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After Corzine Loss, Aron Kotler Tries Mending Fences In Trenton

Lakewood, NJ – Apparently, Christie’s feud with the business lobby and the New Jersey Education Association has gotten the attention of others who were at odds with the Republican during the fall election. One group that took notice was the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Lakewood.

The council of rabbis that runs the massive rabbinical college in town broke with its tradition of interviewing both major-party candidates before endorsing someone; instead, it gave its nod to Corzine without ever meeting with Christie.

Now that Christie is governor, The Auditor is informed the rabbis made a move to smooth things over by meeting last week with Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), a Christie intimate who chaired the Republican campaign. Kyrillos declined to say much about the sit-down with Rabbi Aaron Kotler, CEO of Beth Medrash Govoha, except to say, “I trust and hope the rabbi and his community will be there to support the governor on the tough agenda items upcoming, many of the goals of which he shares with the governor.”

Sen. Robert Singer (R-Ocean) helped broker the sit-down, which was also attended by Sister Rosemary Jeffries, president of Georgian Court University in Lakewood. Singer said he was disturbed by the rabbis’ refusal to meet with Christie and blamed Corzine, “who was overly sensitive” and insisted that they not sit down with the Republican.

With Christie in office, “the rabbis certainly wanted to let Joe know they would be supportive,” Singer said.

YWN points out, that despite the endorsement of the Lakewood Vaad, Rabbi Aron Kotler, and the Lakewood Roshei Yeshiva, the overwhelming majority of Lakewood residents voted for Christie.

Chris Christie won every district in Lakewood, besides one. (Lakewood’s Vaad went for Corzine, Lakewood people went for Christie).

(Source: NJ Star Ledger Blog)

5 Responses

  1. YWN: I am pleasantly surprised that you posted this report. Typically, you are very PC and institutionally inclined. We appreciate honest and factual reporting, even if it does not necessarily reflect what the “higher ups” would like you to report.

    Yes, Lakewood’s community made an enormous statement on election day, That statement simply was; do what is best for the typical over-taxed member of the kehilla, who will also not compromise on its Torah moral values – period.

    The true mending, however, is not between AK and Trenton. Its about regaining trust between AK and the Kehilla. One must remember, that no one voted for the Vaad. For self-appointees, we must be overwhelmingly confident that it is “our” best interests that are being represented.

    Enough said.

  2. If I understand the article correctly, you are making 2 points

    1)the Orthodox leadership made a big mistake and backed the wrong candidiate, and are now trying to make amends
    2)No one listened to the Lakewood leadership anyway, so their endorsemnet is meaningless. Why should Christie listen to them?

  3. B’Avonoseinu Harrabbin, Yeshivos are now BIG political business. What happened to the small close-knit yeshiva where a talmud was KNOWN and influenced by Roshei Yeshiva?

  4. what I want to know is what Reb Aharon z”l would say to all this. As far as I can recall, he had one way to explain to people what BMG was all about and that was men learnt Torah Lishmah. It never involved politics or anything else.

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