My father-in-law, Yaghoub Shofet, is a Persian Jew who was born and raised in Iran. He is from a rabbinic family. His father, and all his ancestors on his father’s side, were rabbis. His older brother, Chacham Yedidia Shofet, was the Chief Rabbi of Iran during the reign of the shah. Throughout his adult life, my father-in-law was a “loan broker.” He would introduce individuals who needed to borrow money to those who had money to lend, and would make a commission in the process. His clients included Jews and Muslims, both as lenders and as borrowers.
With Iran a hot topic in the U.S. presidential race this year, the candidates' foreign policy statements are being examined closely by everyone, not least the Iranian Jewish community. Comments by Democratic frontrunner Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), in particular, have left many Iranian Jews reluctant to support his candidacy.