Politics and Money: High Stakes Jewish Engagement

Follow the money! One of the keys to studying a political campaign is to identify the “flow” of financial support for a candidate. Then, why is it that so much Jewish money remains on the sidelines for the 2012 Presidential Election? In 2008 candidates in both parties were receiving significantly more Jewish financial attention at this stage in the campaign, so what accounts for this different storyline?

Boteach’s Kosher Candidacy

Celebrity rabbi vows to bring Jewish values to Congress.

Associate Editor

The faith-based campaign that has become so frequent in Republican races across the country is echoed locally with the Bergen County GOP endorsement of Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for Congress in northern New Jersey. The Chabad-trained rabbi says he’s running as a Republican because he believes in smaller government, but adds that his politics are driven by his Judaism — and there’s nothing small about that.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s.

Could Turner Threaten Gillibrand?

The Republican who parlayed Orthodox anti-Obama sentiment into a House victory, now has his eyes on the Senate.

Staff Writer

The decision of Rep. Bob Turner (R-Queens) to jump into the race against Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday caught many political observers by surprise and suddenly made Gillibrand’s quest for re-election anything but a cakewalk, according to analysts.

“It was like throwing a grenade into the race,” said one Republican insider. “It really shakes everything up.”

Rep. Bob Turner announced Tuesday that he is challenging incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for her New York seat.

In First Primary Battleground, Jews Are Non-Factor

A Jewish Republican in New Hampshire seems to be a rare commodity.

Assistant Managing Editor

As the nation’s political attention pivots from Iowa to New Hampshire this week, Rabbi Levi Krinsky, the emissary of Chabad Lubavitch in Manchester for the past 22 years, is feeling a little lonely.

Without a Democratic primary fight, the Jews of this fiercely independent state, who number about 10,000, aren’t being courted as heavily as they used to.

“This is the quietest [primary] I can remember,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. Of the small Jewish population, even a smaller number are Republicans, judging by national trends.

Romney, Santorum Say They Would Vote For Paul If He Wins Nomination


Two Republican presidential candidates said they would vote for Rep. Ron Paul if he wins the GOP nomination.

Mitt Romney, considered a frontrunner, and Rick Santorum, now undergoing a late surge in polls in Iowa, both told CNN in recent days that they would vote for Paul if he were to secure the nomination.

Why Should We Care About The Religious Views of Our Candidates?

Jewish Week Online Columnist


As the Presidential race progresses, once again the role of religion in politics has re-emerged as a common tension that cannot be dismissed. American Jews have often feared bringing religion into the political discourse out of fear of anti-Semitism, but this concern has hopefully lessened since Senator Lieberman was a serious Presidential candidate while being open about his traditional Jewish practices and perspectives. In our commitment to build a just society, we have an imperative to ask questions about the religious views of our politicians.

Rabbi Yanklowitz is Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek, Director of Jewish Life and Senior Jewish Educator at UCLA Hillel.

Republicans Eye Brooklyn Jewish ‘Superdistrict’

Reapportionment process could help GOP cash in on gains in south of borough.

Assistant Managing Editor

In their bid to hold the majority, state Senate Republicans seem to be fixed on giving residents of one of New York’s most heavily Jewish areas what they want: A superdistrict.

The GOP now holds a razor-thin Senate majority after last year’s elections, but redistricting next year will create new opportunities since several downstate districts will need to be expanded.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, above, reportedly wants ex-Councilman Simcha Felder to run for Senate as a Republican.

A Unity Pledge That Backfired (Proving Its Point)

Editor And Publisher

Speaking at the annual Anti-Defamation League meeting in New York last week, a senior official of the Obama White House warned that “harm could come” from turning differences over Mideast policy between the U.S. and Israel into “election-year talking points.”

Gary Rosenblatt

Cantor: Wall Street Protest Will Help GOP Gain Jews

Majority leader says Democratic support of movement will ‘aggravate and divide’; sees two-state solution jeopardized by lack of Palestinian recognition.

Assistant Managing Editor

The legions of protestors around the nation demanding more economic parity, coupled with anger over the Obama administration’s Israel policies, will drive more Jews to vote Republican next year, said the Jewish majority leader of the House, who recently referred to those protestors derisively as a “growing mob.”

Rep. Eric Cantor, left, was in New York on Sunday to participate in a panel discussion with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, right.

Are Rabbis Giving Up on Israel? A Provocative New Study

The Conservative movement recently conducted a survey of hundreds of its rabbis and the results are in: on the whole, they're as committed to Israel as they've ever been, although younger rabbis have more liberal views about the state than they've used to.  The purpose behind this survey is clear: to assure anxious Jewish leaders that, contra the skeptics, Israel remains as vital a part of Jewish life as ever.

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