When I was six years old, my mother predicted that I would grow up to become
The first Jewish president of the United States.
My father thought it would be Jacob Javits
But allowed that I could be second.
Well, Jacob Javits is dead
And my prospects are dimming
And there has still been no
Jewish president of the United States.
Barry Goldwater was Episcopalian. (He kept the Jewish name but didn’t fool anybody.)
Henry Kissinger was ineligible because he was born in Germany.
Arlen Specter announced for the Republication nomination but dropped out before the first primary.
Bernie Sanders ran for the Democratic nomination and won some primaries but lost at the convention.
Paul Wellstone went down in a plane crash.
Eliot Spitzer went down in a sex scandal.
Al Franken went down in a sexual harassment scandal.
Chuck Schumer will be pushing 70 on Election Day 2020, which is actually half a year younger than
Donald Trump was on Election Day 2016, but too old nonetheless.
And Michael Bloomberg will be 78.
And so we arrive, as we must, at our final, ineluctable, inescapable conclusion:
The first Jewish president of the United States will be
And may the Lord God of Israel have mercy on us all.
Pesach Rotem was born and raised in New York and now lives in the village of Yodfat in northern Israel. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his J.D. from St. John’s University. His poems have been published in more than a dozen literary journals including Chiron Review, Natural Bridge, and Voices Israel.
Editorial art by Elle Aviv Newton.