VIDEO & PHOTOS: Fifty Jewish Leaders Join Greenfield to Proclaim: ‘New ‘Super Jewish’ District is Bad for the Jews!’

(Tuesday, March 6th, 2012)

[VIDEO & PHOTOS IN EXTENDED ARTICLE]

NYC Councilman David G. Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) was joined by dozens of Jewish community leaders today to protest the creation of the one so-called “Super Jewish” district that was drawn to replace the six senators currently representing the predominantly Orthodox neighborhoods of Borough Park, Midwood, Flatbush and Kensington. At a press conference in Borough Park, Greenfield ripped the proposed district drawn by New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment as the product of a backroom political deal that will only serve to dilute the voice and power of the largest Orthodox Jewish population in the United States of America.

“Let’s be clear, this is not a Super Jewish district but rather a Super Ghetto district that if allowed to remain in place will cause the Jewish community to lose multiple voices in Albany. That will mean less services, less funding and less political power for America’s largest Jewish community right here in Brooklyn. Quite frankly, it will be very easy for the political establishment to marginalize the one senator representing the entire Jewish community. Right now we have six senators representing the Jewish community, and to go to one simply makes no sense. We need at least two, if not three senators, to maximize the community’s political power. That’s why I urge the Governor to recognize this proposal for what it is – backroom politics at its worst – and to veto it,” said Greenfield.

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Greenfield was joined at the corner of 16th Avenue and 45th Street outside his district office by dozens of local leaders and representatives from community groups to demand that LATFOR go back to the drawing board and produce district lines that serve the public’s best interest, instead of the political party or incumbent’s best interest. Collectively, these leaders represent tens of thousands of members of the Jewish community. Among those speaking out against dumping all of Brooklyn’s Jews into one Senate district were Chaim Deutch, founder of Flatbush Shomrim, Rabbi Chaim Goldberger of Satmar, Mendel Zilberberg of Community Board 12, community leader Rabbi Berish Freilich and Rabbi Yechezkel Pikus of Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush.

Also on hand were representatives from Chaveirim, Yad Ephraim, Boro Park Shomrim, Igud L’ Hachzokas Torah, Bikur Cholim of Boro Park and Bina Ezras Cholim. In addition, the leaders of local yeshivas including Belz, Gur, Boyan, Gan Yisroel and Satmar joined Greenfield for today’s press conference.

“Having just one person, no matter who that person is, represent us is a step backwards and a step in the wrong direction. I commend Councilman Greenfield for taking this issue up and speaking out against the proposed lines. Diversity in our society not only makes us stronger, but it brings us closer together,” said Chaim Deutch of Flatbush Shomrim.

“It is wrong to segregate people based on religion, race or any other factor. This isn’t about establishing a super district for Jews, it is about segregating us. We are all one people, citizens of the United States who just want to live our lives under a government that represents them. The community did not ask for this,” said Rabbi Chaim Goldberger of Satmar.

Last September, before the lines were drawn, Greenfield stressed two key points while testifying before LATFOR (the redistricting committee). He urged the committee to consider the local Orthodox community’s staggering growth over the past decade, when Borough Park was the city’s only neighborhood of 100,000 plus residents to see a population increase in the recent census, and to keep in mind the community’s unique needs and priorities. Greenfield encouraged the redistricting committee to ensure that the Orthodox Jewish community had “at least two but preferably three senators.” Unfortunately, the committee ignored Greenfield’s recommendations and instead proposes reducing the Jewish community’s representation to a single senator.

Today, Greenfield explained that if the Jewish community were split into two or three districts the community would still be the most sought-after constituency in each of those two or three districts. “If we have a choice to make up 30 to 40 percent of two or three districts or 70 percent of one district, I think it’s obvious that we want to be big enough to make a difference but not too big to be marginalized,” said Greenfield. As proof, Greenfield pointed to the recent election of US Congressman Bob Turner. While Jews made up only 23 percent of that district, because of Jewish interest in the seat, they made up 33 percent of the vote and clearly were the determining factor for Mr. Turner, who won with only 8 percent of the total vote.

Following today’s press conference, Greenfield sent a letter to Governor Cuomo explaining the reasons behind his request and asking the Governor to veto the lines as drawn. In that letter, Greenfield reiterated the negative impact that forcing an entire community into a single district can have, including the loss of a strong collective voice in Albany and reliance on one individual for services, funding and representation. Instead, Greenfield asked the Governor to split the local Orthodox Jewish community into two or three Senate districts to ensure the community is not marginalized or ignored.

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(YWN Desk – NYC)

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16 Comments

  1. deepthinker says:

    Mr. Greenfield overlooked one very important factor.

    As a minority among non-Jews, we are often forced to choose between two candidates who deeply offend our moral values. Senator Carl Kruger, who represented Flatbush voted for the Gay “Marriage” bill, figuring that the Orthodox Jewish vote was only a fraction of his constituency, so he could ignore it. Ditto for Dianne Savino.

    In our own Jewish district, we can select someone who we will be proud of, rather than someone who will disgrace us, like Anthony Wiener did.

    Chilul Hashem is not a minor issue. We will need a great deal of Siyata Dishmaya to get through the next few years, and the best way to get it is to make a Kiddush Hashem by speaking up for our Torah values.

  2. Joel56st says:

    This is why we elected Greenfield. He’s not afraid to take on the political establishment. Ashreicha R’ Duvid for standing up for us!

  3. Quitcher says:

    Why are we not calling out who is responsible for this atrocity? This was a backroom deal by Shmuel Lefkowitz of Agudath Israel, and let him stop hiding behind the scenes, and come out and take heat for this disaster.

  4. WannaBeMacher says:

    Deepthinker overlook one important point: the gay marriage bill passed WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE REPUBLICANS in the Senate. Plus, sadly, plenty of “Jewish” politicians have created chilul hashems while claiming to representing us.

    I’m with Greenfield – this new seat will minimize our power and place an incredible amount of pressure on one person – a ‘Jewish politician.’ Greenfield’s right: it’s bad for the Jews.

  5. Ferd says:

    What about the MAJORITY of the residents who are NOT JEWISH?!

    Did the two people responsible for this ask THEM if they agree?

  6. Bill Of Heans says:

    I don’t always agree with Councilman Greenfield, but this time, he is right on the money.

    No one asked us if we want this.

    Who gives these self-proclaimed machers the audacity to decide what is best for a few hundred thousand Jews?!?!

    What nerve.

  7. yaakov doe says:

    This is one of the few times that I’ve agreed with Greenfield. One district weakens our clout in Albany. This district was designed by the Republican majority in the State Senate for the sole purpose of electing a Republican. The result may strengthen their party, but will weaken our community.

  8. Shmendrik says:

    i am so confused….

    just don’t understand why anyone would do such a major thing behind the communities backs.

    who exactly is responsible fr this?

    i would like to call them up and complain, and maybe we should start a petition calling for them to retract this crazy deal, and demand that they never do such major things without allowing the community to decide for us.

  9. Deya Zugger says:

    chutzpah gamur.
    shame on the rabblerousers who are driving us into a ghetto.

    arur machers, baruch greenfield

  10. BP Chasid says:

    Can someone tell me what the current 6 State Senators delivered to the Jewish Community? Money? Does anyone know who got money? Funding? Can the Yeshivas mentioned in this press release explain why tuition is so high if they got all these funding from these 6 Senators?

    Why are the Latinos and the Asians together with the Democratic establishment screaming they want a district like the one proposed for the us? Is everyone wrong but the few that were at the press conference?

    I feel there is a motive behind this whole group trying to undermine the people who work hard for this community.

    When the Democrats were in the majority why didn’t they the 6 Democratic State Senators deliver TAP and over 50 school buses for our yeshivas? The Republican State Senators that don’t even represent us were the ones that delivered it.

  11. Lhmuel Selkowitz says:

    This is OUT OF CONTROL.

    When will people stop deciding for all of us what is best for us?

    Just wait, this will all be “in the name of the gedolim”.

    Get ready for tomorrows Hamodia. The only probem is, how will we be able to drink the cool-aid on Taanis Esther?

    Chinyuks!

  12. Charles K says:

    How come not a word from Dov Hikind

    ooooohhhhh, I remember, because his son will be running for this new seat…we know we know…he says that’s bogus, and YWN made it up, yet, he never said it’s not true. All he said was, “I tried convincing him to do it….and he is not interested…I wish he was”

    That means, that when he DOES run, he can’t say “I never said it wasn’t true”.

    When will the people wake up from their slumber and start screaming bloody murder, that our rights are being sold down the river by a bunch of anonymous people?

  13. Ferd says:

    a little birdie told me that the aguda is running wild today….

    nice job david.

  14. akuperma says:

    1. It would certainly be bad for “frum” Democrats, as the district would go Republican.

    2. It might be good for the Democrats who would be giving up one seat, but avoid the contagion spreading to adjacent districts.

    3. In recent years, the Republicans have supported “minority majority” black districts, knowing that by isolating the hard core Democrats in a small number of districts, the Republicans would gain seats from what was left.

  15. ItsuptoHashm says:

    David Greenfield is a true Tzadik. He is not after money, kavod, power like the others who are all behind this redistricting. HE is representing us. We must stop these other “anonymous” individuals from selling us all to the devil for their own personal interests.

  16. Daniel Q Blog says:

    To those who are disappointed with the current 6, this is why the group was supporting 2 or 3 at most. With this, we can results that matter. Not one district, it’d be “my opponent holds of the Flatbush eruv”. “My opponent uses plastic on Shabbos”. It’d be a joke of a joke.

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