The Great Schlep Gets Results

The Jewish Council for Education and Research may claim some of the credit for Barack Obama’s success in the 2008 US elections, due to the Great Schlep campaign featuring Jewish comedienne Sarah Silverman. Ari Wallach and Mik Moore, the co-founders of The Great Schlep and, came out publicly in support of Barack Obama and with the support of NY advertising agency Droga5 and comic Sarah Silverman, encouraged fellow Jews to follow their lead.

Sarah Silverman and Barack Obama in The Great Schlep

Sarah Silverman appeared in an online video to appeal to other Jewish voters in her generation, encouraging them to think about the influence they have with their grandparents. She introduced the concept of The Great Schlep (a reference to the Yiddish word for long arduous journey), encouraging Jewish grandchildren to visit their grandparents in Florida and educate them about Obama, thus swinging the crucial Florida vote in his favor. The campaign reached out to others as well. “Don’t have grandparents in Florida? Not Jewish? No problem! You can still become a Schlepper and make change happen in 2008, simply by talking to your relatives about Obama.”

Click on the image below to play the video.

And the result? Florida: Obama 51 – McCain 49. Jewish vote: Obama 78 – McCain 21.

The Great Schlep

The Great Schlep site included ObamaTravel, the Great Schlep Facebook group, Great Schlep merchandise at CafePress, and a downloadable pdf document with ideas for conversation about Obama.


The Great Schlep campaign was developed at Droga5, New York, by chief creative officer David Droga, executive creative directors Ted Royer and Dunan Marshall, interactive creative director Scott Witt, copywriter Sarah Silverman, creatives Jeff Anderson, Isaac Silverglate and Kenny Kim, and agency executive producer Craig Batzofin.

Filming was shot by director Wayne McClammy (from The Sarah Silverman Program) via Oil Factory with director of photography Rhet Bear, producer Stephanie Meurer, executive producer Heiri Herzon, with editor Josh Reynolds.