Barack Obama's Israeli Classmates Don't Remember Him From Columbia

25 Shared Undergraduate Class of 1983 With Future President

No Memory: Barack Obama burst onto the national political scene 20 years after graduating from Columbia College in 1983. None of the 25 Israelis who graduated with him that year remembers the future president.
No Memory: Barack Obama burst onto the national political scene 20 years after graduating from Columbia College in 1983. None of the 25 Israelis who graduated with him that year remembers the future president.

By Judy Maltz (Haaretz)

Published March 16, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Among those Israelis vying for the attention of Barack Obama as he prepares for his visit here next week, one fairly large, yet little-known group can claim a special long-standing connection to the U.S. president: We were his classmates in the Columbia University undergraduate class of 1983.

As of the latest count, there are close to 25 of us living here in Israel, some making the move close to 30 years ago, right after graduation, others pretty fresh off the boat.

But here’s the thing: Not one of us remembers Barack Obama - who transferred to Columbia after his sophomore year at Occidental College in California - from our undergrad years, nor do we know anyone else who does.

“If he wasn’t on my radar, he wasn’t on anyone’s radar,” asserts Jamie Miller, a mother of five, who lives in Beit Shemesh.

Sarah Graber Nehrer says she became curious about Obama even before his first presidential run. “When he first came on the political scene.

“I had no recollection of him whatsoever, and neither did anyone else I know, which I found very strange,” she said.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.