(UPDATES BELOW) After eight years of Republican rule, Barack Obama turned Wednesday to the task of building a Democratic administration to lead the country out of war and into the financial recovery that he promised.
Jewish Congressman Rahm Emanuel (Illinois) has been tapped as White House chief of staff, according to reports. In that post, Emanuel will help manage the selections to come.
A “knowledgeable source” told ABC News, has not yet given his answer.
Emanuel, who worked in President Clinton’s White House and is now a member of the House Democratic leadership, was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1959. His father, the Yerushalayim-born Benjamin M. Emanuel, was a member of the Irgun, the Zionist paramilitary organization. Growing up in Chicago, Emanuel attended the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School.
Obama planned to spend the rest of the week at home in Chicago, turning in earnest to reviewing the hiring decisions he’ll have to make in the next two-and-a-half months. Campaign advisers have already presented him with names to review for key positions, but they said he wasn’t focused on filling the jobs before winning the election.
Obama also faces intensive national security briefings that will prepare him to take over as commander in chief.
UPDATE: Sources tell FOX News that Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel has accepted the job of White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration.
Emanuel is the son of an Israeli father, a physician, who moved to the United States before he was born. His mom, Martha, who was born in the United States, works for a civil rights organization.
Rahm does not speak Hebrew fluently, but it is reported that he served in the IDF. His father was a member of the Irgun Tzvai Leumi in the pre-state days.
Emanuel received his Jewish education at a Conservative school, and he spoke Hebrew at home with his father. He also served as a policy advisor to former US President Bill Clinton.
(Sources: Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel / ABC / CBS)