search

Biden picks Jeff Zients, Jewish adviser behind DC bagel chain, as new chief of staff

FILE - White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients speaks during a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients speaks during a press briefing at the White House, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Days after his first chief of staff announced that he would step down, US President Joe Biden announces a replacement: another Jewish adviser, this time an investor in a popular Washington, DC, Jewish deli.

Jeff Zients led the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response from 2021 to 2022. He has previously held multiple positions in government, including as adviser to the Biden transition team and the Obama administration and director of the National Economic Council, following a career in business.

Zients is also known locally in Washington as the businessman who helped start the chain Call Your Mother, which says it serves “Jew-ish deli favorites.” Now operating in seven DC-area locations with an expansion planned to Denver, Call Your Mother offers bagels, smoked salmon, whitefish salad and black-and-white cookies, as well as an assortment of gear that has turned the Jewish catchphrase into a local fashion statement.

Some of the recipe testing for the deli’s first location was done at Zients’s home, according to Washingtonian magazine. Zients first connected with Andrew Dana, the Jewish chef behind Call Your Mother and his business partner, through Dana’s father’s friend from summer camp; he reportedly wanted the deli to be called Apples and Honey.

Starting next month, Zients will take over for Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff since he was inaugurated. Klain, who is open about his Jewish identity and tweets frequently about it, reportedly has described himself as worn down by the intensity of the chief of staff role.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.