Rash of recent prosecutions may leave community open to political backlash.
Assistant Managing Editor
In the wake of recent scandals involving local Orthodox Jews, some sociologists think there could soon be a backlash against the political power of what has long been one of the most sought-after voting blocs.
“Situations like this have a cumulative effect,” said William Helmreich, a professor of sociology at City College and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College.
Rabbi Allen Schwartz recalls Chaim Regensberg as a family man who hosted fundraisers in his Upper West Side home for charities in Israel or for Congregation Ohab Zedek, where he was an active member.
“I always thought he was an honest guy, upright in all areas,” said Ohab Zedek’s rabbi, who has known Regensberg for about 10 years. “But something happened, he got in over his head and instead of coming clean immediately, it got worse.”