“It was something we considered long ago, like many Jewish parents.” Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up Shapiro acknowledged it was somewhat unusual for him to remain in country after his service.
But his ties to Israel are much more than professional.
It turned out, he said, that he and Obama shared similar political views: They are both consensus-minded progressives when it comes to the US, and strong supporters of a two-state solution in Israel — in part to ensure Israel’s Jewish and democratic character.
Between 20, they had a daughter and adopted two others from Guatemala.
Sometimes, the couple plotted ways to spend a year in Israel, waiting for a time when the kids were old enough to “really get something out of it, as I did,” Shapiro said.
The six years he spent representing the Obama administration here were part of a lifelong commitment to the country.
Shapiro first visited in 1973, when he was 4 years old.
But he stressed the importance of serving the entire country. I spent more than 20 years of my life in government service, which I’m very proud of and was very content to do.
Shapiro made an unprecedented effort to do this, regularly appearing in mainstream, national religious and haredi media. He has written opinion articles, including one for Foreign Affairs laying out some of the potential benefits of a well-managed move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I can’t understand why he can’t condemn blatant anti-Semitism when he sees it.” Asked if he is enjoying speaking his mind, Shapiro laughed and gave a diplomatic answer. But of course it comes with the built-in restriction that you articulate publicly the policy of the people you work for,” he said.Those plans were set aside during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008, though they did manage a “great” family trip to Israel after the Democratic primaries, he said.Shapiro was one of many Chicago-area Jews who advised Obama when he was a Democratic US senator for Illinois, including on his first trip to Israel in 2006, and worked on the campaign.He and his wife, along with their three daughters, are living within commuting distance, in a rental house in an upscale neighborhood of Raanana.The plan is to stay for “a number of months,” Shapiro said in an interview next to his backyard pool, which he hopes to get a chance to use this summer, and not to immigrate.I think it’s a little different for a non-Jewish person.” After serving several years as a Middle East advisor on the National Security Council, Shapiro in 2011 was appointed ambassador to Israel.