Past Honorees

At Central Synagogue

Senator Charles E. Schumer
1995 Democratic Politician

Charles “Chuck” Schumer has been a Democratic United States Senator from New York since 1998. He is currently the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate.

Born in Brooklyn in 1950, Schumer first became involved in politics during his undergraduate years at Harvard, when he campaigned for Eugene McCarthy in 1968. He later graduated from Harvard Law School with honors in 1974, but ultimately never practiced law. In 1975, at the age of 25, Schumer was elected to the New York State Assembly, becoming the youngest person elected to the New York legislature since Theodore Roosevelt.

After serving three terms in the legislature, Schumer served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the Senate. Schumer has held numerous important positions with the Senate, including chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2009, and chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee since 2010.

Schumer has never lost an election. His focus on local issues, such as tourism and local taxes, has helped him achieve widespread popularity in New York.  He is also the only New York Senator to visit each of New York’s 62 counties every year that he has been Senator. In 2007 he published Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time, a book he wrote with Daniel Squadron outlining his election strategies.

Schumer lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his wife, Iris Weinshall, vice chancellor at the City University of New York and former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation. They have two daughters, Alison and Jessica.