Rabbi Capers Funnye of Chicago, a first cousin once removed of Michelle Obama, has been nominated to become what an international organization is calling the first “black chief rabbi” of the 21st century, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.
According to Haaretz, “A statement from the International Israelite Board of Rabbis declared that Funnye would serve as the ‘titular head of a worldwide community of Black Jews.’ Along with the United States, the community has branches in the Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.”
Funnye, chief rabbi at Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation of Chicago, Illinois, is expected to officially assume his duties in the fall.
Funnye was born a Christian in 1952 in South Carolina. He converted to Judaism in 1985.
Mazel tov, Rabbi!