By COLlive reporter
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who made history this week as the first Jew to win a U.S. presidential primary, isn’t one to openly discuss his Jewish faith and heritage.
Born in Brooklyn to a Polish Jewish family whose many relatives perished in the Nazi Holocaust, Sanders attended Hebrew school in his youth and went to Israel with his first Jewish wife to volunteer in a kibbutz.
“I’m proud to be Jewish,” Sanders once said at a breakfast event in Washington, DC. He then added that he was “not particularly religious.”
But Sanders has a political adviser who subscribes to authentic Judaism: Richard Sugarman.
A bearded Orthodox Jew, Sugarman is a Professor of Religion and Philosophy at the University of Vermont and a regular congregant at Chabad of Vermont on S Williams Street in Burlington.
Sugarman and Sanders were roommates in the ’70s and remained close friends ever since. It was Sugarman who convinced Sanders to run for mayor of Burlington in 1981, a decision that launched his long and storied political career, a Vermont paper reported.
JTA noted that Sugarman once roomed with Joe Lieberman at Yale, making the professor perhaps “the only person to have lived with both serious Jewish contenders for the U.S. presidency.”
According to Vermont publication Seven Days, Sugarman is an unapologetic Zionist who is left of center on every issue “except Israel.” Sanders, on the other hand, cited the J Street lobby and the Arab American Institute as Mideast advisers.
PARTYING AT CHABAD
Sanders won re-election in 1983, and then again in 1985, each time by growing margins. Professor Sugarman helped Sanders celebrate his 1985 reelection by bringing him to Chabad’s Purim party where he joined in the holiday celebration, Chabad.org wrote.
Mayor Sanders was honored with inaugurating Chabad’s first-ever public Menorah at Burlington’s City Hall, built in 1983 by Shluchim Rabbi Yitzchak and Zeesy Raskin.
But when opposition grew to placing a Menorah on public space, Sanders defied pressure from political peers and directed his administration to defend Chabad in court.
The early and strong support from the Sanders administration played a significant role in the now widespread phenomenon of public Chanukah Menorah celebrations countrywide, Chabad.org says.
“When Bernie and I discussed the menorah issue, it was a religious freedom case,” Sugerman recalls. “We discussed the Rebbe’s opinion. It resonated with him. It wasn’t about fighting other holidays; it was about making a religious freedom argument.”
WATCHING THE REBBE ON TV
Bernie Sanders was one of those who enjoyed watching the Rebbe on cable television, the website reported. Sugarman said Sanders was taken by the Rebbe’s views on education, as “one of “the Nation’s top priorities.”
“Sanders appreciated the fact that the day honoring the Rebbe’s birthday was designated as ‘Education Day,’ and moved that a Chassidic leader like the Rebbe concerned himself ‘not only with the spiritual condition of humanity, but their material condition as well’,” Sugerman said.
After proclaiming the Rebbe’s birthday as “Education Day” in Burlington, the Rebbe wrote to him:
“I sincerely appreciate your thoughtfulness in designating this Education Day in honor of my birthday.
“I trust that your action will stimulate greater awareness of the vital importance of education, not only among all your worthy citizens, but also in the State of Vermont.
“With prayerful wishes for success in your important and responsible position, for the prosperity for all your citizens, both materially and spiritually.”
When the Rebbe’s letter arrived at the Mayor’s Office in City Hall, Sanders called Sugarman, his close friend and fellow chossid.
“I got a letter you might be interested in seeing,” Sanders told him.
Sugerman immediately went over and read the precious letter. He then asked if he can keep the original letter from the Rebbe.
“No, this letter is for me,” Sanders replied. “I want to keep it.”
Hitler wasn’t a socialist. He was a fascist dictator. It’s called propaganda. Kind of like how corrupt US politicians say we’re a democracy when we’re actually an oligarchy where the politicians are for sale and the laws are written by lobbyists.
Think about this. The “tithe” was a fixed percentage of everyone’s income. Why does the public get to take a larger percentage from richer people and nothing from poorer people? Why is it moral to take a higher percentage from rich people? Most will say “it’s the law”…the majority voted for this. So, if it is “the law”…why not take all the income of rich people? Why not pass a law to take all but say $100K of rich people’s assets? The majority voted for it…why not pass such a law? The answer is that we wouldn’t pass such a… Read more »
Jimmy Carter is one of the worst antisemites in recent history. the Rebbe thanked him for Education day as well. Is that an endorsment? of course not. Regarding “hate”… I hate being robbed. You would too, if you worked for your money. National Socialism is the name of the Nazi party. it is two parts. nationalism, which is the stupid part, and socialism, the evil part. the nationalism served as a guide for the socialism, telling it who to destroy. Democratic socialism is that the mob tells the socialism who to destroy. who do you think that will be in… Read more »
Religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Anyone who thinks this guy is for the good of America has a really distorted view of what’s best for their safety and wellbeing. CHabad should stop publicly endorsing any candidate. It always turns out wrong anyway.
Religion and politics shouldn’t mix. Anyone who thinks this guy is for the good of America has a really distorted view of what’s best for their safety and wellbeing. CHabad should stop publicly endorsing any candidate. It always turns out wrong anyway.
Chabad and some Chabadniks supporting this commie. Too sad Too sad !!
The obligation to love a fellow Jew is even for the biggest wicked person. The Rebbe said that the Magid used to love the biggest wicked person the same as the biggest righteous person. So, no matter how wicked or not wicked Bernie Sanders may be, every Jew is obligated to love him. However, that does not mean we have to vote for him. In fact, if we love Jews, and there are a lot more Jews in America than Bernie Sanders, we should not vote for him, because he would be terrible for all those other Jews and for… Read more »
he is a stupid person with bad ideas, and thats a dangerous place for a president to be. he is jewish? great give him ahavas yisroel and invite him to a shabbos meal, at my house even, i dont mind. address is 466 crown. but dont support him, or endorse him in anyway. he is a socialist.
The post above saying that there is hate here is wrong, at least for Bernie Sanders the Jews. Yes, there is hate for the socialism he represents, and for “hamedina hahie” that he admired, and for his anti Israel attitudes, and his antisemitic friends. The Rebbe always sent letters to Jews far from yiddishkeit who also did some good things, he strengthened the good in Jews. The letter is a netinat koach for more mitzvos, not an endorsement for his political views. I know of a Jew who was intermarried, but the Rebbe kept in contact with him and sent… Read more »
ok he went to chabad house in 1982 one time- he proclaimed education day for the rebbe- very nice accomplishments- he is close to a Chabad Rabbi- how close? I even heard he does not eat pig – again very nice but can a liberal Jew be trusted to protect the best interests of the both the USA and Israel- or will he be more of the same as OBAMA? in regards to Israel will he listen to J street as has been reported? will he support Jewish education? will he be a role model for intermarriage and assimilation, will… Read more »
The American Jewish community that is frum contributes multiple times more to the worthless government than they take. For example, the Jewish community in New York City pays billions in real estate taxes for “education”. And NYC doesn’t give anything to frum people. Oh, yay! After 25 years of lobbying, the government gives a few pennies toward busing – oh happy day! Let’s pay billions more! Were this self-described Polish immigrant elected, the Jewish community in New York City will pay billion in taxes for Bernie Sanders’ “health care”. Naturally the usual suspects will riot because they want more free… Read more »
Nothing more entertaining than reading the Crown Heights chattering class wax eloquent about “socialism” while easily half of them get their healthcare from single-payer government Medicaid and Medicare, and line their pockets with tens of thousands of other peoples dollars by way of Earned Income Credits, Head Start, Food Stamps, subsidized housing.
Imagine what they would’ve written about Karl Marx if the internet existed then. “Former Chofetz Chaim Yeshiva Student Leads Revolution”
This is similar. Very similar. Receiving a letter from the Rebbe doesn’t mean that everything the person subsequently says and does and stands for is endorsed by the Rebbe.
what do you mean EVEN ted cruz he is the best one for israel
As noted in one of the comments above, Prof Sugarman is part of the Burlington Chabad community. I am pretty sure Sugarman was instrumental in bringing the current Shliach, Rabbi Raskin. Sugarman has a great sense of humor. I remember him telling about when he first became religious… he went out and bought two sets of paper plates. Sugarman is a very smart man, and very likable. He has maintained his friendships with Sanders and Lieberman – even though these two politicians are not… how shall I say it? They are just not. The thing to FOCUS on NOW is… Read more »
Just in case there was any doubt, the first picture (with the COL watermark) is actually an official press picture from the Sanders campaign. So this isn’t anything researched by a chabadsker, this is just a story planted by the Democratic Nazis.
Speaks volumes, doesn’t it. This is best that the Democratic Nazis can do to reach out to their Jewish enemy. Some form letters from the 1970’s.
just because he jewish does not mean that you should vote for him he is jewish but he wont make a good president
Bernie may be jewish but his is bad for Israel and the Jewish people. There simply is no other way to say it.
frankly i don’t know were to start, just because were Jewish shouldn’t make us a one issue voter. and before y’all start coming to some very profound conclusions, i would attempt to glean a critical view of the current political landscape, and to discuss ones political viewpoint would only be sensible if it was well informed, and to be frank, to scapegoat others opinions because they are of a different perspective, including if it is opposite of your religious morals, would not be a true representation of Torah, and to condescend and ignorantly patronize undermines the premise of what you… Read more »
sanders says what he intends to do and is active in iterests that appeal to him. do your research. go to his website. listen to his speeches. read his writings. don’t make your opinion about him based on such shrewd political spins. this piece is on col, trying to make sanders attractive to col’s readership, and highlights a lubav connection. sugarman isn’t sander;s running mate, and he is probably not in sync with many of sanders’ positions. sanders might consider sugramna a friend or someone to talk to in matter he wants to hear from someone like sugarman, but sanders… Read more »
Both Sanders & Clinton are pro-Palestinian & virulently anti-Israel. Clinton is not just anti-Israel, she is an antisemite. We in Israel know that if either of them wins, we are in serious trouble. As bad as Obama is towards Israel, he just laid the groundwork – both of them will build on his foundation. I am voting R, I don’t care who gets the nomination, even Ted Cruz.
A Yiddish nishmash indeed…however a socialist prospective on everything…he should not have our vote!
Try to get simple medical tests in Canada and tell me about the wait time! Are you sure we want that system here? And if they have to choose which patient to treat because of lack of funds… oy.
So Bernie Sanders went down to meet with Al Sharpton, a guy who led a hate mob through a Jewish community. A top Democratic leader and former presidential candidate who played a leading role in the first pogrom in American history.
Next time, Bernie Sanders squeals something about Poland and his ancestors, remember that. Their son came to kiss the ring of the only man to lead a pogrom in American history. No doubt they’re turning over in their graves.
It is a recepie for anti-Semitism! All the anti-Semites will say “see? We told you Jews run the world and its monney!” It will cause a huge increase in anti-Semitism!!!
Prof. Sugarman is a respected member of the Chabad community of VT. He is a learned, frum yid.
In response to #43, I find it very ironic you speak about “Derech Eretz” and “Ahavas Yisroel”. Here you have a “Democratic Socialist” (that’s like being a “Democratic Nazi” or a “Democratic Moslem”) who just met with the Jew-killer Al Sharpton, ym”sh. Sanders’ described his closest advisors as including George Soros, ym”sh, the notorious Nazi banker. But we’re supposed to show “Derech Eretz” and “Ahavas Yisroel” to this self-described Polish immigrant? (“But look – Sanders had a friend back in the 1970’s who occasionally went to shul – all is forgiven!” ~stupid Jews) Sanders’ people talk constantly about how they’ll… Read more »
Thanks for pointing out that it was a (nazi holocaust). I might have thought it was Armenian. Bernie has as much chance of being elected as Carly.
He has consistently referred to himself as having polish parents. .note not jewish.he will not be good for the jews or israel..anyone who votes for him will hold the burden of what at least 12 years of socialism will do.good luck usa you’re going to need it
I am truely shocked. Most peoples opinions are ill informed and outright hateful.
Please keep this space respectful of others, and if you have something negative to say, please find a proper way to say it. I was told that anothe aspect of Torah is Derech Eretz and Ahavas Yisroel. No one is telling you who to vote for, but please be mindful of your words and your approach.
Yes he seems like a sweet Jewish granpa with some nice tidbits of jewish connection now even a connection with the rebbe & what cud be Better then finally getting a jewish president! ‘Moshiachs tzeiten’. Perspective: his term of Judaism is 100% opposite of what we believe in fact even more a communist replaces his jewish beliefs with his communist beliefs, hence his non affiliation with any type of jewish community, but these ppl when it’s in their benefit they’ll scratch out their bar mitzvah pictures(his last formal jewish service) & a jewish friend (mentor,,,) & the fools will fall… Read more »
How much blood must socialism spill before you accept that in ALL its forms — National Socialist, International Socialist, “Democratic” Socialist — it is the most evil philosophy ever devised by mankind? The idea that some people exist for the sake of other people, and it’s OK to enslave them and take what they have in order to give it to other people, is fundamentally evil. Each person was created for his own sake, not for the sake of other people. Each person was created with the inalienable right to be left alone, and to do for other people only… Read more »
Stop being such cheap dates. Bernie doesn’t identify as Jewish, he says his family were “Polish immigrants” because he heavily identifies with the Nazi behavior of his “Polish” people. Yes, in a 50 year career of being a parasite working for the government he occasionally bumped into a Jewish constituency. And in the early 80s he acted half-decently about some menorah. Whoop-dee-doo! Hey, he met Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday, think he’s going to meet a leader of the JDL or some violent Jewish militia now? Didn’t think so. But is that what matters in this election? Let’s look at what… Read more »
Bernie does not have a connection to being a Jew. He has married a gentile. Therefore is there any point in talking about all this. He has left the Jews in favour of the gentile world
just because Bernie is jewish it dose not mean that he is good
a discussion even abou tthe credence of a 2 state solution??? amongst lubavitchers no less?? the credence of accepting a canidate with communistic socialist russian politics you ufgeklerte modern in name only lubavitchers need to go back to basics
Be careful readers, Sander not only honeymooned in the Soviet Union, the Mapam kibbutz he spent time on in Israel was a communist kibbutz that revered Stalin….you remember Stalin? The one who murdered, tortured, and exiled Jews for upholding Judaism. Have you forgotten what the Fredrika Rebbe and the Rebbe went through due to the horror of Communism? Don’t be enamored because he has a best friend who is far left of center himself on every issue except for Israel. Sanders has made it clear, he said that “Israel is a front for the US” and that he wants a… Read more »
just the fact that he went to meet with the RASHA who incited the 1991 Pogrom against our community and against Lubavitch should be enough to stay far, far, far away from him.
the guy even has a letter from the rebbe with the Rebbe’s bracha, and your hatred is still there. sort of profound, don’t you think?
lets not forget he was the FIRST one to announce that he would not be attending PM netanyahu’s speech to congress in 2015, im sure that was done with his great “love” for israel and the jewish people, from his website, he only has a problem with netanyahu not israel…sounds familiar?? , that he has a lubavithcher advisor changes NOTHING.
The suffering we have had from these “isms” is massive. Do you know what Nazi stands for? More people have died in the history of the world from Socialism then anything else. Between Red China (Mao), Nazi party (Hitler) which means national socialist party and Stalin any Lubab that votes for this guy is in need for refuah.
Unfortunately some ignorant frum yidden who only read collive might come upon this article and think he’s great and Chas vesholom vote for him. Anyone who was pro the so called Iran deal couldn’t also be pro Israel. Besides for the fact the his policies are anti-liberty, etc. I could get into the politics of it and explain why I am against his policies but that isn’t my point. The point is shame for putting up an article like this which could be so misleading especially given his meeting my with the so called reverend al sharpton yesterday.
Not unlike Arafat (Y’mach Shemo) who saved Israel by last minute rejection of Clinton’s effort to a two state solution, the anti Semites of America will save America by rejecting Sanders not primarily because he is a communist but because he is a Jew. Nobody should get too excited about Sanders. He’s never going to be the Democratic candidate for President. Regarding his connection to Chabad, does eating ham and eggs at Sylvia’s in Harlem with Jew hating Reverend Al Sharpton constitute an act of love for the Rebbe z’l and Chabad?
We won’t vote for him because he wants to steal our money and the money of our friends and give it to others. Not because of his visit to Russia. Also the community was persecuted by commies in Russia for years we are not fans.
Do a story on trumps chabad connection
The one who helped incite the Crown Heights riots back in
the 1980’s, during which Yidden were terrorized and Yankel
Rosenblum OBM was murdered. I wouldn’t trust anyone who
associates with a rasha like that!!!!!!!!!
Sanders may be Jewish, but he’s not particularly pro-Israel, and is against the values that Americans hold dear.
He’s likable and according to Mahr doesn’t own a comb. If you live in a solid blue state, there’s little choice.
I will never, ever, vote for a Jewish liberal. Having grown up around that type (& having had relatives who were Communists — card-carrying members of The Workmen’s Circle) I will attest that these people are learned simpletons. Their policies, grounded in fantasy & naivete, have already wreaked havoc on the world. Bernie Sanders is bad news. He is more charming than Hillary (heck, a chimpanzee is probably more charming than she), but I would take her any day over him. She is at least grounded in some kind of reality. In the end, I plan to vote Republican. Unfortunately… Read more »
Hardly. Those of us who live in Israel are not looking forward to seeing Bernie or Hillary in the White House, as individuals. Chabad, or any organ that claims to represent Chabad should not be supporting a candidate or giving him only praise in the middle of an election. The Rebbe was adamant that Chabad is apolitical. He even wrote letters to some of of the most virulently anti religious MKs in Israel when they did do something right. Just because they are jews, not because he supported them politically. This man is an advisor? When asked publicly, he names… Read more »
leftist progressives are diametrically opposed to Torah values
“We want free tuition” “We want free healthcare” “Everyone one else in the world gets it free”
LOL There is no such thing as a free lunch “nahma d’chsufa”
To #3: A two state solution only if the ‘Palestinians’ have their state in Jordan. Dividing Israel is the death (h’vs) knoll. Gaza was a division for a two state solution. If Bernie wants to promote himself among Jews, he should truly follow the Rebbe’s words: not an inch of Israel is to be given away rather than promoting two state solutions and embracing Sharpton.
He says billionaire but will tax any family making over 250k.
go back to communist russia #feelthebern
Please put clear statement that Chabad doesn’t endorse any political candidates, in keeping with American values
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio know more about Judaism than that old liberal atheist progressive anti-constitution Bernie Sanders.
It is like R’ Meir Kahana said that you should not think Americans are so much better than the Germans, when America will become bankrupt like Germany became, the Americans will blame the Jews just like the Germans did.
If Bernie wins, he will bankrupt America, and it will be very easy for them to blame the Jews again.
Listen to people like Ben Shapiro and Dennis Prager to be a better informed about the cancer that is Bernie Sanders.
Firstly to to collive for only giving the sanders campaign any notice is once his apparent relation to “aygeneh”, that’s not what a fair news outlet should conduct oneself, being that the reality that we would want our grandchildren to live in is onethat is stable, so it is therefore your responsibility to critically cover these matters. And secondly to all those who won’t vote for Bernie because for his honeymoon he went to Russia that makes him a communist, that’s to say that you know why communism is “bad”. These elections are going to mold our future government take… Read more »
His sorted history with Israel is scary and not to be trusted
hitler was also a democratic socialist
Although he has some nice accomplishments, one should see his views on 2 states and complete legitimization of a Palestinian state on his official website.
He (because he is Jewish) would be harder to Israel then a non-Jewish president. He was also pro the Iranian deal.
He is not in touch with global Islamic threat.
#7 you are so right
on his visit to New York,according to the morning news, he was meeting with none other than…Al Sharpton
to #3,and a two-state solution is…not pro Palestinian, etc. Which “partner” for this “solution” has of yet acknowledged Israel’s right to exist??????
A socialist after Obama, means a Communist who will double down on the destruction of America.
It’s irrelevant–he supports agendas that violate the sheva Mitzvos, and therefore it’s absolutely forbidden to vote for him. All the menorah lightings in the world don’t atone for that. https://berniesanders.com/issues/fighting-for-lgbt-equality/
Bernie is the next USA President,,,,¡,,,,
He is NOT a friend of Israel. It is sad that any Frum Jew would support him.
WHOOP! go bernie! we love you!
what is a Chasidic adviser? what role does he play here in this game of elections as a chasid?!
All he needs to announce is that Mosiach is here and that these are the days in the time Moshiach the King is revealed and effects and accomplishes his activities in the world.And so immediately we merit to the true and complete redemption! !!!
His policies on Israel is not much different than republicans: He supports the 2 state solution just as republicans such as Bush did.
Hillary is pro Palestine / PLO / Arafat.
Bernie is pro 2 state solution. Check his record.
Bernie is a democratic socialist. This means he calls for universal healthcare, subsidized college, and tax codes that help the working class, not just the billionaire class.
In other words he is calling for the US to adopt similar social policies as countries as Australia, CANADA or the UK.
The US is the ONLY western country that doesn’t guarantee healthcare for ALL its citizens.
Interesting, but his views are socialist, back to Russia? And in spite of his kibbutz history (socialism!), not a big supporter of Israel, supports the “underdog” Palestinians