Judge Calls For Re-Vote In Embattled Ramapo

Cites ‘egregious’ ballot errors, confusion at polls in suburb known for large chasidic Jewish population; town to appeal

10/07/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Last week, the suburban town of Ramapo held a referendum aimed at lessening the political influence of the town’s growing contingent of Orthodox and chasidic Jews. This week a judge invalidated the ballots and called for a new election.

Images from a pamphlet in favor of Ramapo's referendum.

Results Signal Anger At — And Among — Orthodox Jews

Rare ballot initiative seeks to curb political influence of Rockland's growing charedi community.

09/29/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Update, Sept. 30, 11:25 p.m.: According to The Journal News, amid claims of voter confusion and fraud, a judge has ordered the Rockland County Board of Elections to impound all referendum vote ballots. No official results will be released before Oct. 10. 


A page from a mailing from a group calling itself “Vadd [sic] Lihatzulas Monsey” (Committee to Save Monsey) urging a yes vote.

Chasidic Pol Concedes After Absentee Ballot Count

Aron Wieder, first ultra-Orthodox Jew to run for a state legislature, loses by razor-thin margin.

09/17/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Aron Wieder, believed to be the first chasidic candidate in the U.S. to run for a state legislature, conceded yesterday night in an assembly race so close that it came down to the absentee ballots.

The 40-year-old Spring Valley resident lost by 61 votes, The Journal News reported, less than 2 percent, in a three-way race for the Democratic nomination for a rare open seat in the New York State Assembly’s 98th District.

State Sen. David Carlucci, Aron Wieder and E. Ramapo soccer players at the Haitian Unity Parade in May. Courtesy of Aron Wieder

Whither Jewish Clout In Corridors Of Power?

Amid declining Jewish caucus in Congress, rising concerns over communal influence.

09/15/2014 - 20:00

Washington — From 31 in 2009 to a likely 19 in January, the unofficial Jewish caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives is shrinking fast.

Clockwise from top left, John Yarmuth, Nita Lowey, Jerrold Nadler, Henry Waxman, Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. Via house.gov

Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh’s First Jewish Mayor, Dies At 96

08/18/2014 - 20:00

Sophie Masloff, the first Jewish mayor of Pittsburgh as well as the first female to lead the city, has died.

Tea Party Too Close For Jewish Comfort?

Cantor’s loss, isolationist foreign policy and Jews in the GOP.

06/17/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rep. Eric Cantor’s surprise loss in a primary election last week will leave Congress without a Republican Jewish member and pro-Israel organizations without one of their strongest advocates on Capitol Hill, but it will likely not diminish support for the Jewish community’s legislative agenda, political observers said this week.

Cantor silenced: The Virginia Republican was defeated by a Tea Party candidate.  Getty Images

Did Religion Play Role In Cantor’s Defeat?

Cultural factors seen influencing Tea Party voters in suburbs outside of Richmond.

06/10/2014 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Rep. Eric Cantor’s loss a Tea Party-backed challenger Tuesday night in a shocking Republican primary upset was caused, in part, by his Jewish identity, says a political observer.

Cantor's religion made it harder to connect to the Christian, far-right voters in his new district. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

New York Adjusts Candidate Petition Dates For Shavuot

05/13/2014 - 20:00

New York State moved up the launch of petition drives for primary candidates because the original date fell during Shavuot.

Private Schools Get A Subcommittee

What Orthodox councilman’s new body can — and can’t — achieve for day schools.

01/23/2014 - 19:00
Staff Writer

Private schools now have their own City Council subcommittee, chaired by an Orthodox councilman from Midwood.

There’s no doubt Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s subcommittee will give private schools of all stripes more attention at City Hall. But it’s not clear that will translate into cold hard cash.

Private schools now have their own subcommittee on the City Council. Photo courtesy of Mazel Day School

City Council Bill Would Prevent Regulation Of Circumcision

Councilman Greenfield calls Board of Health interference "outrageous."
09/15/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Correspondent

Citing freedom of religion, Councilman David Greenfield has introduced legislation prohibiting the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Board of Health from taking any formal action against the controversial practice of metzitzah b’peh. 

The legislation, introduced at the Sept. 12 City Council meeting, has since been referred to the Health Committee for hearings. It addresses the Board of Health's requirement last year that mohelim obtain written consent from parents before performing the oral suction practice, which has been linked to dangerous infection.

Cut it out: Consent requirement for circumcision practice intrudes on religious practice, pol says. Getty Images
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