From the New York Times:
The Yom Kippur Prayer on Cory Booker’s Lips
On the 2020 campaign trail, the senator from New Jersey relies on some help from his rabbinical friends, and his decades of Jewish learning.
By Jennifer Medina, Oct. 8, 2019, 5:00 a.m. ET
LOS ANGELES — When President Donald Trump suggested earlier this year that American Jews who vote for Democrats are disloyal, one 2020 Democratic presidential candidate chose to respond in Hebrew.
“I know Jewish values,” Senator Cory Booker told a group of reporters. “Tzedakah, chesed” he said — “those are ideas about justice and decency and kindness and mercy. We need to get back to those values.”
He then went on to quote a prayer said during the Jewish High Holy Days to further make his case.
““Ki beyti beit tefila yikarech l’kol ha’amim,” he said in slightly Yiddish-inflected Hebrew. “‘May my house be a house of prayer for many nations,’ that’s what is said at the most important time of year, that’s what we need to get back to.”
Mr. Booker, who is Christian, will not be uttering those words in synagogue this Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday at sundown, but it has not stopped him from speaking them frequently as he runs for president.
… Not long after he arrived at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1992, Mr. Booker met Shmuley Boteach, an American rabbi who had been sent to the campus as an emissary for the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, which places an emphasis on outreach to nonpracticing Jews.
Mr. Booker eventually became a president of the L’Chaim Society, a Jewish campus group that Rabbi Boteach created, which functioned as a kind of salon and dining club for students.
“To say that we were close is really an understatement,” Rabbi Boteach said in an interview. “We were the way two brothers are,” he added. “He was an uncle to my children, he was my confidant.”
And his mount