Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is descendant of Sephardic Jews from Puerto Rico.
Ocasio-Cortez explained that many Puerto Ricans are descendants of different cultures, including Sephardic Jews, but provided no evidence of her direct ancestry.
- At a Hanukkah event, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed that her family had descended from Sephardic Jews:
“One of the things that we discovered about ourselves is that a very long time ago, generations and generations ago, my family consisted of Sephardic Jews.”
At Hanukkah event with @JFREJNYC in an moving speech, @Ocasio2018 shares that her family were Sephardic Jews who fled to Puerto Rico. “So many of our destinies are tied beyond our understanding” pic.twitter.com/68bjuCFnDD— Taly Krupkin (@TalyKrupkin) December 10, 2018
Right-wing publication the Independent Sentinel criticized her claims, calling her a “Fake Sephardic Jew.”
Ocasio-Cortez later qualified her claims in a tweet, explaining that Puerto Ricans share heritage from many cultures:
Before everyone jumps one me - yes, culture isn’t DNA.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) December 10, 2018
But to be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of:
African Moors \+ slaves,
and likely others.
We are all of these things and something else all at once - we are Boricua. https://t.co/IFC4mwAjor
- Heritage claims have been known to draw criticism for politicians in the past.