BROOKLYN (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – In a rare display of unity, Satmar’s two rival factions are said to be coming together for a common cause – choosing the Democratic candidate in the upcoming New York City mayoral election.
With the upcoming June 22nd Democratic primary less than a month away, Politico (https://politi.co/3hSWbMA) reported that an ad signed more than a dozen rabbis representing both the followers of Grand Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum and Grand Rabbi Zalman Teitelbaum will appear in the Wednesday editions of multiple Yiddish newspapers. Sources said that the ad will have the rabbis calling on their respective communities to mark Andrew Yang as their first choice in the primary race and listing Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams as their second choice and Comptroller Scott Stringer as their third pick.
The primary will be the city’s first ranked choice election, with voters having the ability to mark down their second, third, fourth and fifth choice candidates should their first selection lose, a system put in place ostensibly to give voters a greater say in the election process.
United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg’s Rabbi David Niederman said that concerns over the fallout of the yeshiva education probe, which found that some yeshivas were not meeting Board of Education requirements for secular studies, brought the two competing Satmar groups together in support of Yang.
“Being able to educate our children is the reason why our parents came here to the United States,” Rabbi Niederman told VIN News. “They decided that our future is our education and they left everything behind, which is why at such a time when our existence is threatened, whoever really stands up for us, we stand up for them.”
Yang won the hearts of many Jewish voters when he came out as the first candidate to express support for parents’ rights to choose a yeshiva education for their children three months ago, as previously reported on VIN News. At the time, the candidate spoke about the need to bolster the relationship between the Orthodox Jewish community and city education officials and said there was no need to interfere with the yeshiva system as long as students receive a proper education.
“He got ridiculed for those statements and he got pushback, but he stood by his words,” said Rabbi Niederman. “That is the person who deserves our support, because that is the most important issue for our community.”
Yang and Adams have long been seen as the front runners in the race and while Adams has long had the support of the Jewish community, and has won the endorsement of The Jewish Press and The Jewish Voice, he may have given Yang an edge when he said that he would give yeshivas latitude in creating their own curriculums. Yang has ranked up the endorsements of all of the city’s Orthodox Jewish elected officials who have expressed their picks in the upcoming primary, as well as those of multiple Chasidic rabbis, and with Satmar’s full support he has potentially locked up the vast majority of the often-influential Charedi community.
But a source within the Adams campaign told VIN News that while Brooklyn’s Chasidic community may hold a large bloc vote, the 16 year long relationship between Adams and the Jewish community will have multiple influential endorsements from powerful rabbis and community leaders coming from the city’s Orthodox Jewish community at large in the days ahead.
Yang’s early lead over Adams has been slowly evaporating according to recent PIX11 polls (https://bit.ly/3uiZhfl). Although Yang led the race in a March poll by a significant margin, a May 17th poll and another released Tuesday afternoon both showed him Adams with a small lead, which rose from two to four percentage points over the past week.
But the latest poll also held another surprise, one that may have Satmar rabbonim rethinking their suggestions to vote Yang, Adams, Stringer, with former sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia moving to the top of the pack, edging out former frontrunner Adams by a single percentage point.