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Meet Vice President-Elect Mike Pence's Orthodox, Jewish, Israeli Cousins

Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz : Nov 14, 2016  Breaking Israel News

"It doesn't really come from England. It was one of those made-up Ellis Island names, so we are all connected. I haven't met a 'Pence' yet who wasn't a relative."

airlift[BIN] Michael Pence, the Vice President-elect, is a long-time ardent supporter of Israel, but it turns out that his connection to the Holy Land goes deeper than even he knows: the Evangelical Christian from Indiana has Orthodox Jewish relatives, one of whom lives in the Golan Heights and is eager to meet his cousin. (Photo Courtesy: Merrill Socher-Axelrod) 

The genealogical connection centers around Tamsen (Tammy) Socher, a Jewish grandmother living in West Los Angeles. She spent most of her life in the San Fernando Valley, but when she moved to Ohio, eight years ago, she felt a need to maintain a connection to her family and became interested in genealogy. Her search quickly led her to a relative, Richard Pence, an amateur genealogist. She was impressed by his work.
 
"Some people just want to fill in the blanks, but Richard really worked hard at getting it right," Tammy said ... Tammy realized that Pence was not a common name...
 
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