Michelle Obama's Chicago Rabbi Cousin

10/10/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Lynn Sweet Chicago Sun-Times

Turns out Barack Obama--who has taken pains to woo Jewish voters and donors--has a prominent rabbi in the family. He's Rabbi Capers Funnye, the leader of a Southwest Side Chicago synagogue, Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation.

Michelle Obama and Funnye are first cousins once removed. They have not been in touch since Sen. Obama has been running for president. The Forward first wrote about Funnye last week and the story was picked up in Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper. Michelle Obama spokesman, Katie McCormick Lelyveld confirmed to the Sun-Times that Funnye and Michelle are cousins. "They're not close," she said.

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