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Williamsburg, NY - Obama Campaign Hits Hasidic Sukkah Circuit

Published on: October 22, 2008 07:28 PM
By: Forward
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Williamsburg, NY - The Obama campaign plunged into the heart of the ultra-Orthodox community at a Sukkot event hosted by a rabbi in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, wearing a yarmulke with “my bubbe votes for Obama” written on it, spoke in a Sukkah with a delegation of rabbis and members from different ultra-Orthodox sects.
As at most Jewish Obama events, Nadler spoke about Obama’s pro-Israel credentials, but his campaign also talked about social services, which are a key issue for the ultra-Orthodox community.

“Other more affluent communities have less social issues than we do,” said Rabbi David Niederman, head of the United Jewish Organization, a community-wide advocacy organization in Williamsburg. “But for people here, social services are really important.”

The Obama campaign was invited to speak by a variety of Brooklyn Orthodox groups and took place at a Sukkah outside the home of Joseph Menczer, a rabbi from the Pupa Hasidic sect.

Williamsburg is a stronghold of Hasidic Jews who trace their roots to Hungary, including the neighborhood’s dominant sect, the Satmar Hasidim. The Satmar community traditionally votes en bloc by following the recommendations of its leader. Since the death of its grand rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, however, the community has been divided as two of his sons have feuded to take over leadership of the community.


One of the sons, Zalman Teitelbaum currently heads the Williamsburg-based branch, and the event took place before a Zalman-affiliated crowd. Another son, Aaron Teitelbaum leads the sect in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn and the enclave of Kiryas Joel, in upstate New York. The two camps split their endorsements in a state senate race earlier this year and it is still unclear who they will support in the presidential race.

Jeremy Goldberg, Obama’s Jewish outreach director for the tri-state area, said that the campaign had reached out to a variety of Hasidic communities, including the other main Satmar branch, and was working on holding similar events before the election.

“We firmly believe in trying to get every vote and that our platform resonates with everyone,” he said, adding that the campaign felt optimistic about getting support from the whole Satmar community.

Nadler focused his talk on foreign policy but the conversation quickly turned to social issues and what the Obama administration would do to ensure funding for education, healthcare and housing. Goldberg stressed that the Democratic presidential nominee had spelled out the importance of religious groups in education and vouched to make funding more transparent and accessible, especially for small religious organizations.

Niederman said that the community was waiting to hear from the McCain campaign and would then reach a decision, “through a vote.”
“We wanted to hear from them because there is an unknown aspect to this candidacy,” Niederman said. “The community leaders will get together and reach a decision.”


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Read Comments (17)  —  Post Yours »


 Oct 22, 2008 at 08:29 PM Mark Levin Says:

If his bubbe is voting for Osama, her alzheimers must be worse than they think. His tax plans will absolutly WRECK the American economy. You think you are seeing slow downs now??? Just wait till you pay more taxes, till employers pay more in raxes which means they WONT be hiring anyone new AND they will have to shed some employees to help pay the taxes!



 Oct 22, 2008 at 08:26 PM Anonymous Says:

What's the point of campaigning in Williamsburg?

I predict right now that the state of New York will go to.... Obama.


 Oct 22, 2008 at 08:11 PM Think frum Says:

Again stressing the fact that some chassidim will vote for who ever gives them more money!!!!

R' Avigdor Miller z'l

vote for those that are closer to jewish ideals.

When voting for the democrats your voting for more liberal views to be imposed on us.


 Oct 22, 2008 at 07:59 PM jsjcbs Says:

How could any Frum, self respecting Yid vote for Obama?


 Oct 22, 2008 at 08:40 PM MURRAY Says:

self-serving fools! You with large families ( Baruch Hashem) think mr obama will give you xtra food stamps, "free" healthcare, all kinds of goodies, so you would sacrifice the safety and security ( from McCain) of Israel just to feed at the (pigs suckling) trough of the libs. Oh yes you are right about that......they will fatten you up. What do you think the next step is after an animal is fattenned up---That will (G-d Forbid) be your fate. VOTE AND SUPPORT MCCAIN, BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.


 Oct 22, 2008 at 08:59 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #4  
jsjcbs Says:

How could any Frum, self respecting Yid vote for Obama?

News flash: Many chassidim are not self-respecting. They have created a socioeconomic culture that encourages, and almost enforces, excessive reliance upon government income support programs. In other words, they take taxpayers' money and live off of it. Of course they want Obama - he will keep enabling bottom-feeders such as these chassidim.


 Oct 22, 2008 at 09:15 PM Anonymous Says:

His Bubbe! It will not affect the econopy of Willy and BP. They run on a different set of economic ruled. :-)


 Oct 22, 2008 at 10:23 PM no words Says:

all i can say is this is sick. wut have we come to.. how can a frum yid vote for a liberal its just plane sick. wake up.


 Oct 22, 2008 at 10:46 PM Yankie from 13 Hopper Says:

I will vote for McCain !!!
He is going to win this race mark my words !!!


 Oct 22, 2008 at 11:02 PM Moshe Says:

I davin in Rodney all year, I will vote for McCain !!!


 Oct 23, 2008 at 01:07 AM Anonymous Says:

maybe thw willies are simply beting on the obvious winner


 Oct 23, 2008 at 01:07 AM SHMIEL GLASSMAN Says:

RELAX this has nothing to do with the presidential campaign ,ny will unfortunatly go to obama anyway ,this is not about votes as this is an annual sukka political stop and is done more for the lower level state officials


 Oct 23, 2008 at 01:44 AM chochem Says:

Reply to #16  

RELAX this has nothing to do with the presidential campaign ,ny will unfortunatly go to obama anyway ,this is not about votes as this is an annual sukka political stop and is done more for the lower level state officials

we will have to wait on till we can
shmoos it over in the mikve be for we can indorse


 Oct 23, 2008 at 10:03 AM deepthinker Says:

If I read this article right, it implies that our souls are for sale to the highest bidder.


 Oct 23, 2008 at 10:44 AM shnorer Says:

Finally Willie found a REAL anti-Israel candidate!


 Oct 23, 2008 at 11:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Nadler is 61 years old. How old is his bubbe -- 120?


 Oct 23, 2008 at 12:03 PM BH Says:

at least there are some frumme yidden who arent foooled by the falrse piety garbage of the neocon christian right


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