It’s no secret, New York is falling apart. Before COVID and BLM, we were on the verge of bankruptcy, our schools were filled with cheating scandals and quotas for admissions and we were losing residents to the tune of two congressional seats.
Jews thought they had a plan, register as Democrats so they could vote for the lesser of two evils in a primary, then vote Republican for Trump in November. After the June 23rd primary losses it was clear they had invested millions of dollars and found themselves homeless. In Monsey, they had no candidate to support, and their representatives, such as Chaim Deutsch, had no real power.
The Republican Party is far from paradise. While other areas of the country will benefit from Trump coattails, New York Republicans will suffer losses both in Albany and Washington.
However, Jews can make differences in five key races.
We must send Congressman Lee Zeldin back tp office, from District 1. We know his accomplishments as the leading Jewish Republican voice. Zeldin is also one of the most trusted allies of President Trump. That position has enabled Zeldin to bring businesses and attention to issues like gang violence front and center to Long Island for assistance.
Zeldin faces his toughest challenges to date. His district is changing. Once a solid blue collar district, the demographics have changed. Many retirees have left the state and those replacing them that are eligible to vote for Zeldin are Democrats. Zeldin is being challenged by another Jewish Democrat. He needs our donations, our time to volunteer and our votes more than ever. If Zeldin loses, American Jews and Israel loses its most Zionist Jewish voice in the country. We can not let that happen.
Nicole Malliotakis is running in district 11, covering the Jewish communities of Staten Island and Brooklyn. Let me tell you about the Nicole I know. She is no stranger to New York Jewish concerns, given that she is an outspoken Assemblywoman and former Mayoral candidate. Nicole stood next to me when I received my Rachel Imeinu Award. Nicole has been a regular attendee at many Jewish events, rallies and has traveled to Israel.
She understands law and order, she understands jobs and employment and she understands the importance of quality education. Malliotakis has been endorsed by President Trump and this race is considered one of the top ten most watched races in the country.
Since early September, the nation has been watching every move in Rochester. A Rochester police chief, other high-ranking officials retired amid an inquiry into man’s death in custody. Let’s be honest, safety in our communities has become a top Election Day issue.
Rochester has a growing and thriving Jewish community. One of its active legal and religious leaders is George Mitris. According to his website, George immigrated to the United States from Greece at the age of eight. George’s parents lived through World War II as children, with no parents at home, amidst daily life-threatening violence, always wondering whether they would survive the day. George himself saw the horrible effects of the Greek Civil War, which drove away most of his family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen. It left his homeland ravaged.
But the Mitris family’s resolve, optimism, and commitment to faith landed them in Rochester, NY where they would begin life anew in their new home.
His wife of 27 years, Slagana Avramoska Mitris, is an immigrant from the former Yugoslavia and has a similar story. They both care so deeply about many community causes. While humble and unassuming, the Mitris family is involved in many Jewish organizations, including the Jewish Day Schools their children attend.
Queens Borough President
It’s really no secret that although I know all the candidates very well and consider them personal friends, Joann Ariola, the Republican candidate is so much more. As Queens County Chair, Ariola has called me her unofficial “Jewish” advisor. She has spoken out against the anti-Semitism in her borough. Ariola has received many endorsements and has energized donors who would normally not support her.
Her victory in November is a win for any candidate seriously considering a run next year for Mayor, as she will be the highest ranking Republican city official.
Albany is a mess. Unfortunately, based on current predictions, it is only going to get worse after the November elections. That is why I am focusing on a winning state senate seat. Meet Elisa Nahoum from District 11 in the Flushing community. Nahoum is a Hispanic Jew, with a unique background. A real estate professional with a history of political activism, Nahoum is a life long resident of Flushing, Queens.
She says: "I am proud to trace my Jewish ancestry to ancient times as a member of the Romanoite Community (Greek Jews). My uncle Samual Nahoum was a founding member of the only Romanoite Shul, Kahela Kadosha, in the early part of the 20th Century, in the Western Hemisphere, and only three that are in existence in the world."
Her roots go deep in the NYC Jewish Community, where she and her husband (Yeshiva graduate and tour guide at a Holocaust center in Queens) attend services at Kahela Kadosha, and Chabad of Northeast Queens. Her family celebrated their younger daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in Israel, and both of her daughters participated in Birthright, traveling to Israel.
As a candidate and then elected State Senator, Jewish issues will be front and center on her agenda. Her priority is to work in the NYS Legislature to return law and order to the community and New York in general. Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise, with little or no consequence to the attackers. Attacks on Jews as well as Jewish property are the number one crime against any ethnic minority group.
Her opponent, John Liu, seems to have forgotten the Jewish Community in Northern Queens. His recent efforts in announcing misinformation on the Corrona Pandemic, and connection to Black Lives Matter, underscore his distain for the safety and well being of the Jewish Community.
Jews of New York, we must stand up for ourselves like The Jewish Partisans of the past.
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Cindy Grosz is an award-winning pro-Israel and Education activist. She works on exposing corruption in schools, improving oversight on classroom curriculum and ending anti-Semitism in education situations. She also helps educators fight discrimination in the hiring and firing practices of school staff.