I can think of no one more deserving of election to the Senate seat held by the giant, Dianne Feinstein, than Congressman Adam Schiff. Though Schiff’s competition are excellent congressional representatives, Adam’s twenty-two years in the House, his chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, his shepherding as Manager of the first Impeachment trial of the ex-President Donald Trump, and being a part of the January 6 House Investigation Committee puts him in a category of leadership that few can claim.
Speaking personally, I have known Adam Schiff for many years as my synagogue’s congressional representative and as a friend. When I retired from my position in 2019 after 30+ years as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in Los Angeles, Adam came to the celebration and stayed for the entire evening. He was introduced twice, once by the Master of Ceremonies, Marty Kaplan, and the second time by me after he spoke and presented me a citation from Congress. On each occasion, he received a sustained standing ovation from the nearly 500 people in the hall at the Skirball Cultural Center. My friend, Andy Hill, told me after the event that there are now two defining moments in Temple Israel of Hollywood’s almost 75-year history – the first was Dr. Martin Luther King’s appearance and sermon in February 1965 in our Sanctuary, and the second was Congressman Adam Schiff’s appearance at this Gala Celebration. Andy is right.
At the time Adam joined us, in April 2019, the first Impeachment Trial was not yet concluded. Adam would later, in February, 2020, speak before the Senate after the work of the Impeachment committee had finished about the conduct and corruption of the President of the United States vis a vis the then young relatively unknown Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump had already put Adam in the cross-hairs of the MAGA crazies calling him all kinds of stupid names, but Adam did the work of Congress as he was elected to do and as he was charged to do by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when chosen as the Impeachment Manager. Adam’s courage, diligence, clarity of purpose, intelligence, expertise in Constitutional law, eloquence, and service as a 20+ year veteran representative of his Burbank-Los Angeles district are second to none in the House of Representatives.
Who can ever forget Adam’s closing speech before the Senate in the first Impeachment Trial when he said:
“We must say enough — enough! He has betrayed our national security, and he will do so again…He has compromised our elections, and he will do so again. You will not change him. You cannot constrain him. He is who he is. Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all…You are decent. He is not who you are.”
“Can we be confident that he will not continue to try to cheat in [this] very election? Can we be confident that Americans and not foreign powers will get to decide, and that the president will shun any further foreign interference in our Democratic affairs? The short, plain, sad, incontestable answer is no, you can’t. You can’t trust this president to do the right thing. Not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. You just can’t. He will not change and you know it….What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100 percent. A man without character or ethical compass will never find his way.”
(I offer the link below to Adam’s complete closing statement as House Manager, which is worth listening to again)
As a liberal Democrat, Adam’s positions on all the issues that the Democratic Party and the vast majority of the American Jewish community supports (70% at least), his advocacy for the security of the State of Israel, the two-state solution, and democracy in Israel-Palestine and the United States, his support of the Ukrainians against a brutal and heartless Russian regime led by the war criminal Vladimir Putin, and for decency generally commends his aspirations to be our next California Senator.
The campaign is still young with lots of time before the 2024 election. But, I am happy to go on record now endorsing Adam Schiff despite the high quality of his two primary opponents. It is a shame that three outstanding congressional representatives will all give up their House seats in pursuit of the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Feinstein. That said – we have an opportunity to elect not only a great Congressional Representative to the Senate in Adam, but a great American and a great Jewish leader. As I said at the Gala honoring my service, Adam makes me proud to be an American and proud to be a Jew.
When it was reported that before Adam formally announced running for the Senate, he visited with Senator Feinstein and she told him that he should go forward and run, I thought to myself – there goes the mensch that I know.
I hope you will support his candidacy for the Senate. If elected, Adam will bring dignity, intelligence, focus, and menschlechkite to the work of that august body.
Adam Schiff’s closing statement in the First Impeachment Trial is here –