubt that most Americans know that Sanders, 74, is Jewish. If he manages to win the nomination, or gets really close, someone will tell them. And not in a helpful way.
I’m not even sure most Jews know that Sanders is Jewish. Local political consultant Larry Ceisler, who is Jewish, told me, laughing: “I never thought of him as one, but I do know he’s from Brooklyn.” Ceisler doubts that most Americans know Sanders is Jewish.
I’m not sure even Sanders knows he is Jewish.
Let me explain.
When talking about his upbringing, he always says that his father, Eli, was an immigrant from Poland, but rarely mentions that most of Eli’s family perished in the Holocaust.
Some candidates brag on their bio, but Sanders is usually clam-tight about his personal life. We know he attended Hebrew school as a youth and became a bar mitzvah in 1954. On the campaign trail, he avoids talking about religion.
Often wrongly described as cranky, which is ageist and inaccurate, Sanders wants to be an “issues” guy and can be gruff when someone tries to inject what he regards as frivolities. (Personal disclosure: My daughter is a volunteer field organizer for Sanders in Massachusetts.)
When pressed, Sanders says he is Jewish, secular, not particularly religious. His second wife, Jane, is a divorced Catholic and, yes, they did honeymoon in the Soviet Union. (He was working on setting up a Sister City in Russia for Burlington, where he was the mayor.)
Richard Sugarman, an Orthodox Jew who teaches religious studies at the University of Vermont, was quoted in the New Yorker as saying that Sanders’ connection to Judaism is “more ethnic and cultural than religious.”
With his first wife, Sanders volunteered on Kibbutz Sha’ar HaAmakim, a collective farm in northern Israel. He doesn’t talk about that, either. It was in the ’60s and was a good fit because Israel was then largely socialist. He has not visited Israel since. It would be less comfortable now because Israel has developed a vibrant free-market economy. Sanders might not like that, nor the current conservative government.
I suspect that socialism is more his religion than Judaism, as was the case for my Jewish, socialist, Brooklyn-born father.
Tikkun olam, which means “repair the world” in Hebrew, is a concept that has come to mean that Jews are responsible not just for their own moral, material and spiritual welfare, but for the welfare of society at large. “Repairing the world” seems to be what animates Sanders.
His oratory has been likened to that of a biblical prophet, pointing at the sky and pounding the table when thundering about unequal wealth distribution, criminal justice, health care and education, campaign financing, climate change – his unruly white hair exploding above a face red with indignation. Remove the wire-frame glasses, add a beard and a staff, and you have Moses. Can this Moses reach the promised land of the White House?
I mean, can we have a Jewish president?
The open bias against Jews that existed in the United States through most of the 20th century – keeping them out of some communities, clubs, careers, colleges – has vanished from public view, although some lingering, low-level anti-Semitism exists and probably always will.
However LAST SUMMER A GALLUP POLL REPORTED THAT 91 PERCENT OF AMERICANS SAID THEY WOULD VOTE FOR A JEWISH PRESIDENT That’s higher than those who said they would vote for a Mormon (81 percent), an evangelical Christian (73 percent), a Muslim (60 percent) or an atheist (58 percent). That sounds good, but I suspect the numbers are biased to the positive because most people won’t admit to their biases.
As to the Jewish vote in the general election, either Sanders or Clinton can count on – to borrow a word from Donald Trump – a huuuuge majority of the Jewish vote. The bulk of American Jewry is a subsidiary of the Democratic Party, with John F. Kennedy winning 82 percent of them in 1960. Only Jimmy Carter received less than half, 45 percent, in his 1980 reelection bid – but that was still more than the 41 percent of the total vote Carter received.
The Jewish love affair with the Democratic Party began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who appointed so many Jews to government posts that his New Deal was called the “Jew Deal” by bigots (some of whom insisted that FDR was Jewish. He was not.).
A Democratic candidate, Jew or gentile, can count on the bulk of the Jewish vote, but Jews are only 2 percent of the population.
Does being Jewish prevent Sanders from being elected?
My Jew crew doesn’t think so.
Strategist Oxman, a secular Jew, said, “if Sanders does not win the nomination, less than 1 percent of it would be that he’s a Jew.”
Oxman, a Hillary supporter, said Clinton will win the nomination because she has the establishment on her side and because Sanders is a socialist, a term that most Americans find creepy.
Forget Jewish, “he’s out of the mainstream,” said Ceisler, another Clinton supporter. “It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is always blame the millionaires and the rigged system.”
The socialist label, Rendell said, is “a 50 times bigger problem” than his faith.
The days of Jews being barred from the White House are gone, Oxman said.
“Some people from the South, they might vote against him more because he’s from New York than that he’s Jewish,” Oxman said.
Sanders is from New York. That may matter.
He’s a socialist. That will matter.
He’s Jewish. That may not matter – even after Americans find out.- “Sanders did say that two aspects of his upbringing had exerted a lasting influence. One was coming from a family that never had much money. And the other was growing up Jewish — less for the religious content than for the sense it imbued in him that politics mattered. Sanders’ father was a Polish Jew who, at the age of 17, came to America shortly after his brother, and struggled through the Depression in Brooklyn …
“Sid Ganis, a Hollywood producer who grew up in the same building as Sanders, described their neighborhood as an enclave of ‘ordinary secular Jews,’ adding, ‘Some of us went to Hebrew school, but mainly it was an identity in that it got us out of school on Jewish holidays.’ Sanders told me that, in the aftermath of the Second World War, his family ‘got a call in the middle of the night about some relative of my father’s, who was in a displaced-persons camp in Europe someplace.’ Sanders learned that many of his father’s other relatives had perished. Sanders’ parents had been fundamentally apolitical, but he took away a lesson: ‘An election in 1932 ended up killing 50 million people around the world.’
“Sanders’ close friend Richard Sugarman, an Orthodox Jew who teaches religious studies at the University of Vermont, said, ‘He’s not what you would call rule-observant.’ But, Sugarman added, ‘if you talk about his Jewish identity, it’s strong. It’s certainly more ethnic and cultural than religious — except for his devotion to the ethical part of public life in Judaism, the moral part. He does have a prophetic sensibility.’ Sugarman and Sanders were housemates for a while in the ’70s, and Sugarman says that his friend would often greet him in the morning by saying, ‘We’re not crazy, you know,’ referring to the anger they felt about social injustices. Sugarman would respond, ‘Could you say good morning first?’”
Yet for all the protestations that Sanders’ identity is not about religion, this is Talbot’s kicker, quoting Sanders addressing Liberty University, an Evangelical Christian school in Virginia, and quoting from Amos:
“The occasion also played to the prophetic side of Sanders — the register in which he can sound like an Old Testament preacher. Unlike his slicker rivals, Sanders is most at ease talking about the moral and ethical dimensions of politics. ‘We are living in a nation and in a world — the Bible speaks to this issue — in a nation and in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.’ – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -His voice broke — all those stump speeches had been leaving deep scratches on the record. But his outrage was unmuffled. STARING AT THE CROWD, HE QUOTED THE HEBREW BIBLE, HIS FIRST PUNCTUATING NEARLY EVERY WORD: ‘LET JUSTICE ROLL ON LIKE A RIVER, RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE A NEVER-FAILING STREAM.’ – Bernie Sanders
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Senator
January 3, 2007
Serving with Patrick Leahy
Preceded by Jim Jeffords
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
January 3, 2013 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Patty Murray
Succeeded by Johnny Isakson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont’s At-large district
January 3, 1991 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Peter Smith
Succeeded by Peter Welch
37th Mayor of Burlington
April 6, 1981 – April 4, 1989
Preceded by Gordon Paquette
Succeeded by Peter Clavelle
Born Bernard Sanders
September 8, 1941 (age 74)
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
Political party Democratic (2015–present)
affiliations Independent (1979–2015)
Liberty Union (1971–1979)(affiliated)
Spouse(s) Deborah Shiling
Domestic partner Susan Mott (1969)
Relations Larry Sanders (brother)
Children With Mott:
Alma mater Brooklyn College
University of Chicago
Website Senate website
Presidential campaign website – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician. He is the United States senator from Vermont. Sanders is a member of the Democratic Party. Before he became a member of the Democratic Party he was an independent politician. He became senator on January 3, 2007.
Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York City. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. While a student, he was active in organizing protests for civil rights. In 1963, he took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981. He was re-elected three times. In 1991, he became a United States representative for Vermont’s at-large congressional district. He was a congressman for 16 years. In 2006, he was elected to the U.S. Senate after he won 64.5% of the vote. In 2012, he was re-elected by winning almost 71% of the vote.
Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist. He thinks that a social democratic government for the United States is a good idea. During his time as senator, Sanders has been against income inequality and supports universal health care, parental leave and LGBT rights. He has been against racial inequality and mass surveillance. In January 2015, Sanders became a member of the Senate Budget Committee.
On April 30, 2015, Sanders became a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in the 2016 United States presidential election. He made the announcement in a speech on the Capitol lawn. His campaign started on May 26 in Burlington. Unlike some of the other presidential candidates, Sanders did not want Super PACS to give him money. People give him money on his website.
1 Early life
2 Early career
2.1 Liberty Union campaigns, 1971–79
2.2 Mayor of Burlington, 1981–89
3 United States representative, 1991–2007
4 United States senator, 2007–present
5 2016 presidential campaign
5.1 Presidential primaries and caucuses
6 Personal life
7 Political views
9 More reading
10 Other websites
Sanders was born in Brooklyn, New York to Eli Sanders and to Dorothy Glassberg. His father was a Jewish immigrant born in Słopnice, Poland in 1904. His mother was born to Jewish parents in New York City in 1912. He has an older brother, Larry. His grandparents were murdered in the Holocaust. His mother died in 1960 and his father died in 1962.
Sanders studied at Brooklyn College. After he graduated from college, Sanders went to the University of Chicago. When he studied in Chicago, Sanders led the University of Chicago sit-ins in 1962 because of segregation at the university. He graduated from the university in 1964 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
He was one of thousands of students who traveled by bus to Washington, D.C., to be part of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Later that summer, he was found guilty of resisting arrest during a protest against segregation in Chicago’s public schools and was fined $25.