NEW YORK (JTA) – The pro-Obama Jewish group that was behind "The Great Schlep" four years ago received a $200,000 donation from the son of billionaire George Soros.
Alexander Soros, the 26-year-old son of the hedge fund magnate and progressive philanthropist, gave the donation to the group known officially as the Jewish Council for Education and Research. With Soros’ gift the group, which is now a super PAC, or political action committee, has raised nearly as much this cycle as it did in the entire 2008 campaign.
The high-profile drive for Obama’s first presidential run was best known for a viral video featuring Sarah Silverman imploring young Jews to talk their grandparents into voting for the then-Illinois senator.
“We were able to do a lot last time,” said Mik Moore, the group’s treasurer, told the Forward. “But there was a lot we didn’t do, and we’re starting a lot earlier.”
Moore said the group hoped to raise $1 million by the end of the election cycle. He also said he’s been in touch with Silverman.
“If Barack Obama doesn’t become the next president of the United States, I’m going to blame the Jews,” Silverman had threatened jokingly in the ’08 video.
Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008. Republican groups have committed major resources to winning away some of the support, especially in key swing states such as Florida. Moore’s group is part of the Democrats’ effort to push back.
Ari Wallach, the strategist behind the 2008 effort, announced that his frim, Synthesis Corp., will be playing a lead role this time around.