Tonie Nathan - A wonderful American political footnote. Ms. Nathan, of Oregon, was the Libertarian candidate for vice-president in 1972. A Virginia Republican elector broke with his party and cast his vote for her and the Libertarian presidential candidate. Ms. Nathan was the first Jew and the first woman to receive an electoral vote.
Tony Leon - Leon is head of the Democratic Alliance Party in South Africa. The party is the official opposition in South Africa. The Democratic Party was the heir of the anti-apartheid parties which sat in the South African parliament before apartheid was abolished. In June, 2000 the reformed Nationalist Party, the party that instituted apartheid, merged with the Democrats to form the Democratic Alliance Party. The whole situation is fraught with irony in that a liberal Jewish guy is now the main spokesperson for both the Afrikaner and English speaking "white" communities. (The party does have some support from "non-white" South Africans). Leon, in a published interview, recognized this fact--stating that the Jewish communitys experience as a small minority may be of some use as a guide for efforts to preserve minority constitutional rights. Mr. Leon is engaged to an Israeli woman he recently met on vacation in Israel.
William Cohen - Secretary of Defense; Despite his name, Cohen is not very Jewish. The tale of Cohens Jewishness is rather sad as correctly rpted. in a interview. His father was Jewish, mother not. Endured anti-semitism as a boy in Maine. Sent to Hebrew School, but the rabbi criticized his familys XMAS tree and demanded he formally convert before being bar mitzvah. Cohen severed his connection to organized Judaism at this point and became a Unitarian as an adult. (Unitarianism, because a few people have asked, is a very liberal church that does not officially recognize the divinity of Christ--at this point it is an amalagm of various traditions).
Winona La Duke - She was the American Green Party candidate for Vice-President in 1996 and she was named to be Ralph Naders running mate for the 2000 election. It is a classic example of how American life and politics can make for strange pairings. La Dukes father is a Native American of the Anishinabeg (Objibwe) tribe of Minnesota. Her mother is Jewish. La Duke went to Harvard and then went to the reservation. She began as a school principal and later became a political activist. Ralph Nader is an Arab American. If nothing else, they undoubtely will amass the largest vote total for an Arab/Jewish/Native American ticket in American history.
Yaroslavsky is one of five Los Angeles county supervisors, an office with much more power than mayor of Los Angeles. Zev got his start in politics demonstrating in behalf of Soviet Jewry. Now he is chief executive of the part of Los Angeles county that includes Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Hollywood, Malibu and much of the nicest parts of the San Fernando Valley.
60s radical activist who had a great sense of humor. Co-founder of "Yippies". Chicago Eight Defendant (3, maybe 4 were Jewish). Called the grotesquely unfair trial Judge-(Julius Hoffman-Jewish) a "shonda for the g-yim". Annoyed him by claiming to be his illegitimate son. Abbie was fun.