“Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Teachers Leader Share Faith — But Little Else”

Karen Lewis Flickr WBEZ

Karen Lewis. Flickr/WBEZ, chicagopublicmedia

Rahm Emanuel — a favorite son of Jewish organizations, such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Chicago’s Jewish United Fund — and Karen Lewis, an African American who converted to Judaism two decades ago, may share a religious faith. But the clash of these two powerful personalities over the future of public education in the city has seeped deep into Chicago’s consciousness as the two have brawled bitterly over what is, for many Jews, a key Jewish and public value.

Among the high (or low) points, according to Lewis, was a meeting between the two in the fall of 2011 when, Lewis reported, Emanuel “exploded” at her, pointed his finger, and screamed, “F— you, Lewis.” The famously salty-tongued Emanuel declined to confirm or deny Lewis’ account, but told the Chicago Sun-Times: “To tell the truth, she hugged me at the end of the meeting.”

You can read my article on Karen Lewis, Rahm Emanuel in the Jewish Daily Forward.


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