Monday, September 08, 2008

Obama's Jewish relative

(Does this make Obama an honorary Elder of Zion? That's a "she'ilta"* for Snoopythegoon to mull over...)

Marty Peretz, from The New Republic, is a truculent Obama supporter. He is also the most outspoken, unabashed admirer of Israel among the Center-Left that I'm familiar with.

He posted on his blog today, with some excitement, about the fact that Michelle Obama's cousin (once removed) is a certain Rabbi Capers Funnye.

"He is the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B'nei Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in southwest Chicago and "serves on on the Chicago Board of Rabbis."

An article in Haaretz fills out the details:

"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... Funnye's famous relative gives an unexpected twist to the much-analyzed relationship between Barack Obama and Jews in this presidential campaign."

which probably accounts for Peretz's bubbling exuberance at this news.

Since the rabbi is a convert, he reminded me of another African-American convert from Chicago, a stand-up comic and a gifted author, Aaron Freeman.

Here is Aaron the convert, in front of an Israeli audience: "Rabbi, Jew me!"

And here he is in conversation with RABBI DOUG.

And what do you know, here is Aaron with Michelle's cousin himself.


* A Talmudic query


At 4:23 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaron Freeman has the presence in front of the camera to be good but his jokes are so old they are meaningless and he delivers them poorly.

Then Rabbi Funnye, a grave fellow, says he is going to be brief and delivers an extended and complicated history of his movement.

At 5:02 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

I liked Freeman's delivery in B'tzavta, Tel Aviv. I thought he was very funny. Jokes are like cliches. If you heard them many times, they grow stale. If it's the first time, they are fresh and funny. For me it was the first time.

At 12:48 PM EDT, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

He he. The truth will out.


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