The Conspiracy

Catholic Leader Chosen; Jews Want Jewish Connection

Wait– is that a kippah? Jewish connection!

In a winning moment for my boss, JTA sent out a News Alert on Wednesday that he had predicted hours earlier. Said boss, a certain David A.M. Wilensky, posted this on his Facebook wall at 3:21 PM, about an hour after the new pope was named:

In Jewish newsrooms the world over: The new pope is Argentinian? They have a significant Jewish population, right? Does he have Jewish relatives? Does he have Nazi relatives? Was he a Nazi who fled to South America after…. And so forth.

Of course, he was absolutely correct. (And no, I’m not angling for a raise. Though I wouldn’t say no to one, either.) At 5:27 PM, I got JTA’s news alert with the headline “New pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, has Jewish connections.” Of course.

The article was actually an impressive feat of journalism, cataloguing a myriad of examples of Pope Francis’ good relationships with the Jewish community in South America, and pulling it all together mere hours after the surprise announcement of his selection. And it makes sense that Jewish readers are interested in the Jewish angle to the most powerful religious leader in the world.

I guess I’m just surprised my boss was right about something.

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