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New York - Hikind Urges Board Of Elections To Translate Voter Registration Materials Into Yiddish

Published on: December 7, 2015 02:30 PM
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Assemblyman Dov Hikind is pictured with voter registration forms that were mailed to his office in various languages, except one—Yiddish.Assemblyman Dov Hikind is pictured with voter registration forms that were mailed to his office in various languages, except one—Yiddish.

New York - New York Assemblyman Dov Hkind fired off a letter to the New York City Board of Elections on Monday requesting that the board start providing such forms in Yiddish in order to serve the thousands of Yiddish-speaking New Yorkers.

“There are voter registrations forms in Bengali, why not Yiddish? Everyone talks about how important it is to register to vote. There are thousands of Yiddish-speakers in my district and New York State,” Hikind said.

In his letter to NYC Board of Elections President Michael Michel, Hikind wrote, “Making voter registration forms available in Yiddish will encourage native speakers of the language to register to vote by making the process more comfortable, inviting, and user-friendly.”

“I invite you to take a look at any newsstand near my office, where you will see dozens of Yiddish language newspapers, magazines, and other publications, attesting to the vibrancy and every day usage of the language,” the letter stated. “As another Election Day draws closer, ballots and other materials generated by the Board of Elections, as well as information on the website, will continue to be displayed only in Bengali,Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. The voter registration handbook was even translated into Russian. But there are no Yiddish voting materials. This is a shanda—a disgrace—and totally unacceptable.”

In conclusion, Hikind wrote, “We need to expand voter registration opportunities to the thousands of Kings County residents whose primary language is Yiddish, especially in communities in my district such as Borough Park and Midwood, as well as Crown Heights, Kensington, and Williamsburg.”


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Read Comments (14)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 07, 2015 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Learn to read English!

2

 Dec 07, 2015 at 04:39 PM shvigger Says:

What for?

3

 Dec 07, 2015 at 02:47 PM Realist77 Says:

What is sad is that the majority of the Yiddish speaking population was actually born in the USA. G-d forbid they learn English while living in the USA.

4

 Dec 07, 2015 at 02:55 PM Andrew Says:

How about translating into Yiddish the New York State law that mandates the secular education each child is required to receive.

There is a good chance that someone speaking Bengali is not educated (and -- probably should not be voting for that reason). But any Yiddish speaking Jew who is not sufficiently proficient in English to navigate the voting rules is a further indictment on the hareidi education system that skirts New York State laws, violating them with impunity.

That Dov Hikind is aiding this put him clearly as being a part of the problem. (And really, many problems in that community.)

No news there.

5

 Dec 07, 2015 at 03:10 PM ComeOn Says:

Hikind has it backwards like most other Democrats. We don't need to add ballots in Yiddish, we need to remove all other languages other than English.
If someone can't read it, they can't vote. Makes no difference if your rich or poor.

6

 Dec 07, 2015 at 03:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Learn to read English!

" Learn to read English!"

Why? They get everything for free anyhow. Learning to read English is forbidden in New Square.

7

 Dec 07, 2015 at 04:10 PM Abe Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Learn to read English!

If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. If they can translate it in Spanish, Chinese, Russian and other languages, why not Yiddish? Are we eppes second class citizens?

8

 Dec 07, 2015 at 05:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Abe Says:

If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. If they can translate it in Spanish, Chinese, Russian and other languages, why not Yiddish? Are we eppes second class citizens?

There are thousands of new immigrants to the US who speak Spanish, Chinese, Russian and other languages. How many of the Yiddish speakers are second-, third-, or even fourth-generation Americans?

9

 Dec 07, 2015 at 06:25 PM The_Truth Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

There are thousands of new immigrants to the US who speak Spanish, Chinese, Russian and other languages. How many of the Yiddish speakers are second-, third-, or even fourth-generation Americans?

There are thousands of 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation Americans who speak Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Urdu & who knows what else other languages - and the state department, and City of NY publish all their public documents & forms in multiple languages. Yiddish should be no exception, especially in NY.

10

 Dec 07, 2015 at 07:57 PM yaakov doe Says:

If they came from outside of the US his request might have some validity. But shouldn't US citizens born here be able to understand enough English to vote as they are instructed? Hikind is again pandering. I never understood how those who need foreign language ballots could be well enough informed on the issues to cast an intelligent vote, anyway.

11

 Dec 07, 2015 at 09:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
yaakov doe Says:

If they came from outside of the US his request might have some validity. But shouldn't US citizens born here be able to understand enough English to vote as they are instructed? Hikind is again pandering. I never understood how those who need foreign language ballots could be well enough informed on the issues to cast an intelligent vote, anyway.

Let's say that someone made aliyah. They now are an Israeli citizen, and they speak Hebrew pretty well, enough to know the candidates and to know the issues. However, they are given a ballot and instructions on how to vote, but they aren't 100% fluent in Hebrew. Would it be improper for them to want to have the instructions translated so that they would be 100% sure that they were doing the right thing? Taking this further, wouldn't it be a shame if their grandchildren still weren't fluent enough in Hebrew to be able to vote properly?

12

 Dec 07, 2015 at 09:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
The_Truth Says:

There are thousands of 2nd, 3rd & 4th generation Americans who speak Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Urdu & who knows what else other languages - and the state department, and City of NY publish all their public documents & forms in multiple languages. Yiddish should be no exception, especially in NY.

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Americans who speak Spanish, Chinese, etc., also speak English. It's a shanda that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation Americans who speak Yiddish can NOT speak English.

13

 Dec 08, 2015 at 12:33 AM lazerx Says:

Reply to #3  
Realist77 Says:

What is sad is that the majority of the Yiddish speaking population was actually born in the USA. G-d forbid they learn English while living in the USA.

“ What is sad is that the majority of the Yiddish speaking population was actually born in the USA. G-d forbid they learn English while living in the USA. ”
It is not sad, it is stooopid! that so many frum machers think that speaking Yiddish makes them frummer than thou, and not knowing English enhances their frum macher status.
But it is certainly true. No one come to US knowing only Yiddish. Even the creeps in Meah Shariim know Ivrit and some even know English.

14

 Dec 08, 2015 at 09:16 AM maitiv Says:

A complete waste of taxpayer money. The Heimishe Oilam can get by in English even if they are more comfortable in Yiddish. This is called "pandering" and is Mr. Hikind's way of telling the chassidishe that he is their buddy even though he wears a different kind of headgear.

15

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