Michele Bachmann Visits Agudath Israel


Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann may not be Jewish—despite a misperception among some political donors—but that didn’t stop her from making a campaign stop at a Broadway office building for a small, private sit-down with Orthodox Jewish leaders.

Bachmann spent about an hour discussing issues ranging from same-sex marriage to security for the Jewish state. She reminded the group she worked on a kibbutz in Israel 40 years ago.

“She introduced herself,” said Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of the Orthodox Jewish organization Agudath Israel. “A similar group has gotten together with Governor Romney and will get together with other candidates as well.”

Bachmann, an evangelical Christian, offered brief opening remarks yesterday and then took questions. She portrayed herself as “a person of faith,” Zwiebel said, but he added that “cuts both ways” for Jewish voters because of his community’s strong belief in the need for religion and government to be separate.

The timing of yesterday’s session had nothing to do with Bachmann’s comments on the earthquake and hurricane that hit the East Coast in the last week, Zwiebel said.

During events in Florida, Bachmann suggested God was issuing a wakeup call for the federal government to curtail spending. Following some controversy, Bachmann’s campaign said the remarks were made in “jest.”



  1. Why is the Agudath even wasting their time with this woman? She’s a totally unqualified, scary woman whose excuse for every dumb commment she makes is “I was just joking”.

  2. But the election is going to be about economic policy, and Agudah tends to support entitlements and welfare spending.
    What she needs to do is to convince Agudah (and the frum community) that a responsible fiscal policy is in our interests – rather than pandering with social issues that aren’t what will determine who people support in 2012.

  3. While Ms. Bachmann is radically underqualified to be President (no worse than Obama was, but being better qualified than Obama isn’t really something to base a campaign on), she’s hardly “dumb” or “extreme” or “scary”.
    Her social and views are quite mainstream for a Republican, she has a good record of support positions we sympathize with on social issues, and she is certainly more friendly to Israel and traditional Judaism than any Democrat. She is quite inexperienced, which shows, but I wouldn’t call her “extreme” or “scary”.

  4. The rational for this article and the article about the Bachmann doners is thin at best and leads one to question why they being printed. Bachmann meeting with the aguda like the other candidates discussing her belifs would seem to be standerd opriating processes. And i’m sure the topics above were discused with all the other candidates. The answer I would give is that the NY Post and by extension the YWN with their reprinting are trying to portray somone who actually supports Israel with their words and actions and somone who belives in a creator is somone out of the main stream and any meeting she may have with anyone has to relate to those confusing beliefs.

  5. Michelle Bachman is a very well qualified candidate, who shares our concern over the sodomization of American society.

    “Separaion of Church and State” is a Liberal mantra and a code word for hard secularism, and I’m very surprised that Rabbi Zweibel has bought into it.

  6. #11- Separation of Church and State” is just as much about protecting religion from the states. For example, in a country with a state religion, the parliament can decide that women and gays can be clergy, regardless of what the “believers” feel, since afterall, the religion is an agency of the state. Remember, that originally in the USA, churches were government supported, clergy were civil servants, and anyone who went to the wrong church was regarded as at least disloyal if not a criminal. It is not an aspect for “Freedom from religion” which is the hard secularism favored by most non-frum Jews. Dovid Zweibel, esq., will understand this very well, which is why the rabbanim have entrusted him to represent us.

  7. #11, Rabbi Zwiebel’s intent is clear. In general, we Jews want there to be separation of church and state because when there is no separation, the state is directed by religion, that is, Christianity. In the past, Christianity has either persecuted us or tried to convert us. Although there are today certain trends away from this past behaviour, led by Pastor Hagee of Texas, as Glenn Beck stressed last week, there is a 2000 year-old flinch, which is explained as the traditional Jewish world’s general and justified mistrust of Christians, given their dismal track record.