“Obama’s Rabbi” Funnye Tells President: Free Pollard Now


rabbi-capers-funnyeAs Americans and Israelis besiege the White House with calls for freedom for Jonathan Pollard, an individual who might have a little more “pull” than the rest of us had gotten on board: Rabbi Capers Funnye is the first cousin of Michelle Obama, once removed, and he in recent days sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting that Pollard be released.

The man who was dubbed “Obama’s rabbi” by the New York Times, wrote the following to the President recently: “Jonathan Pollard has served 25 years in prison for crimes for which he has since shown great remorse, publicly and privately,” Rabbi Funnye’s letter said. “With great humility and familiarity with your feelings on matters of justice, I ask you to seriously consider a commutation of Jonathan Pollard’s sentence.”

Rabbi Funnye is only the latest in a long line of politicians and public figures who have been seeking freedom for Pollard. Among those who have expressed support for his release are former CIA head James Woolsey, former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former Deputy Attorney General Philip Heyman, former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini, and Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Rabbi Funnye is the rabbi of Chicago’s Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, which has over 200 members, many of the African-Americans. Rabbi Funnye is also a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis, serves on the boards of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs and the American Jewish Congress of the Midwest, and is active in the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

Read more at Arutz Shevah.

{Arutz Shevah/Matzav.com}


  1. This man is a Black Hebrew Israelite NOT a halachic Jew! I am saddened how many Jews online dont know this. If you have met BHI then you would know they are some of the most antisemitic people in the world. They preach replacement theology and claim they are the true bnai Israel (lehavdil) and that we are bnai esau.

  2. From the DOJ Commutation Instructions:
    “You should also be aware that, in evaluating the merits of a commutation petition, clemency authorities take into consideration the amount of time the petitioner has already served and the availability of other remedies to secure the relief sought (such as parole or judicial action).”

    So it doesn’t matter how many people ask for clemency. The fact that Pollard has not even tried to apply for parole is a factor that is counting against his getting clemency.

  3. Why, all of a sudden, do you hold a reform jew, or even a conservative jew, in high regard? All the rest of the time you are bashing them? Will you guys NEVER stop displaying your self-serving hypocrisy? Will you never “get it”?

  4. Kofer, where do you see anyone holding him in high regard? Matzav has reported every public figure that has called for Pollard’s release. And who exactly are “you guys” who display their self-serving hypocrisy

  5. it’s always all these “former” people. i think “rabbi” Funnye forgot to retire from his “rabbi” position and then send a letter to obama.