Incumbent U.S. Sen. Charles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer, the Democratic senior senator from New York, is seeking re-election against Republican Jay Townsend, who never ran for office before. As part of a Politics Daily series providing background about the major candidates in 2010, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Schumer's life.
What is Charles Schumer's religion?
Schumer is Jewish.
Where does Charles Schumer worship?
Schumer worships at Congregation Beth Elohim
, the largest and most active Reform congregation in Brooklyn. While the senator spends his week in Washington, he makes it his business to come home every Friday to spend the Jewish Sabbath -- which begins on Friday night -- with his family and attends his temple regularly.
Was Charles Schumer born Jewish or did he convert?
Schumer was born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, a middle-class Jewish neighborhood, to Jewish parents, Selma Rosen and Abraham Schumer, and is therefore Jewish, according to Jewish law.
What has Charles Schumer said about Judaism?
Schumer doesn't speak about Judaism per se, but his positions on issues reflect the socially liberal attitudes of the Jewish ethic -- to care for the poor, widows and orphans. He is extremely sensitive to issues that are linked to Holocaust survivors, a large part of his original constituency in Queens and Brooklyn. He has championed their causes on restitution, mandatory Holocaust education, statewide Holocaust commemoration, and their strong pro-Israel positions. While liberal on social issues, his dedication to the Jewish people makes him almost hawkish on Israel
, particularly when it comes to matters of security. Schumer was also the highest-ranking Democrat to criticize White House policy
vis-a-vis Israel. The senator's Judaism had never been an issue for him on the Hill until May 15, 2009, when news media reported
that Arkansas state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Kim Hendren called Schumer "that Jew" and later apologized.
What is Charles Schumer's position on the Islamic Community Center planned near the World Trade Center?
Schumer told Capitol Tonight
on Aug. 24: "As I've said over the last several weeks, I'm not opposed to it, and I think that's the appropriate thing for me to say."
What is Charles Schumer's position on abortion?
Schumer was rated 100 percent by NARAL
, indicating he has a pro-abortion-rights voting record. NARAL Pro-Choice America is the political arm of the abortion rights movement and a strong advocate of reproductive freedom and choice. The National Right to Life Committee gave him a zero.
What is Charles Schumer's position on stem-cell research?
Schumer had voted yes
on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines.
How Old Is Charles Schumer?
Is Charles Schumer Married?
Latest Charles Schumer News and Information
Read Charles Schumer's full bio on his website.