Rabbi Rabbi Susan Silverman with sister Sarah 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy Susan Silverman)
The Silverman family is no stranger to making pro- Obama videos. Its most famous
member, US Jewish comic Sarah Silverman, memorably made a generous offer to
Israel HaYom owner Sheldon Adelson if he would switch his allegiance to
President Barack Obama’s campaign this year, and four years ago, she encouraged
Jews to make “The Great Schlep” and convince their grandparents in Florida to
vote for Obama.
Frustrated that Jews were getting the wrong idea about
the US president’s stance on Israel, Susan Silverman – a Reform rabbi who lives
in Jerusalem with her husband and five children – turned to her sister and said,
you’ve got to make a video about Obama’s support for Israel.
Sarah replied, you’ve got to make a video about Obama’s support for
The second Silverman pro- Obama video, by Susan, came out at noon
on Thursday EST.
Those expecting a raunchy video with sexually explicit
suggestions – and possibly cats – will be disappointed.
features a number of Israelis talking about the incumbent president’s support
for Israel, no innuendo included.
The video includes interviews with
Israelis near the Gaza border, Jerusalem, Herzliya and Tel Aviv, and with Iran
experts, retired IDF officials, and academics. Each was asked what they thought
Defense Minister Ehud Barak meant by his July comments that Obama was “doing
more than anything he could remember in the past” for Israel’s
A 30-second version of the clip will begin running in Florida
television markets on Monday, aimed at reaching voters during Monday night’s
foreign policy debate there.
The ad buy includes Fox News Channel and
“I was really frustrated with the misinformation out there about
Barack Obama and Israel. Frankly it was disgusting to me,” Silverman said on
“The assumptions of his not being good for Israel, really, at
its core, are fear-based... It’s the same craziness that fuels the
‘birther’ movement in the US [those who believe Obama was not born in the US and
therefore is not eligible to be president]. It was driving me crazy, so I
just had to do something.”
Silverman’s “something” was sponsored by the
Jewish Council for Education and Research, the same organization that sponsored
her sister’s videos and actor Samuel L. Jackson’s pro-Obama Wake the F*** Up
“It’s interesting, we stopped people on the street and asked
people [in Israel] about Obama, and without exception people liked Obama,” she
said. “People more in-the-know know about how he boosted the anti-missile system,
and were really grateful.”
One story that didn’t make it into the video
was that of a mother of three from Ofakim, who was struggling with the constant
barrage of missiles from Gaza hitting near her home.
“Mitt Romney has
said that his policy toward Israel would be the opposite, and we were sobbing
when she told her story,” said Silverman.
“She asked, ‘Does he think it’s
funny to be flippant about this? I’d like him to see what it’s like, to come and
join us in our bomb shelter, to see what it’s like for my kids to pee in their
pants in terror. “They can’t feel their legs when they hear a loud noise because
they’re so afraid. I’d like him to come and live in my family for a day.’” Susan wasn’t the only Silverman making waves
this week: Her father, Donald, received rousing applause in the Internet world
after defending Sarah against what most commenters termed a “patronizing and
offensive” letter from Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt published on
“I think you have latched on to politics because you are
searching for something to build,” Rosenblatt wrote in his “Open Letter to Sarah
“I pray that you channel your drive and direct your passion
to something positive, something that will make you a better and more positive
person, something that will allow you to touch eternity and truly impact the
I pray that you pursue marriage and, if you are so
blessed, raise children,” he wrote.
“Hey a**hole: Daughter #1 is a
rabbi,” Donald Silverman wrote in response. “By the way, Sarah was also on the
list [of The Jerusalem Post’s Most Influential Jews]. I missed your name. Oldest
granddaughter is serving in the Israel Defense Forces. I’m sure you also served.
Oh I forgot the Orthodox don’t do that.
You don’t f*** with my family,”
“You can see where we get it from,” Susan said.