How dare anyone question the Rabbonim and askanim in Far Rockaway in a public forum without first checking the facts? The unanimous support Phil enjoys in Far Rockaway is far more than a community blindly supporting a frum candidate as implied by your article.
Phil Goldfeder was born and raised in Far Rockaway and attended community Yeshivos, Darchei Torah and Yeshiva of Far Rockaway. As such the Rabbonim and Roshe Yeshiva have a lifetime of personal knowledge regarding the deep commitment of Yeruchem Goldfeder to his community and to his religious values.
Phil Goldfeder sends his children to community Yeshivos. He struggles to pay tuition just like the rest of us. His ideas about tuition relief are valid and achievable. He knows for instance that in New York State a voucher program would be unconstitutional because of the Blaine amendment. He proposes to support tuition tax credits and proposes to increase funding to programs already in existence like Mandated Services.
Phil Goldfeder does NOT support the toeivah bill. Unlike David Weprin, he has not received any endorsement from any toeivah group. He is on record as stating that had he been in Albany he would have voted against any legislation that endorsed same gender marriage.
Phil’s opponent lives in the gated community of Breezy Point. She has made absolutely no effort to speak with any Rov or community leader in Far Rockaway. We in Far Rockaway fear that if she wins she will shut our community off from the access to government we have enjoyed for years under Audrey Pheffer. Access does not just mean money. Access means help for the many members of the community who have called upon our Assemblywoman in the past to help with issues like housing, health care, aid for senior citizens and parks.
Phil’s opponent is unafraid of using to dirty tricks to confuse our electorate. This past Shabbos every home in Far Rockaway received calls ( without a spoken message) from a number that seemed to be from Goldfeder. Calls back to the number after Shabbos revealed that the number was bogus. Clearly the opponent was trying to make our candidate look bad.
Our community stands united in our support for Phil (Yeruchem) Goldfeder. He is one of us, davens in our shuls and sends to our schools. We have known him his entire life. Who else but Phil understand the unique needs of our neighborhood.
Phil has already shown that he can deliver when needed. During the winter storm last year, it was he who cut all government red tape and enabled Brach’s to deliver kosher food to stranded ElAl passengers. It was Phil who advocated for our community institutions when Homeland Security grants were being allocated.
Outsiders have the luxury of making comments without knowing the facts and without knowing or realizing the consequences of their actions. Chas V’SHalom if the letter-writer succeeds in confusing our electorate, we will be left in Far Rockaway without any community advocate in government.
Comparing Weprin with Goldfeder is an avlah that will be hard for us in Far Rockaway to forgive. We ask that outsiders remain outside and leave matters of our community to those of us who live here.
Richard Altabe – Far Rockaway, NY
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.