Sarah Silverman’s sister in J'lem makes Obama video

Those expecting a raunchy video with sexually explicit suggestions – and possibly cats – will be disappointed.

October 19, 2012 02:43
3 minute read.
Rabbi Rabbi Susan Silverman with sister Sarah

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.

Actually, Sarah replied, you’ve got to make a video about Obama’s support for Israel.

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.

Instead, it 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 security.

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 CNN.

“I was really frustrated with the misinformation out there about Barack Obama and Israel. Frankly it was disgusting to me,” Silverman said on Thursday.

“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 video.

“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 Silverman.”

“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 world forever.

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,” he wrote.

“You can see where we get it from,” Susan said.

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