Struggling to gain momentum in his fledgling Senate bid, Republican Rep. Rick Lazio faces a dilemma as he seeks support among Jews.
His decision: focus on his own record and positions on Israel and other issues, or go for the political jugular by attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton on controversial positions she has taken.
In 1993, when a delegation of Jewish leaders and elected officials visited Israel on a trip sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, William Rapfogel found himself in frequent conversation with Rick Lazio.
A former Suffolk County prosecutor who had just been elected to Congress, Lazio had a lot to say about Israel and the Mideast peace process.
In attacking radical Independence Party activist Lenora Fulani as anti-Semitic this week, Hillary Rodham Clinton has taken a step forgone by three previous Democratic Senate candidates: two of whom are Jewish.
As City Councilman Noach Dear contemplates a second bid to win one of the nation's most heavily Jewish congressional districts, incumbent Rep. Anthony Weiner is making inroads in Dear's political backyard.
Angered by Dear's siding with the police after the controversial shooting of a disturbed Borough Park man in August, some of his former supporters are now backing Weiner for re-election.
As Gov. George Pataki intensifies his efforts to be seen as a moderate Republican on the national stage, Jewish activists seeking passage of bias crime legislation are hopeful he will make an unprecedented push for such a bill.
Although the bill has been stalled in the Republican-controlled state Senate for years (while the Assembly has repeatedly passed its version) Senate Democrats are preparing to push for a vote on the measure in early April.
Nine months after he bolted the Republican Party to become a Democrat, Long Island Rep. Mike Forbes is no longer viewed as the most strident pro-Israel hawk in the House, seeming to settle instead into the Clinton administration's peace camp.
The politically connected Brooklyn rabbi who has steered most of the city's day care vouchers toward Orthodox neighborhoods is now setting his sights on contracts for Head Start and day care centers, he told The Jewish Week.
"We are still experiencing an imbalance, if not in the voucher area, then in the day care and Head Start area," said Rabbi Milton Balkany, dean of the Bais Yakov of Brooklyn in Borough Park. "I want to correct that imbalance."
The commemoration of Rev. Martin Luther King's legacy brought anything but harmony this week to the U.S. Senate race, as the campaigns of Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton waged a war of words.
And again, Jews were in the eye of the storm.
Clinton, apparently employing lessons learned from her recent West Bank foray, promptly denounced a controversial remark about Jews made during her visit Monday to the Harlem headquarters of Rev. Al Sharpton.
Amid speculation that Mayor Rudolph Giuliani would dump his top campaign aide, who faces questions in a state and federal investigation, the mayor did the opposite this week. He named Bruce Teitelbaum as manager of his Senate campaign, if and when he decides to run.
The head of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Senate exploratory committee is vehemently denying a published report last week that chasidim are being pressured to cough up campaign contributions, or lose the grants and programs on which many of their communities depend.