- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2018

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez revealed she has Jewish ancestry during a Hanukkah candle-lighting event Sunday in New York.

The newly elected Democrat told a Queens audience at an event organized by Jews for Racial and Economic Justice that she recently traced her ancestry back to 15th-century Sephardic Jews.

“I knew it! I sensed it!” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said, pointing out an audience member who reacted to her news, NBC reported.

“One of the things that we discovered about ourselves is that a very very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews,” she said. “And … the story goes that during the Spanish Inquisition, so many people were forced to convert on the exterior to Catholicism, but on the interior, continued to practice their faith, continued to be who they were, even though they were pressured to not be that on the outside world.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez later told Haaretz it was the first time she revealed her Jewish ancestry in public.



Responding to Haaretz’s coverage on Monday, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez issued a trio of tweets clarifying that she acknowledges “culture isn’t DNA.”

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