Written by Yosef Hershkop
The past two months have tested us to the limit and changed our lives forever. The Orthodox Jewish community hasn’t experienced such trying times since our grandparents’ generation. New York City in particular has suffered tremendously and will take a lot of hard work to get back on its feet. For most of us our struggles right now are related to childcare, job loss, or concerns about how to stay safe in the workplace. Nobody has it easy right now – the COVID outbreak has impacted everyone.
For our community, we have had the unprecedented and painful circumstance of being isolated from our shuls and our community for months.
The wheels of democracy keep turning though, and there is an extremely significant election just around the corner. On June 23rd, we will have the opportunity to vote in a Democratic primary for state and federal representatives. In Crown Heights, the Congressional primary is expected to be extremely close – and we have one of our own running. We have the opportunity to elect Councilman Chaim Deutsch to the US Congress. If elected, he will be the first Orthodox Jew to serve in the House of Representatives. We have the opportunity to make history.
In order to vote in the primary, you must be registered as a Democrat before May 29, 2020.
Chaim Deutsch is the most exciting candidate our district has seen since Shirley Chilsolm ran and won, with the support of the Rebbe. Chaim has a great chance of winning, particularly because he is running against three very progressive Democrats who will likely split the vote. Additionally, he has built a (deserved) reputation as being an advocate for the little guy. In fact, during this COVID crisis, he and his staff helped more than 2,000 people from across the city obtain their unemployment benefits. He has been a fierce fighter for equal treatment for Orthodox Jews and all New Yorkers, successfully getting free kosher and halal Grab & Go meals to be offered in the last few weeks.
He can win and we can win – if we vote en masse.
Thousands of young people in our community aren’t registered to vote, effectively giving up their voice in government. At a time when Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn have been under attack – both physically and spiritually – we have an obligation to stand up for ourselves and our rights. It is critical that we have a voice of our own in the New York delegation to the US Congress – and Chaim Deutsch is that voice.
With Chaim Deutsch in Congress, we can finally have a representative who will be a supporter of Eretz Yisroel, who will fight for resources for us here in Brooklyn, and who will be a shining example of the ehrlichkeit that our community holds dear.
Don’t delay: register today! https://vote.nyc/page/register-vote
Yosef Hershkop is a resident of Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He is a healthcare executive and he’s been an organizer of many pro-Israel rallies and is involved in several Jewish organizations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter at @yossy770