Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff become first family to hang mezuzah on executive residence
US Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, have not only made history together but are also devout in their faith. Harris and Emhoff also became the first couple to hang a mezuzah on the executive residence.
Emhoff shared photos of the moment on Twitter where they hung a mezuzah on the front door of the Vice President’s residence. A mezuzah is a piece of parchment called a klaf in a decorative case and has Hebrew verses from the Torah. The mezuzah is attached to a case in the threshold of a Jewish house as a sign of faith.
“One of my favorite memories was when our family visited and together, we hung a mezuzah on the front door of the Vice President’s residence,” Emhoff tweeted.
The head of the Atlanta-based Hebrew Benevolent Congregation, Rabbi Peter Berg, praised the recent move, noting that he was present when Emhoff and Harris placed the mezuzah on the executive residence. Emhoff is also the first Jew to reside in the Vice Presidential residence.
“It’s an extraordinary moment in United States history,” said Berg. “And it was one of the great honors in my lifetime to be able to stand there with the second family as they placed that mezuzah on their home for the very first time.”
“He obviously recognizes the significance of being the first in this space and I think he’s very honored to have the opportunity to help lead some of these really important and significant traditions,” said a White House official.
In other related news, Harris announced this week that the administration would be investing $1.5 billion from the COVID-19 relief plan to address the healthcare worker shortage in underserved communities. The funds will go to the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Programs, and all federal programs that offer scholarships and loan repayments to for healthcare students and workers if they pledge to work in underserved communities.
The money will be supporting over 22,700 providers - the largest number in history - that are enrolled in these same programs, according to the White House.