YWN MAILBAG: What’s The Difference Between Weprin & Goldfeder?


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Dear Editor,

As a longtime observer of politics, I am confused as to why some of the very same askanim who oppose David Weprin for Congress are supporting Phil Goldfeder for Assembly. As far as I can tell, their position on just about every major issue is identical.

For starters, both Weprin and Goldfeder have been endorsed by the anti-yeshiva United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Both have made it clear that they do not support vouchers for yeshiva children (the UFT won’t endorse you if you do support vouchers).

Both Weprin and Goldfeder are endorsed by the radical left-wing Working Families Party (WFP). That might explain why Weprin voted for same-gender marriage and Goldfeder refused to say that he would vote against it at a recent debate. That probably also explains why both Weprin and Goldfeder have said that they want to raise taxes to pay for bigger government (the WFP won’t endorse you unless you support raising taxes).

Both Weprin and Goldfeder are being supported by the most liberal of New York’s politicians including: NYS Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver. Yes, the same Shelly Silver who wrote the law for same-gender marriage and led the effort to pass it. In fact, Silver was a headliner for both Weprin & Goldfeder at two separate fundraisers making it clear that each of them are pledged to support Silver and his liberal agenda.

So remind me please, what’s the difference between David Weprin and Phil Goldfeder?

Oh, I know of one. While they both claim to be Orthodox Jews, Weprin is a “baal tshuva” and Goldfeder is “frum from birth.” As a result, Weprin doesn’t wear a yarmulke and Phil wears a velvet one. So let me get this straight: if you wear a yarmulke and went to yeshiva you are held to a LOWER standard than the guy who only recently became frum?

That just doesn’t make any sense. In fact, it should be the opposite. I can understand (although don’t excuse) someone like Weprin, who is a “baal tshuva,” not completely adopting the philosophy of the frum community. I can not understand how someone who went to yeshiva his whole life, like Goldfeder, would refuse to publicly state that he is absolutely and unequivocally opposed to same-gender marriage.

So remind me again, what’s the difference between David Weprin and Phil Goldfeder?

Rabbi A. Hirsh – Brooklyn, NY

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.



  1. Simple: Weprin supported Toeiva, while Goldfeder said he needed to “read” the bill (i.e. there are not enough protections for frum yidden for him to even consider it).

    The Agudah also supports Silver. Are they also Pro-Toeiva?

  2. Yes. The Agudah is pro Toeiva.
    They backed Schneiderman for AG, and Cuomo for Governor. Not to mention they lick the toes of Shelly Silver, who is solely responsible for gay marriage. heck, he brought it to the floor THREE TIMES.

    People, get a grip on things.

  3. Tums: read every major frum newspaper this week for endorsements from ALL the askanim for Phil Goldfeder. Also, Assemblyman Dov Hikind is OPPOSING Weprin AND SUPPORTING Goldfeder.


  4. #4 While I do not know the inner workings of the Agudah, and why they keep on supporting the likes of Shelly Silver, I can tell you one thing that I know without a doubt. The Gedolim who found the Agudah such as the Chofetz Chaim, Rav Chaim Ozer, The Gerrer Rebbe, etc. would never support these people, and probably would do all in their power to have them defeated and thrown out of office despite all the money thrown to them.

  5. Silver = Big cash for Yeshivas, thus has to be supported by Agudah. But what some don’t understand, is that a voucher system (not Silver way) will probobly bring more cash to the Yeshivas. Its time we say that we are Am kodosh and that we will not support Toeva or anyone who supports it. Its time for the Frum community to vote Republican.

  6. I did vote for marriage equality, civil marriage, I thought that it was the right thing to do. I look at it as a civil rights issue. I’ve said this on the floor, I am an observant Jew myself. My children were married – I have two married children. I have a granddaughter, a two week old granddaughter [press offers congratulations]. They had Orthodox Jewish ceremonies, I had an Orthodox Jewish ceremony. But I don’t think that the state should be dictating what kind of religious ceremony that should be sanctioned by the state. We’re talking about civil marriage and along with that marriage brings about 1,300 additional rights that civil unions do not. So, I thought it was the right thing to do

    David Weprin.

    “I don’t know. I haven’t read the bill,”

    Phil Goldfeder

    THAT is a very big difference.

  7. One will support the policy of printing money in the hope of stimulating the economy at the risk of doing fatal long term damage to the country (a la Weimar Germany which led to a collapse of an established liberal democracy). The other doesn’t. One favors Obama for President, the other favors Obama for ex-President.

    One thinks that same-gender sexual relationships are suported by halacha and made a point of asserting that while claiming to be Orthodox (he had the option to say that while this is prohibited conduct by halacha, marriage is about property rights and there’s no halachic reason to apply our laws to goyim’s dine mamonos – a polite way for a frum Jew to fulfill his duties as a liberal Democrat)

  8. Rabbi Hirsh,

    It is amazing to me that people send out these types of letters, causing tremendous damage, without checking the facts. Phil Goldfeder has the support of every major Rav inthe Far Rockaway Bayswater community. He has gone on record that he would not vote for same gender marriage. Perhaps the difference between Weprin and Goldfeder is that Weprin voted for same gender marriage and Goldfeder didnt. Your editorial only puts doubts in the minds of a community whose Rabbonim and leaders have vetted the candidate and determined that he will be the best representative for that community. You have taken a large responsibility of the future of a frum community and calling unto question the decisions of community Rabbonim with your baseless speculation. I do hope your shoulders can handle such an immense burden.

  9. As to other Jewish candidates – now that there is choice, we will be able to finally start opposing Jews who are solid liberals, not just in New York but everywhere in the US. By 2014, the Democrats will realize that they no longer have us in their back pocket.

  10. The difference is that Weprin erred by saying it is not a religious issue but a social issue. Had he just kept quiet he would have been a shoo-in to win the election.

    Even Shelly Silver knows it is a religious issue but he votes the way he does because he it is politically wise to do so if he wants to keep his job.

  11. Because money and power talks, and you know what walks. Silver gets a free pass (from the so called leaders in our community) because of his power-hamayvin yavin.

  12. Gavra: How can Goldfeder, who went to yeshiva and is supported by the likes of gedolim like Harav Yaakov Bender Shlita, say in response to the question: would you have voted for same-gender marriage? “I don’t know.” THAT IS A CHILUL HASHEM. Even a first grader at Darchei Torah would KNOW that the answer is NO.

  13. I have being bombarded by many Askanim, from both sides to vote either for David Weprin or Bob Turner. I listened to both sides of the argument and decided to do my own research on the matter. After looking at all the reasons for which way to vote, I have decided to boycott the election and here are my reasons. I cannot reconcile with David Weprin’s vote on the gay marriage bill vote and with all the good things he has done for the Jewish community; for example all the money he has procured for HATZOLA’H, OHEL, the Met Council, Shmah Kolenuh, etc. therefore, I cannot vote for him. Now I look at Bob Turner, and I don’t see any record of accomplishments other than adopting a girl from Aids parents. Then I looked where he lives and saw that he was part of Board of Directors who made sure that no Yiden should buy any houses in his neighborhood, he was also the creator/ producer of the Jerry Springer Show (what a Shmutz) and finally, he holds that any volunteer (first responders) to 9/11 attack to the WTC, cannot be part of the health bill for first responders (I guess Hazola’h you are out it if you got sick). Now this week’s Parsha, we read the posuk of TIMCHE ES ZECHER A’MOLEK, now we have already have one big A’molek in Washington, we don’t need to send a second one, and that is why I am boycotting this election that is my protest vote. I cannot tell people how to vote, but I can give my reason and do your own research

  14. You are right, certainly about Silver. The only major difference, David Weprin is running for congress, not State Assembly which is already contaminated. If Weprin wins, he will be the only practicing Jewish Representative.
    Rest assured this issue will come up in congress, first with repealing DOMA and than outright forcing States to recognize Gay Marriage.
    Can you imagine the Chillul Hashem with Weprin getting up in front of the Nation and as a “proud orthodox Jew” pushing for Toivah!

  15. Gavra: How can Goldfeder, who went to yeshiva and is supported by the likes of gedolim like Harav Yaakov Bender Shlita, say in response to the question: would you have voted for same-gender marriage? “I don’t know.” THAT IS A CHILUL HASHEM. Even a first grader at Darchei Torah would KNOW that the answer is NO.

    The “Gedolim” of the Agudah would have been OK with the bill had it contained enough protections for religious dissent. How can you expect anyone to be more frum than the Agudah?

  16. Everyone wake up and smell the coffee. Don’t let the Rov’s control your votes anymore. A vote for any Democrat is a vote for Barrak Hussein Obama’s agenda. He must be thrown out of the Whitehouse ASAP or your life as an American Jew is over. Obama is using class and racial warfare to seperate our country. When he says the Rich should pay their fair share what do you thing the goyim in NY hear – THE JEWS HAVE ALL THE MONEY. The JEWS CAUSED THIS PROBLEM LET’S GET THE JEWS. Israel is alone in this world and needs help now from us to see that he is defeated in 2012. What better message to send then to have Anthony Weiners seat go to BOB TURNER.

  17. To comment # 17 – [mrubin18]-

    You stated: “I have decided to boycott the election…”

    By not voting you diminish and devalue your district and your community.

    Every vote counts. If you don’t vote, you don’t count!

  18. In addition, what do you think will happen when states start laying off thousands of lazy govt workers. Have you ever seen who works for the govt today? Look at the DMV, traffic court, parking violations, ECB, paerks department etc. Do you thing most of these people would get hired by anyone in the private sector for the same amount they are getting paid from the govt? We are only 2 to 4 years away from what is happening in Greece right now. Make no mistake about it there will be riots and the Jews will be targeted. Do you see the media reporting on black flash mobs beating up white people all over America over the last few months. 50% of black youth in NYC don’t work and what is our first Black President doing about it??? He is going to spend one billion bucks to get elected to a 2nd term. 95% of the Jewish day schools in America are having serious financial hardship and at least 35% will close by 2014 if vouchers are not approved.

  19. I just want to point out that, yes, you can be more frum than Agudah if they go against the Torah, CH”V. In sefer Vayikra the Torah discusses a korban brought when “asher Nasi yecheta”. Notice the Torah used “asher”, not “im”. It can happen, CH”V.

    If the only thing stopping Agudah for endorsing that bill on toeivah was more protections for dissenters, then they seem clearly wrong and you absolutely should be frummer than they are if they are wrong for any reason.

    Mr. Weprin is on record saying he supports this and actually did support this. That seems to be a deal-breaker. On the other hand, Mr. Goldfeder, whatever questionable endorsements he may have, has never voted for this toeva nor has he said he would. That is a tremendous difference.

  20. Hmm, wonder why the mods wouldn’t post my comments reiterating a conversation I had with Weprin?

    Moderators Response: All your comments were approved.

  21. #17 – Sitting out the election is not a “protest vote”, it is NO vote (and probably just an excuse for laziness if you think about it deeply).

    More important that WHO you vote for is that you actually VOTE.

    The politicians count the votes and note to which of their constituents they need to pay attention. Askanim give up their time and energy to help the Tzibbur and they need all the clout they can muster to help them do their job when meeting with politicians. Help them by voting, and you’ll be Zoche to the Mi’Sheberach said every Mussaf “Kol Mi She’Oskim Be’Tzorchei Tzibur Be’Emuna…”.

    Please, please vote.

  22. Everyone seems to be forgetting as well. This seat due to reconstructing of district lines is a seat that will probaly be around for only 13 months. So whoever wins will only jave a short time to use their influence. Hoping it will not be an idiot. Here I keep my vote secret to avoid the fray.

    Just get out and vote ppl who are effected by this election and let your vote be seen. 😉

  23. The Agudah has never supported, is not supporting, and will not support ANY political candidate. It is not wise and it is not legal. They have always encouraged voting period – regardless of the individual voted for – because it shoews we are part of the process and have concerns and ideals like any other voice in the electorate.

  24. Corrected: The Agudah has never supported, is not supporting, and will not support ANY political candidate. It is not wise and it is not legal. They have always encouraged voting period – regardless of the individual voted for – because it shows we are part of the process and have concerns and ideals like any other voice in the electorate.

  25. I wonder why “Rabbi” A. Hirsh from Brooklyn finds it nessacary to hide behind a title and an intial, while Mr Richard Altbe hides behind neither. “Rabbi Hirsch do you live in breezy point? were you paid by Mrs Deacy to writ your piece?
    Sow some doubt, add some loshon hara and sinas chinom to the mix?
    It is because of “rabbis” like you that I flinch every time I am forced to use the title.

  26. I just want to add something to this. I spoke to Yerucham Goldfeder myself and know him as a person of the community personally. He said he is against gay marriage. He also said rather bluntly, “do you think I would be able to walk back into the community again if I voted for it?” Rabbi Bender, Rabbi Brafman (YFR) and Rabbi Perr (YFR) as well as the schools around here wouldn’t let him back in. He also said that his parents instilled in him better values than that. So NO he is not pro gay marriage whatsoever!!

  27. I am just disgusted by this letter. Just because Goldfeder is a Democrat does not place him in the same category as Weprin. He is an erlich guy from a well-known family which is deeply involved in community service. His father and brothers are on Hatzolah as well as many community organizations.

  28. My name is Chaia Frishman. I am NOT hiding behind anything but the username they asked me to write. I think that unless you know Yeruchem personally, and live in our community, you have NO right to post these blasphemous and disgusting posts. This is a yid who has ever intention of making our community better, which will in turn make things better for all of us when vouchers are passed and such. Unless you have real proof, what you are doing is Mesira, Motzi Sheim Ra, and Asur min HaTorah. Such religious people according to your posts, I am sure you want to avoid that.

  29. If you’re planning to boycott the election because you can’t bring yourself to vote for either Weprin or Turner, consider this. Politicians look at the number of voters who turn out. By not voting, you won’t be in the count. In the old days, when we had mechanical voting machines, you could have gone into the booth, not pulled any levers, and had the fact that you “voted” register. I don’t know if the new scanner system will let you submit a ballot with no markings, but I urge you to try it. If the system allows it, you will at least show that you cared enough to show up.

  30. I don’t really have much to add that has not been said (in one form or another) already, but it seriously boggles my mind how any supposedly frum jew can (i) start taking potshots at another frum jew and (ii) do so when the impact could harm an entire community – b/c, bottom line, if Phil does not win this election, the entire FR community will essentially get shut out of state funding. It really is that simple.

    What is even more egregious is that this commenter clearly doesn’t know any of the facts on the ground, making him at best a dangerous ignoramus and, at worst, someone who is intentionally trying to harm an ehrliche yid and an entire community.

    What absolute and utterly shameful behavior.

  31. Thank you hdillnyc for providing the video clip. The moderator should have phrased the question, “Would you vote to repeal gay marriage in NY?”

    Gay marriage passed in California, and then was repealed. There is no reason why we can’t do so in NY as well.

    It is clear that the Jewish community in Queens should vote for Republican Jane Deacy.

    #17 and #23, I agree with #38 that the correct way to boycott an election is to go to the voting booth and submit a blank ballot. The BOE records will show you have voted, even though you voted for no one.

    However, # 38 is clearly wrong in his support for Phil. Halacha requires us to abandon any legislator that will support any form of government recognition of same gender relationships. It makes no difference if you call it marriage, civil unions, or spaghetti and meatballs.

    Based on Phil’s refusal to answer a direct question, and the concept of “shema vebari, shema adif”, since Phil avoiding taking a public position against gay marriage, the correct person to vote for is Jane Deacy.

  32. Personally I know that Phil is not for the gay marraige bill. this is semanitcs what he said, what he didn’t full said. you are foolish to ruin an entire frum community’s future by semantics about this issue when the issues of families suffering under tuition crisis and high taxes is what Phil will help all yidden with. are you 100% perfect in everything YOU all do? dear fellow repliers, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. get out and vote today for PHil Goldfeder.

  33. Jane Deacy is an Irish ex-cop who lives in Breezy Point, a gated community that effectively excludes minorities. Her views are out of sync with the majority of the voters of the district. If she wins, it will be on the coattails of Turner (also a Breezy Point residents) — on the western end of the peninsula, I’ve seen lots of Deacy lawn signs next to Turner lawn signs.

    Goldfeder’s campaign has inundated the frum community with robocalls and literature, but I’m not sure how effective they’ve been with getting out the vote of our non-Jewish neighbors in Far Rockaway.

    Deacy has disingenuously asked why unions have endorsed Goldfeder when she is a union member and he is not. The obvious answer is that the police union is on a different wavelength than most unions. You just have to look at the Wisconsin union debacle to see this — when the Republicans in Wisconsin killed collective bargaining rights for public employee unions, they made an exception for police. This shows that it wasn’t a matter of principle, but rather a matter of political expediency.

    I have mixed feelings about frum Jews in politics. While it’s clear that they understand the needs and interests of the community, it’s also clear that having frum Jews in office breeds anti-Semitism (just look at District 15). Nonetheless, I’m voting for Goldfeder because I think Deacy would be a disaster for the Far Rockaway community, Jewish and non-Jewish.

  34. The frum community MUST take the lead in bringing sanity back to politics, in particular in the state of NY. The liberal Democratic policies supported by the likes of nominally Jewish politicians such as Charles Schumer, Sheldon Silver, etc. go against the interests of the Jewish community and are contrary to Torah values.

    These people are wrong on just about every issue: School vouchers, gay marriage, economic policy, gun control. Being pro-Israel isn’t nearly enough, especially since some of Israel’s best friends in Congress are fundamentalist Christians (and their views on moral issues are closer to ours than these so called Jews). I can’t wait to see Weprin go down in flames, and I hope Schumer is next!

  35. Fruitchic as what point is it semantics and at one point is it double talk? I understand Phil is in a difficult position, he wants to serve the Frum community, but being as that he was appointed by the Democratic machine, he is required to hold positions that are unpopular with the Frum community such as gay marriage and vouchers. He claims to be an independent, but that is hard to believe considering both his background of working for Shumer and his being appointed not nominated to run. Silver and Welpirn are honest about this contradiction and believe that the funds the are able to bring in to the community from the Democratic Machine make compromise acceptable. Phil seems to have dealt with this by telling everyone what the want to here, he gave an ambigous statement at the debate that put him to the left of Darcey, thus not hurting him with the party, while when talking to frum people he claims he would have voted no. To me that is troubling and it is difficult to vote for a candidate you feel you can not trust.