3/23/13

Is Julius Genachowski Jewish?

Yes, Julius Genachowski is a Jew.

Barack Obama named Genachowski as Head of the Federal Communications Commission in 2009. He announced his intention to resign in March, 2013.

Several news reports confirmed that, "Mr. Genachowski, attended yeshiva through high school and studied in yeshiva in Israel before going to Columbia... His parents are immigrants who survived the Holocaust."

Calling him a "Talmud Ace," The Forward reported:
Julius Genachowski was born August 19, 1962, to Adele and Azriel Genachowski. He grew up in Great Neck, a Long Island suburb, in a family that attended the local Young Israel. He attended Orthodox day school at North Shore Hebrew Academy and summered at Camp Raleigh. His high school was the Marsha Stern Talmudical Academy, which is part of Yeshiva University. Though he says he cut classes to play basketball, he won the Talmud award.

Genachowski spent a year after high school studying in Jerusalem at Yeshivat HaKotel, where he and his peers practiced “learning, discussing, questioning each other, even the possibilities of different points of view,” he recalled. “One of the things that you take away from learning Talmud, learning Gemara, is that two or three brilliant people can look at the same passage and have different interpretations and views, each of which makes a lot of sense, but they’re not all consistent. So I enjoyed that.”

Today, Genachowski attends Sabbath services regularly at Adas Israel, Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue.
He is the cousin of Rabbi Menachem Genack (we assume shortened from Genachowski), rabbinic administrator and CEO of O.U. Kosher, an Orthodox rabbi with liberal political views.

4 comments:

Gil Student said...

I used to dorm with a Genack (nephew of R. Menachem Genack). I can confirm that Genachowski is a shortened version of Genack.

Leonard Davidman, Ph.D. said...

Rabbi Menachem Genack, the chief executive officer of the OU's kashrut division,indeed wrote that Julius Genachowski is his cousin.

Rabbi Genack wrote a pro-Obama OP-Ed piece in the Jewish Press on November 19, 2008 where he mentions that his cousin Julius Genachowski was on Obama's transition team.

Here is the link to that article:
http://www.thejewishpress.com/pageroute.do/37129

Here is the pull-out about thec relationship between Obama and Genachowski:

"Obama and Julius bonded in part because both were outsiders - one a former yeshiva boy and son of immigrants, the other an African American with international roots.

Julius tells me Obama has always been able to relate to the Jewish experience because of his own background as well as the African-American experience of slavery and discrimination. Julius knows that part of Obama's agenda is to heal the breach between Jews and blacks and to restore the close ties that existed during the civil rights movement."

Lenny Davidman, Ph.D.
New York City

tzvee said...

I just met a fellow at minchah who says he used to baby sit for Julius in Great Neck.

India said...

Are there two groups of Genack, then? My family's name came from the French...