For black Jews, Obama represented an America of multiple identities

President Barack Obama holding up 4-year-old Kylie Schmitter to light a menorah as Kylie’s sister Lainey looks on during a Hanukkah reception at the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, D.C., Dec. 5, 2013. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — On Election Day 2008, Marcella White Campbell remembers her 4-year-old son playing in front of the TV, repeating the name of the man who would soon become the first African-American president of the United States.

“He was running around and rolling the name Barack Obama on his tongue,” said Campbell, managing editor of Be’chol Lashon, a group that advocates for Jews of color. “I remember looking at him and thinking, this is this biracial man who may be president of the United States. He’s trying to get around this moment and figure out what it means to him. I couldn’t even imagine how exciting it would be for my kids.”