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At Long Last, Chicago Has a Jewish Mayor

And Emanuel’s folks couldn’t be prouder

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at his swear-in ceremony yesterday (he lost part of the finger in a childhood accident).(Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Rahm Emanuel was sworn in yesterday as Chicago’s first new mayor since 1989 and its first Jewish mayor ever. Rachel Shteir has just published her latest dispatch in her Tablet Magazine series, The Rahm Report; she follows Emanuel at a public event over the weekend and wonders if he will be able to reverse the city’s decline.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune reports (via Vos Iz Neias?), perhaps contrary to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assertion that Emanuel (whose middle name, I did not notice until today, is “Israel”) is a “self-hating Jew,” that Emanuel’s parents couldn’t be more proud of their middle son, and moreover believe that their parents would feel the same way. It’s a lovely article, and you should read the whole thing.

Emanuel Takes Reigns as Chicago Mayor [WSJ]
Forward and Back [Tablet Magazine]
Rahm Emanuel’s Parents Say Ancestors Would Be Proud [Chicago Tribune]
Related: The Rahm Report [Tablet Magazine]
Earlier: Self-Loving Emanuel No ‘Self-Hating Jew’

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phoebes-in-santa fe says:

Actually, my great-grandfather, Adolf Kraus, who emigrated from Pilen, Bohemia to the US in the 1870′s and established a law practice in Chicago, was the acting-mayor of Chicago, following the assassination of Mayor Carter Harrison in 1893.

He was the corporation council for the city of Chicago, as appointed by Harrison. Another man wanted the job and thought, delusionally, that he’d been promised the job by Harrison. He came to City Hall in order to shoot Adolf Kraus, but my silver-tongued great-grandfather was able to talk him out of killing him. The man, Patrick Prendergast, then went to Harrison’s home and shot the mayor. Adolf Kraus then took over the mayor’s office til a new mayor was selected.

So, while Rahm is Chicago’s first OFFICIAL Jewish mayor, there was a footnote to history before him.

Gibson Block says:

Your title’s celebrates the religious/ethnic background of the mayor as if it was a major victory.

Did Chicago need a specifically Jewish mayor for some reason?

Generally speaking, if your community is working well, the ethnic, religious or racial background of the mayor should not be a big issue.

Shalom Freedman says:

Rahm Emanuel was one of the architects of the Obama’s Administration policy of one- sided pressure on Israel, its mistaken blowing up of the ‘settlements issue’. In this sense his major contribution to the Jewish people has not been a positive one.
What he does in Chicago will of course be of first importance to the people of city. It is possible to wish him great success in this. But it is doubtful that this will involve a contribution to the Jewish community which can balance out, or compensate for the damage he has helped cause Israel.

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At Long Last, Chicago Has a Jewish Mayor

And Emanuel’s folks couldn’t be prouder

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