As their euphoria over the November election levels off, American Jews -- nearly 90 percent of whom voted Barack Obama -- are slowly coming around to one major question: "How did a black guy get in the White House before a Jew?"
Many leaders of the Jewish Community, wherever that is, tried to be philosophical when questioned for this article. Chaim Pendergast, chairman of the San Diego chapter of Surfin' UJA, said, "Look, no one ever said it was a race to see who would win the presidency first. I never heard anyone say to the Jews and the African American Blacks, 'Ready, set, go!' Did you?" However, Pendergast then added, "Can I be frank? Thank-you. The fact is, I figured if the economy went bad in an election year, Middle America would hold its anti-semitism in abeyyance and put someone in the White House who knows his way around a deposit slip. But it wasn't to be. What can you do? Nothing. There's nothing you can do. And now with this Madoff business... Can I go now?"
Quietly, there are hints that some finger-pointing among Jews began two weeks after the election although some insist the finger-pointing started five thousand years ago and this is just finger-pointing-as-usual. If there's any consensus on a target for blame, it points squarely at Sen. Joe Lieberman who is widely seen as single-handedly reviving the phrase "Shanda to the goyim." Dawn McKatz, a new age reformed rabbi who believes that Moses got the Ten Commandments from Aspen Mountain, said, "Don't get started on Lieberman. And I can do without his wife too."
Some Talmudic scholars suggest that the lack of a Jewish president merely comes down to timing because timing in life is everything and if your timing is off, it doesn't matter what the hell you do, you can bend over backwards and talk yourself blue in the face but without good timing, you're pretty much screwed.
That was essentially the viewpoint of one Talmudic/Phrenology scholar who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he thinks his theory may have some serious holes.
"Look, it's important to try to look past Obama's superior charisma, intelligence, compassion, poise, judgment, energy, strength, eloquence, character, vision, thoughtfulness, education, commitment, oratory, patience, intuition, leadership, insight, inclusiveness, inspiration, determination, enlightenment, decency, comprehension, lucidity, tasteful suits, beautiful family and... what was your question again?"
Finally, a small minority of interview subjects simply feel that a Jewish president is not in the cards unless everyone starts using a pinochle deck. Ben Feldman, who describes himself as a "culturally-assimilated-hemi-powered-sub-orthodox-Jew-who-observes- the-high-holidays-from-a-distance-but-kind-of-lost-it-for-Purim-and-Shavuout," exhales, sits down, rubs his eyes, massages his scalp, cranes his neck and says, "The fact is, if you want to be elected President, you have to believe in Jesus Christ. Look, don't get me wrong: Jesus invented shiksas, so I'm totally okay with him. But dating and running for president are two different things. You can't even compare the two. It's apples and oranges."