President Joe Biden’s recent statement during a call with rabbis, where he claimed to have been “raised in synagogues,” has raised eyebrows and prompted scrutiny of his past remarks. The president made the assertion while engaging with religious leaders in preparation for the Jewish High Holy Days.
During the call, President Biden went off-script, asserting, “You might say, [I] was raised in the synagogues of my state. You think I’m kidding, I’m not.” He also mentioned Temple Beth Shalom in Wilmington as being a significant part of his life.
This declaration has led to questions about the accuracy of the president’s statements, as there are no previous references to his upbringing in synagogues in his official biography or previous public remarks. In 2022, Biden claimed to have grown up with the “Puerto Rican community at home, politically,” despite Delaware’s relatively small Puerto Rican population during his childhood.
President Biden’s history of making inaccurate statements or exaggerating certain events is not new. In the past, he falsely claimed to have attended “the Black church” and inaccurately stated that he spent time at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue after the 2019 anti-Semitic attack that claimed 11 lives. The synagogue refuted his claim, clarifying that he had only spoken to the synagogue’s rabbi via phone.
Additionally, President Biden’s tendency to make inaccurate statements extends to his recollections of personal experiences, such as a recent gaffe involving a kitchen fire in his home almost two decades ago. He referenced this incident while addressing survivors of a devastating Maui blaze, describing firefighters “running into flames.” Last October, he claimed that the incident nearly cost the lives of two firefighters, a statement that was contradicted by the local fire department.
Furthermore, on a different occasion, President Biden asserted that he had been present at Ground Zero in New York City the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, subsequent clarification from the White House revealed that he had visited the site nine days later.
The latest controversy surrounding the president’s claim of being “raised in synagogues” adds to a growing list of instances where his statements have been called into question, raising concerns about the accuracy and credibility of his statements.