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‘Jewish community is welcome in Oklahoma,’ state’s governor says

“When you think about the values of who we are as Oklahomans it matches with the Jewish community, family focused, very faith focused, entrepreneurial, hard working,” Kevin Stitt said.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Creative Commons.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla. Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Creative Commons.

As of 2003, there were some 5,000 Jews in Oklahoma, 0.1% of the state’s population, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. That’s about 24 times less than the estimated national average of 2.4%.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, hopes to narrow that gap.

“The Jewish community is welcome in Oklahoma,” the governor recently told the New York Post

“When you think about the values of who we are as Oklahomans it matches with the Jewish community, family focused, very faith focused, entrepreneurial, hard working,” he added. “In New York some of the Jewish community are being persecuted and you’ve got the pro-Hamas and Palestinian protesters all over and we’re like, ‘Man, that doesn’t happen in Oklahoma.’”

The governor cited a 2023 school choice state law that provides tax credits of $5,000 to $7,500, depending on parental income, for families to use to pay private-school tuition.

Stitt has visited Israel and calls himself a “Torah-loving Christian,” who reads the Bible regularly and has, since 2023, “kept Shabbat most Fridays—a trend which has become increasingly in vogue among some evangelical Christians,” the Post reported.

He also drew criticism two years ago when he said that would claim “every square inch” of Oklahoma for Jesus. The governor met with local Jewish leaders at the time and the latter said they thought he understood their perspective.

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