The Candidates’ Jewish Connections


Michelle Obama has a rabbi in her family, Anthony Weiss of The Forward reported on Tuesday:

Michelle Obama, wife of the Democratic presidential nominee, and Rabbi Capers Funnye, spiritual leader of a mostly black synagogue on Chicago’s South Side, are first cousins once removed. Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye (born Verdelle Robinson) and Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Frasier Robinson Jr., were brother and sister.

Funnye (pronounced fuh-NAY) is chief rabbi at the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in southwest Chicago. He is well-known in Jewish circles for acting as a bridge between mainstream Jewry and the much smaller, and largely separate, world of black Jewish congregations, sometimes known as black Hebrews or Israelites. He has often urged the larger Jewish community to be more accepting of Jews who are not white.

Meanwhile, according to Ron Kampeas and Eric Fingerhut of JTA, Joe Biden’s son married into a Jewish family.

On the Republican side, no Jewish connections in John McCain’s or Sarah Palin’s families have come to light (unless you count McCain’s newly adopted pet Democrat, Joe Lieberman). But don’t worry, as the 2004 election cycle showed us, if there’s a Jew–or even a miniature Israeli flag–somewhere in their family trees, somebody will find it.

One thought on “The Candidates’ Jewish Connections”

  • What a Headline! Joe Biden’s Jewish Daughter-in-law makes me feel safer. Michelle with a rabbi in her family is wonderful; very cool. My eyes popped before I laughed. Digging around for miniature Israeli flags is funny, too, so true, and as pathetic as finding Sara from Alaska. If they can’t fool Hillary’s smart and loyal team, the ‘ treasure’ atleast finds comfort with the old American geezers’ love and votes.
    Seems to me we’re watching a kids game. Each team has a list of things to find, some items written with invisible ink to make them think . I hope Obama’s list includes records with the words Israel or Jerusalem in a few sentences. I very sincerely hope he finds them soon, we need facts!
    hWell, whatever’s on their lists, whoever completes the Treasure Hunt first, wins.

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