New York’s Haredi families are in for some trouble if the liberal left wrests control of the State Senate back from the Republicans this November. Party insiders in Albany let it slip that the Orthodox Jewish community will be subject to sweeping changes if progressive liberals end up in key positions and continue to pressure party leadership. Funding for yeshiva buses and vouchers will be cut, distrusted religious practices will be scrutinized, and yeshiva education may be challenged at the State level.
The 17th Senate district’s seat, currently occupied by Simcha Felder of Midwood, is of particular interest to the left, who are working overtime to bring out the vote in the upcoming primaries. They hope to replace Felder with what they call “a real Democrat,” meaning a loyalist who will go along with a progressive liberal agenda.
Progressive liberals say it’s possible to pull off numerous upsets, like the one Representative Joseph Crowley of New York saw at the hands of 28-year-old newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez, a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, was not taken seriously by her opponent. Consequently, Crowley, once seen as a possible successor to Nancy Pelosi as Democratic leader of the House, suffered a shocking primary defeat that is still reverberating across the party and country.
Liberal progressives are now particularly emboldened as young organizers like Ocasio-Cortez are lending time and grass-roots organizing tactics to numerous campaigns, in New York and across the nation. Anticipating a low percentage of people who typically turn out to vote, Progressive Liberals are spending big money to install more like-minded liberals. Like Ocasio-Cortez, these candidates promise to push for “generational, racial and ideological changes” that would particularly impact the Orthodox Jewish community.
If voters in the Orthodox communities turn out in low numbers, and liberals get the vote out, the Jewish community will no longer have the protection and respect it has enjoyed in Albany for many years.
*NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.
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