(New York Jewish Week) — After they wrap up their workdays on Wednesday, more than 80 New York Jewish movers and shakers will gather at a bar on the Upper East Side with their “Jewish political mishpacha.”
That’s what the three organizers of New York Jews in Politics are calling the constituency for their new initiative.
Moshe Davis, who works in the Mayor Eric Adams’ office; Adrien Lesser, who works at the New York City Economic Development Corporation; and Eva Wyner, who works in the office of Gov. Kathy Hochul founded New York Jews in Politics in their personal capacity, not as part of their jobs. They said in a statement that they aimed to “foster community” in their cohort of political operatives.
“We are excited to launch New York Jews in Politics and look forward to hosting events with the goal of uniting Jews working in politics and government to foster community,” the trio said. “This happy hour brings together Jews in New York politics in a fun social setting to network and kibitz.”
There will be government staffers, Jewish nonprofit leaders and political activists in attendance at Wednesday’s event, which will take place at the Beach Cafe — a pub and longtime hotspot for members of New York’s Republican establishment.
A different group for Jews in government that once existed has since dissipated, and the three founders realized there was a need for an informal group of Jews in New York politics to get to know one another.
The organizers bring a range of Jewish backgrounds: Davis is an Orthodox rabbi who also works part-time as an educator at Manhattan Jewish Experience, an outreach group for young Jewish professionals. Lesser describes herself on Twitter as the “Fran Fine of NY politics,” in a reference to Fran Drescher’s character on “The Nanny.” And Wyner is a graduate of the joint undergraduate program of Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, located in Morningside Heights.
The organization does not endorse political campaigns, and is not funded by any city, state, or federal money, nor does it collect membership dues. A disclaimer in the event description for Wednesday’s happy hour indicates that formal lobbying is discouraged, and future events are intended to be “an informal get-together for professionals in the political field.”
The event has a growing waitlist, organizers say.