How the Hasidic Jewish Community Became a Political Force in New York

Author: Yuvi October 30, 2022 How the Hasidic Jewish Community Became a Political Force in New York

Their former leader, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, fled Eastern Europe after escaping a concentration camp and settled in Williamsburg. Satmar leaders believed that the United States represented a “state of grace,” said David N. Myers, a history professor at UCLA and a Hasidic community in New York’s Hudson Valley, about Kiryas Joel. co-author of a book.

The leaders sought benefits – housing and other subsidies – and quickly realized they needed to understand how to navigate the political system, concluding that “this was the American way and they needed to preserve their communities.” It needed to be done,” Mr. Myers said.

The Hasidic community began to build a careful relationship with elected officials from the 1950s, when Rabbi Teitelbaum was appointed by Mayor Robert F. Found similar ground with Wagner Jr.

A pivotal moment came in 1991 when the Crown Heights riots rocked the city.

Violence and chaos was almost unimaginable. Overnight, the streets of Brooklyn had turned into war zones, pitting groups of Hasidic Jews against mostly black men – what some saw as the Hasidic community receiving preferential treatment from the police and the city. Been complaining about it for a long time. Racial and anti-Semitic themes filled the air, along with rocks and bottles thrown.

A black child was fatally killed by a police-led convoy of Lubawicher Grand Rebe, and in the scuffle that followed, an Australian Hasidic scholar was stabbed to death. Hasidic leaders in Brooklyn urged city officials for more police intervention and protection, but help did not arrive until a few days later.

Two years later, those wounds were still enough to excite Hasidic voters who rallied around Republican mayoral candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr Giuliani played on the widely held belief that his opponent, Mayor David N. Dinkins did not act quickly enough to quell the violence, which Mr Giuliani portrayed as a “pogrom”.

The community voted as a unified bloc, developing a political voice and muscle that it had not displayed before, recalled Dov Hikind, a longtime Democratic state legislature member of the conservative community.

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at

30 October, 2022, 2:30 pm

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