Bintel Blog

At GA, Emanuel Talks U.S. Policy, His Own Jewish Practice

By Nathan Guttman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Filling in for the President of the United States is a tough job for anyone, especially when the audience is made up of 3,000 Jewish activists eagerly anticipating the first address of the President Obama to a Jewish communal organization.

But White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel managed to keep the crowd satisfied in his Tuesday speech at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly. He gave a detailed policy speech, and took on claims against his boss from members of the Jewish community. He also succeeded in making participants laugh, living up to his reputation as one of the sharpest politicians in town.

So here are some of the Emanuel highlights:

• After making a joke at the expense of his Washington, D.C.-based rabbi, Jack Moline, Emanuel shared with the crowd his concern that at next year’s High Holy Day services, he would be moved to the back row. That, according to Emanuel, would actually be better because it would allow him to leave before the service is over.

• On being sent to stand in for President Obama, Emanuel said that he understood that he was not the first choice, but reassured his Jewish listeners that he was not offended. Being a middle child, Emanuel said, prepared him for that.

• Emanuel gave his father credit for instilling in him the value of persistence: “Some of my political opponents would say he instilled this quality a little too successful.”

• But the line that got the most applause was when Emanuel spoke of his plans to travel with his brother Ari to celebrate the bar mitzvah of their respective sons in Israel this year. “That’s cheap, the applause,” Emanuel told the cheering Jewish delegates.“I’ll take an $18 check on behalf of him.”

For more highlights of Emanuel speech, regarding Israel, the Palestinians and Iran, click here.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: JFNA, General Assembly, Rahm Emanuel

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.