President Kohn

A time line chronicling the rise of the first Jewish president

September 14 (Miramar Megillah): George W. Bush, in a presidential first, gave a five-minute speech yesterday at the politically conservative Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center entirely in Yiddish. After first wishing everyone in attendance a happy Rosh Hashanah, Bush suddenly broke into the German- and Hebrew-based language. But unlike the success of his Spanish utterances during the 2000 election, the president's foray into Yiddish seemed an unabashed disaster. He began with this inappropriate expression: "A shaynem dank dir im pupik," which translates to "Many thanks in your belly button." From there, it went downhill. At one point, Bush's words became insulting, especially when the president told his captive audience to "Gai kucken ahfen yam," or "Go shit in the ocean." The synagogue was aghast. "That was not a fabulous moment for the Jewish people," attendee Moe Friedman remarked. A campaign spokeswoman said Kerry couldn't comment on Bush's foibles because he was "in deep reflection as the Jewish New Year approaches."

October 17 (Sunrise Scribe): Many expected an October surprise from President Bush, but it was John Kerry who shocked the nation yesterday. The Democratic candidate announced at an Orthodox synagogue in Sunrise that he had converted to Hasidic Judaism and had changed -- or "restored," as he put it -- his last name. "When I do things Judaically, I do them 100 percent, and that is why I chose to go Hasidic," Kerry said. "Further, from this day forward, I will be called John Kohn -- President John Kohn, that is!" Then he dramatically unfurled his new side curls. The audience sat in stunned silence for several seconds before someone shouted "Mazel tov," and the room erupted in cheers.

October 18 (Deerfield Diaspora): After 24 hours of silence, the Bush administration issued a statement on John Kohn's conversion to Judaism, calling it "the ultimate flip-flop."

Christopher Smith

November 3 (Fort Lauderdale Forward): John Kohn wins election as the 44th president after the State of Florida puts him over the top in a closer-than-predicted election. Ironically, Jews in the Sunshine State played little role in the outcome, coming out in record low numbers and voting overwhelmingly for Ralph Nader. Said one voter during an exit poll interview: "I'd seen enough of them both to know better -- Kohn actually stopped at my house unannounced for breakfast one morning. What a couple of meshugines."

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