Friday, May 08, 2009

Who is Nachama Soloveichik?

Nachama Soloveichik is someone I remember well from her years in Chicago. She is Rav Ahron Solveichik’s granddaughter - the daughter of Rav Eliyahu and sister of Rabbi Meir Soloveichik.

I knew her because she was in my daughter’s high school class. They were both valedictorians at their high school graduation - along with 4 other young women. She happens to be quite brilliant and very talented. Especially with words.

That was never more evident then when she gave her valedictory address. It was a soaring tribute to her grandmother - Rebbetzin Ella Soloveichik - Rav Ahron’s Eishes Chayil. I will never forget the passion - at age 16 - she put into those words. And I doubt that anyone present there will ever forget it either.

So why do I bring this up? Only to congratulate her on her new job as press secretary for Pat Toomey - the man who forced Senator Arlen Specter to switch parties and who Senator Specter will likely run against next year.

This is not her first political job. A couple of years ago she worked for another candidate who ran for the US Senate in Rhode Island. He ended up losing his bid for office.

But this time – I think her candidate has a chance to win. He significantly outpolled Arlen Spector in polls taken of Republican voters – which is why Specter switched parties to become a Democrat.

I have nothing personal against Arlen Spector. In fact his niece lives here in Chicago and swears by him. She is an Orthodox Jew and sent her children to Arie Crown Hebrew Day School. And she and her husband were quite active there and in other organizations. Truly wonderful people.

Senator Specter is one of many Jewish senators in congress. His likely Republican opponent is not Jewish. But he obviously values Nachama’s skills and is willing to use her as his press secretary even though she will not be available for any Shabbos or Yom Tov days. That gives him points with me. As do his more conservative views -towards which I tend.

Obviously Nachama Soloveichik - still in her twenties - continues to be very talented and may become a rising star in politics. Who knows? Maybe she will be the first female Orthodox Jewish senator in congress. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit!