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Allen's office changes hearing date from Yom Kippur

Published: Tuesday September 26, 2006

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Following an inquiry made to the office of Senator George Allen (R-VA) by a woman scheduled to testify before the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Allen's office has rescheduled a hearing until the day after Yom Kippur, the holiday on which the hearing was originally scheduled. The change was reported in today’s edition of ROLL CALL.

Conflicting reports of the date change came from Allen’s office and the office of the woman scheduled to testify. The senator’s spokesman said that the date change was made at the request of Michele Jerome, deputy executive director of the National Association of Women Business Owners. An association spokesman described the exchange as an offer to Allen rather than a request.

Allen, a first term senator whose Jewish heritage recently came to light, is in a tight race to retain his seat.

ROLL CALL also reports that a new nickname for Allen, "Sen. Macacawitz," was overheard at a party recently. Allen came under fire a few weeks ago for calling a man of Indian descent, "macaca," which is sometimes used as a racial slur.

Excerpts from the subscription-required ROLL CALL article follow:


It looks as though Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) might be embracing his Jewish roots after all.

The Senator long ago had scheduled a field hearing of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for Monday, Oct. 2, which is Yom Kippur. Last week, Allen moved the date to Oct. 3 to avoid conflict with the high holiday, according to the interest group involved in the hearing.

“He’s Jewish and Monday is Yom Kippur,” explained Brynn Slate, spokeswoman for the National Association of Women Business Owners, completely matter-of-factly to HOH.

Allen spokesman David Snepp said the date of the hearing, which will explore women-owned businesses vying for federal contracts, was changed at the request of the association. And technically, that’s true.

After reading about the blockbuster revelation that Allen is (technically) Jewish, the deputy executive director of the women’s business association, Michele Jerome, contacted Allen’s staff to see if the Senator would prefer delaying the hearing until after the holiest day of the year for Jews.

“The date was set and then Michele contacted one of his staff because she had read that he had sort of — I don’t know what you would call it — he had just announced that he’s newly Jewish,” Slate told us. “So Michele contacted them to ask if they would want to change it because of the holiday.”


We ran this explanation past Snepp, Allen’s spokesman. He replied, “If the group wanted to change the date of this field hearing in honor of the Jewish holiday, that is certainly appropriate, and Sen. Allen is looking forward to the testimony the following day on how to get more women-owned businesses fairly represented in federal contracts.”