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Chicago meets “Bear Jew”

Gabe Carimi, Katie Nachreiner, Hannah Carimi, Gabe Carimi, Alayne Carimi, Sanford Carimi

Chicago Bears first round draft choice Gabe Carimi poses for pictures with his family including, from left, girlfried Katie Nachreiner, left, sister Hannah Carimi, and parents Alayne and Sanford Carimi during an NFL news conference at Halas Hall on Saturday, April 30, 2011 in Lake Forest, Ill.(AP Photo/Charles Cherney)


All first round picks get noticed, but Bears tackle Gabe Carimi looks destined to get extra attention in Chicago because of his upbringing.

After all, he is the “Bear Jew.”

Carimi’s nickname comes from the movie Inglourious Basterds, but it’s not the first nickname he had because of his faith. In college, where he once fasted before a game against Purdue because of Yom Kippur, he was called the “Jewish Hammer.”

The Chicago Jewish community is fired up with Carimi’s arrival in town. He has been written about plenty by Jewish organizations and was featured in a kickoff parade of the Great Jewish Family Festival on Sunday. The locals think he’ll be the best Jewish player since Sid Luckman. (O.J. Simpson? Not a Jew.)

“It shows that Jews are not just scrawny little people,” Dovid Weingrow, 11, told the Chicago Tribune. “Jews can go far [in sports].”

I’m proof that Jews can still be scrawny little people and not go far in sports. (Although Florio would say I don’t count since I haven’t been to temple in my life.)

Carimi, on the other hand, embraces his faith.

“I find it extremely easy to balance my religion and my job,” Carimi said.