'First Jewish President' Delights Chicago Faithful

Obama understands community's issues 'better than most of us'
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 1:30 PM CST
The Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies overlooking Chicago's Grant Park.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Though there was doubt during the campaign of broad Jewish support for Barack Obama, the Chicago Jewish community didn't share it, Haaretz reports. “I said with a smile that he will be the first Jewish president,” said one community leader and who traveled with Obama to Israel in 2006. “He also has a deep understanding of issues that confront Israel and the Jewish community.”

And the Chicago Jews who knew and worked with Obama were not surprised he got nearly 80% of the Jewish vote on Election Day. "It was always a natural fit between the Jewish community and Barack Obama," says another Chicago political activist. "He understands those issues. Frankly, he's so smart he understands them better than most of us."