As the effort to gain clemency for Jonathan Pollard continues to grow, the Chicago-based Rabbi Capers C. Funnye, Jr. wrote to President Obama and called upon him to free Pollard (the full text of the letter appears below and is attached). What makes Rabbi Funnye’s call for clemency so unique is that Funnye is related to the President. Rabbi Funnye’s mother, Verdelle Robinson Funnye, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s paternal grandfather, Frasier Robinson, Jr., were brother and sister, which makes Funnye and Michelle Obama first cousins, once removed.
Rabbi Funnye is a Jewish African American who serves as the chief rabbi of the Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation in Chicago, which is one of the largest black synagogues in America. He is a co-founder of the Alliance of Black Jews and a Senior Research Associate for the Institute of Jewish and Community Research, located in San Francisco, California. Rabbi Funnye is the first African-American member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis.
read the rest via thejidf.org