First Hasidic Jew Elected to Public Office in New York

The first Hasidic Jew to be elected to a public office in New York City is Rabbi Yisrael Rosenfeld, a member of the Lubavitch movement who has been for many years executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council in Brooklyn.

Rosenfeld was elected district leader for the 43rd Assembly District in the September 23 primary, making him a member of the state committee. He was elected as one of the candidates put forward by the Brooklyn Hasidic area’s first political action committee. Rosenfeld said the political action committee had the formal name of the Committee for Community Unity.

He, said this was the first time such a political action committee had been organized for the Crown Heights voters. He said three other candidates packed by the new political action committee also were elected. Mary Pinkett was elected to the city council. Joan Gill was elected state committee woman and Marty Markowitz was reelected State Senator. The candidate for State Assembly, Ozzie Fletcher, lost. Asked whether his duties as an elected official might hamper his work as community council executive director, Rosenfeld told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “on the contrary, it will help. I will continue to do as a district leader what I have been doing as executive director, but my elective post should give me more clout in serving the Crown Heights community.”

Asked whether the primary election choice did not have to run in the November general elections, Rosenfeld said that he and Ms. Gill were named in the primary as Democratic members of the state committee. He added that Markowitz, the State Senatorial candidate, and Ms. Pinkett, the City Council candidate, had won in the Democratic primary and that, in his district, winning the Democratic primary was tantamount to election, Republicans being a minimal political factor.

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