A few weeks ago, Gov. George Pataki traveled to Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park to symbolically "sign" a measure requiring insurers to cover the cost of treatments for infertility: a measure of great interest to the Orthodox Jewish community.
State Sen. Eric Schneiderman easily fended off a challenge in which his religion was made an issue in Tuesday's Democratic primary for a Senate district that includes parts of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
But another politician who often touted his Jewishness lost a five-way primary for a newly created Senate seat in Brooklyn.
It'll be a happier new year for President George W. Bush, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and City Comptroller Bill Thompson than for Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Charles Rangel and the Clintons.
That's the verdict (with a disagreement or two) from a panel of experts consulted by The Jewish Week for a political roundup of 2002, and a forecast for the year just begun.
Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel is white and Jewish. His likely opponent in September's Democratic primary, state Sen. Larry Seabrook, is African American. Both candidates insist that difference should play no role in the campaign. But Seabrook, in numerous newspaper interviews, has been saying it is "time to elect a black congressman" to represent the heavily minority Bronx-Westchester district, leading Engel to accuse him of duplicity.
Over the past few months, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been quietly visiting Jewish communities that have traditionally supported more conservative candidates, seeking to address concerns about her record on Israel and other issues.
The forays into areas of Brooklyn and Queens were described by one source as a "mini-listening tour" intended to offer the first lady and Senate hopeful a "different perspective" on Jewish issues than those of some of her longtime Jewish associates, who have ties to the dovish Americans for Peace Now and Israel Policy Forum.
In his overwhelming victory Tuesday, Eliot Spitzer made history as the first Jewish Democrat nominated for governor in more than 60 years.
If he prevails over Republican John Faso in November’s general election, hewould be the state’s second Jewish governor and the first since HerbertLehman served from 1932 to 1948.
With the mayoral race in its infancy, the two leading candidates are making early pitches for support among chasidic voters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg paid a visit last week to the grave of the late Lubavitcher rebbe, while a likely challenger, Democrat Fernando Ferrer, prominently featured a photo of himself with Williamsburg chasidim on his campaign Web site.
In Ferrer’s case, the move backfired when two men in the picture objected, saying the photo implied an endorsement, highly premature at this stage.
With New York emerging as a key battleground in next week’s Super Tuesday presidential primaries, supporters of the top two Democratic contenders are stepping up Jewish outreach efforts here.
Jewish advisers to John Kerry of Massachusetts, a 19-year veteran in the Senate, kicked off a focus group on Tuesday to work on polishing his image.
At the same time, supporters of North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who has been on the national political scene for five years and represents a state with a minuscule Jewish population, are working on raising his profile.
Turn on the TV in Brooklyn or Long Island and you’ll see former mayor Ed Koch praising Sen. Al D’Amato as “a real mensch.” Or you may see Holocaust survivor Estelle Sapir ask God to bless the Republican for helping her retrieve her father’s plundered fortune from Swiss bankers.