John Kerry's mitzvah days
One of the guests at last week’s special service at Westminster Synagogue to honour its collection of Czech scrolls was none other than the Jewish brother of US Secretary of State John Kerry.
Cameron Kerry was part of a delegation from Boston’s Temple Israel led by his wife, and its president, Kathy Weinman. Their community has one of the scrolls salvaged from the Nazis.
Cameron’s presence emerged only after he referred to it in an article this week, responding to “vile” attacks on his brother in Israel because of the Middle East peace process.
John had “an abiding sense of the need to secure Israel as a home for the Jewish people”, his brother wrote.
The Kerrys’ Jewish grandfather Frederick, born Fritz Kohn in Czechoslovakia, converted to Christianity in the USA. But Cameron became Jewish when he married Kathy — a conversion “embraced” by John, he said.
“He has been part of our family mitzvot. He was present when my daughters read from the [Czech] scroll [for their batmitzvah] and helped to raise the chairs in which they were paraded on the dance floor.”