New York is falling apart for Jews, all of New York, all Jews, especially in the five boroughs, once thought to be the second Jewish homeland, second only to Israel. And Jews from New York are making Aliyah in large numbers.
For those choosing to stay in New York, however, it is essential to start to get involved in local campaigns.
Jews around the world should support pro-Jewish and pro-Israel candidates on all levels of government. And in Queens, there is a Borough President race, and for Jews, one clear choice, Republican Joann Ariola.
The Joann I know and love is usually my last “Good Shabbos” call before candle lighting and it’s usually a race between her and my son as to who texts me “Shavua Tov” first Saturday night. When questionable antisemitic words and actions take place in the borough that she oversees, she is on top of it, even when it comes from those claiming to be GOP members.
Joann is a trusted friend and ally, which is why she has no need for a $200,000 salary, staff and offices like other county chairs. Her staff is made up of volunteers and they work with her 24/7. I know what it is like to be on one of those very late night conference calls.
She is the highest ranking Republican woman in New York State, holding the position of secretary for the NYSGOP and is the Queens County GOP chair. You may criticize the performance of our state GOP leadership over the past decade, but Ariola has tried her hardest to unite her base and work with every community within her borough, uniting people from every religious background, age, financial status and community - no easy feat, since Queens has the largest number of cultural and religious groups living within an area with the country.
Ariola has active candidates in on all levels of government, including a religious Jewish woman for state senate. I know her three congressional candidates, including John Cummings against AOC, who have long records of supporting President Trump and Jewish issues.
Joann Ariola’s Positions:
Her main competition is City Councilman Donovan Richards. Richards stands with DeBlasio, with Cuomo, and with the anti-Semitic left in Albany and Washington, DC, including AOC. He stands with Black Lives Matter and the teacher’s unions who want to defund the police and reinvest that money into the black hole of failing Queens public schools.
Will Richards support Jewish concerns? That is a hard question to answer, given the support he has received by endorsements and donors who stand agitators and support BDS, Linda Sarsour, and the anti-Israel agenda, information that is public knowledge. And what has Donovan Richards done to protect Jews from being attacked on the streets he represents? Ask him that.
Jews must forego past influences and bias against openly supporting Republicans. Here is a Republican who stands with Jews in Queens, Jews in New York, Jews in America and Jews around the world.
I hear from her Jewish constituents concerns about her supporting their organizations and schools, their shuls and their kosher establishments. I suggest that rather than guessing, you actually meet and discuss your agenda. Ask her.questions.
She is a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, pet owner, fashionista, ambassador of healthy food choices, and so many other hobbies that are too many to list here. And she is a mentor. One elected official “under her wing” and a coworker of Donovan Richards is councilman Eric Ulrich, outspoken political ally of the Jewish people. Ulrich has a solid record of standing with our Jewish councilmen Kalman Yeger, Chaim Deutsch and former Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Prove the statement that the Jewish Vote Counts and we will lead the way to rebuild New York.
Ariola has a very good chance of winning. We are watching the downfall of the Democratic Party, its progressive agenda and its hate for Jews, police, suburbs and religious schools turning even the most moderate defenders away. NY Jews must be active participants in the rebuilding of the city and this is the way to ensure it.
Cindy Grosz can be reached at [email protected]