Rep. Brad Schneider fights BDS, anti-Semitism and puts past Israel experience to use in House

February 12, 2020
In The News

Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider has been in Congress, serving Illinois’s 10th Congressional District since Jan. 3, 2017, when he returned after winning back his seat the previous November.

Prior to that, he served as a congressman for the district between 2013 and 2015.

Schneider, 58, was the managing principal of a life-insurance firm for six years until becoming the director of the strategic-services group at Blackman Kallick, followed by starting his own consulting firm in 2008.

Schneider, who is Jewish, and his wife, Julie, have two children.

JNS talked with Schneider in person on Feb. 7. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: As a Jewish member of Congress, do you mind giving our readers a quick overview of what it was like growing up?

A: I had a blessed childhood. I grew up in a loving family. My family is from Denver. Two of my grandparents grew up in Denver in a tight-knit Jewish community. My paternal grandfather was one of the founders of the Orthodox-Conservadox synagogues in Denver. My family was one of the first families to join a Reform synagogue.

Part of why I am comfortable in any community—Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative, Orthodox or otherwise—is because that’s the family I have. Big family on my mom’s side. She’s one of six kids. My generation has 18 cousins, all very close.