Good morning, New York. Yesterday was a big news day, with the resignation announcement of Gov. Cuomo and the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Sen. Chuck Schumer said will bring NYC “more money than we’ve ever seen for infrastructure from the federal government.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned Tuesday, a week after a state investigation concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women.
- The Jewish Week profiles his successor, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will become New York’s first woman governor when Cuomo’s resignation takes effect in two weeks. Local leaders said she has been attentive on antisemitism and other Jewish communal affairs.
- “Although she was lieutenant governor, she wasn’t an insider and cannot be held accountable for the governor’s tsuris,” said political consultant Ezra Friedlander.
- Despite his strong-arm tactics, Cuomo enjoyed a warm working relationship with Jews across the denominational spectrum.
- Flashback: Read how a sex scandal involving a previous New York governor, Eliot Spitzer, paved the way for David Paterson to become the state’s first African American chief executive.
- U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Manhattan) called it a “meaningful step forward for New York. There can be no tolerance for a culture of sexual harassment in the highest levels of our government. I thank the women who had the courage to tell the truth.”
- U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Long Island), who hoped to face a humbled Cuomo in the 2022 governor’s race, said “we must rid New York of the Cuomo-Hochul administration and its disgraceful legacy.”
- New York State Assembly Member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) said Cuomo’s decision to resign is “a necessary step that will allow the State government to function effectively, and it sets the precedent that sexual harassment will not be tolerated at any level.”
- State Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) said Hochul “has often been called an Honorary Long Islander because she spends so much time here fighting for issues that matter to us.”
- The liberal New York Jewish Agenda tweeted that it called on Cuomo to resign last March, “stating that his continuing in office despite the serious and credible allegations lodged against him by credible women was an affront to our values.”
- UJA-Federation of New York wished Hochul “enormous success as she steps up to lead New York State. We stand ready to work with her to address the needs of all New Yorkers during this critical time.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Zeldin and Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) signed a letter to the speaker of the lower house of Poland’s parliament “urging her to stop legislation limiting Holocaust restitution claims,” Jewish Insider reports.
- Background: The Polish bill could stymie up to 90% of property restitution requests from Holocaust survivors and their descendants, Reuters reports.
Eric Holtz, the Bronx-raised manager for Israel’s national baseball team over the past four years, has stepped down from his post following the team’s disappointing performance at the Tokyo Olympics.
- The team finished fifth with a squad of nearly all Americans, including former major league All-Star Ian Kinsler.
- Holtz previously coached at Manhattanville College in the Bronx and Westchester Community College.
New York writer Elyssa Friedland drew on her mother’s memories of summers in a bungalow colony for her new novel set in the Catskill Mountains.
- “Last Summer at the Golden Hotel” is about two Jewish families that jointly own a fading Borscht Belt resort.
- Quotable: “The Catskills have changed so much over the years and every generation has a different experience with it, so much so that it kind of tells the story of how times change without me having to write a single word,” Friedland tells our colleagues at Kveller.
WHAT’S ON TODAY
David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, discusses the resurgence of Jew-hatred and ways to fight back against this alarming trend, including the need to strengthen Jewish pride. Register here. Noon.
Pardes presents a conversation about the Pew Report on American Jewry with members of the Abrahamson-Zinkow Family: Rabbi Elka Abrahamson, president of The Wexner Foundation; Rabbi Misha Zinkow, the journey builder at Makor Educational Journeys; Rabbi Amir Zinkow, middle school Mishnah/Gemara curriculum coordinator at the Leffell School, and Rabbi Maya Zinkow, senior Jewish educator at UC Berkeley Hillel. Register here. 2:00 pm.
Photo, top: Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a COVID-19 press briefing update in Buffalo on Jan. 25, 2021. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)