New York - Female Chasidic Lawyer Announces Plans To Run For Open Brooklyn Civil Court Judge Position
Brooklyn, NY - A Chasidic woman from Borough Park has set her sights on becoming a Brooklyn civil court justice, hoping to be voted into the spot on the bench vacated by Noach Dear who was elected to a 15 year State Supreme Court term this past November.
Ruchie Freier, a lawyer who has spent the last several years helping an all-female volunteer ambulance corps get off the ground, said that she has long dreamed of a judgeship.
“Advocating for the little guy has always been my passion,” Mrs. Freier told VIN News. “People ask me why I want to do this, but there is no why. This is how I was created and if you ask my sisters, they will tell you that even as a kid I was always sticking up for everyone else, speaking up when I felt something had to be corrected.”
Mrs. Freier, the mother of six, has a long history of advocacy. She established B’Derech over seven years ago to help young men in the Chasidic community who were slipping through the cracks in the yeshiva system, providing them with educational opportunities and a GED vocational program. When a group of women approached Mrs. Freier six years ago asking her to spearhead their effort to create the all women’s Ezras Nashim ambulance company, she jumped on board without a moment’s hesitation.
“It was an opportunity to speak for women who felt they didn’t have a voice,” said Mrs. Freier. “As I have matured in my legal profession I have found that my persona wasn’t a good fit for the big corporations. I am there for the regular person, the guy who needs help buying a house, or the boy who can’t get into a yeshiva. Those are the footsteps I want to continue to walk in, only this time as a civil court judge.”
Mrs. Freier will be facing off in the Democratic primary on September 13th against Mordechai Avigdor for the seat formerly held by Dear in the Fifth Municipal Court District which includes Borough Park, Ditmas Park, Kensington and several surrounding areas. Avigdor, a Flatbush resident, is the former counsel to Agudath Israel of America.
Having two Orthodox Jewish candidates going head to head in the primary will likely result in a tight race.
“I have worked with both candidates in different capacities for a great number of years and have tremendous respect for them both,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “I think that each of them would make a great civil court judge.”
Mrs. Freier said she doesn’t believe that gender will be an issue when it comes to the election.
“There may be some who won’t want to vote for a woman but I think it really depends on the person,” said Mrs. Freier. “People said the same thing when I started my law practice and while there were those who didn’t come, there were many more who did. I need to know that I tried my best and I am running on my track record of doing the right thing and being there for the small person who needs someone to speak up for them.”
With several female judges already serving in the city’s civil court system, a female presidential candidate vying for a spot on the Democratic ticket and Devorah the prophetess setting a biblical precedent as a female judge, Mrs. Freier noted that having women taking on influential roles is nothing new.
Mrs. Freier is already in the process of acquiring volunteers for her upcoming campaign and hopes to begin collecting signatures for the required petitions in June. She hopes that other Orthodox women will follow in her footsteps and pursue their dreams.
“It may take longer and be harder because of your familial obligations but if you want to do something, don’t let anything stand in your way,” said Mrs. Freier.
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