Gore noshes at shul:Vodka, pickle, bread

"What a way to start a day," said Gore, according to witnesses. "A shot of vodka taken in a synagogue."

The Soviet-born Feldman introduced the vodka tradition into the synagogue's Simchat Torah and Purim celebrations 10 years ago.

Gore, who also visited a Jewish nursing home on his trip, was heckled by an elderly resident who spoiled Gore's often-told joke about the first Jewish president.

As Gore approached the punch line of the joke — the first Jewish president's mother elbows a cabinet member at the inauguration — the nursing home resident beat the vice president, shouting repeatedly, "My other son's a doctor."