Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went all in on Yiddish during his reelection campaign. In a post-election speech on Tuesday, he spread more love for the mame loshen.
Celebrating his party’s victories in the midterm elections, Schumer shared some Yiddish phrases and a story about his Jewish family with the Association for a Better New York at a power breakfast at the Cipriani Wall Street restaurant.
And he highlighted a recent campaign ad that featured him giving his New York constituents a Yiddish lesson. In the 30-second commercial, Schumer called some Republican leaders “schmos,” the Jan. 6 Capitol riot a “shanda.” He called out MAGA Republicans for their “mishegas,” and said he’s “kvelling” over the legislation his party passed and deriving “naches” from his achievements as Senate leader.
“They loved the Yiddish ad in upstate New York,” Schumer said, referring to regions with relatively few Jews. “That ad did better in upstate New York than anywhere else, which speaks well of New Yorkers.”
Schumer won a fifth term in the Senate in the Nov. 8 elections, beating his Republican challenger by 13 points, despite a much closer outcome for Democrats in the New York gubernatorial and other congressional races. He became the longest-serving senator from New York and held on to his title as the highest-ranking Jew in American politics.
In his introduction of the Democratic leader, ABNY chair Steven Rubenstein said he was glad Schumer would get to continue his famous Sunday press conferences, in which he is frequently heard “hassling airlines for making the seats too small for our tucheses.”
“I figured if Chuck could use the word ‘schmos’ in a campaign ad to describe Ted Cruz, I could use the word ‘tuches’ on the stage in Cipriano,” Rubenstein added.
Schumer, who will turn 72 on Wednesday, also paid tribute to his father Abraham, who passed away on Nov. 24 last year. He told the story of his Jewish family’s emigration from Eastern Europe in the 1890s and their struggle to succeed in America.
Pointing to his personal success in politics, Schumer said: “We persisted. We had a good two years and Dad will make sure that I will continue to persist and help New York for as long as I’m in the Senate.”
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