Doug Emhoff, husband to US Vice President Kamala Harris, will serve as guest speaker at this year’s National Rainbow Seder. The event, a virtual one, strives to celebrate Passover through an LGBTQ lens.
The Seder’s theme is “Renewal and Resistance: a Journey Towards Liberation.” It will include a specially commissioned Haggadah coupling the story of Passover with the history of the LGBTQ movement, focusing on the progress it has made in the 13 years since the National Rainbow Seder was founded.
Emhoff, alongside being the first-ever second gentleman of the United States, is also the first Jewish spouse of a vice president.
No Jews have been elected to the first or second highest office in the US, though Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who converted before marrying Jared Kushner, made history as the first Jewish member of a first family.
Join us for the Virtual National Rainbow Seder, hosted by @HRC, @IsraelinUSA, @E_DCJCC & @BetMish. Known in @Israel as the holiday of spring & freedom, this Passover celebration reflects the #LGBTQ community's journey to equality & liberation.
To register: https://t.co/0XiYfZQxXj pic.twitter.com/3nEnhjr2N3
— Elad Strohmayer (@EladStr) March 21, 2021
Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, Emhoff left his job as a Los Angeles sports and entertainment lawyer to dedicate himself to the role of second gentleman. A former top litigator, Emhoff identifies as an “advocate for justice and equality,” committed to volunteer legal work and charity.
Public tax returns show that Harris reported zero charitable givings in her first three years as California’s attorney general, a number that jumped to tens of thousands when she married Emhoff in 2014, according to The Forward.
Emhoff’s children by his first marriage — Cole, named after John Coltrane, and Ella, named after Ella Fitzgerald — reportedly call Harris “Momala,” a play on the Yiddish endearment “Mamele” and the vice president’s first name, “Kamala.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, honey. We’ve got big adventures ahead. I couldn’t be more excited to be your partner on this journey. pic.twitter.com/BjgLQ96ICd
— Douglas Emhoff (@SecondGentleman) February 14, 2021
On the campaign trail with Harris, Emroff gained his own sizable social media following. He was admired for his vocal, devotional support of his wife on Twitter and Instagram.
“Dear Kamala Harris: I love you, I believe in you, and I’m so proud of you. The whole country is going to see what I get to see every day. You are amazing,” he tweeted in 2019.
Emroff cultivated his fan base through epic romantic gestures, once wrestling a microphone out of the hands of a protester who charged at Harris on stage. After the incident, he tweeted: “Thx for all the kind notes. We are good. I love Kamala Harris and would do anything for her.”