Friday, November 05, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
"This week, when I asked Paladino if he had campaigned before any non-Orthodox Jewish groups in the state, he confessed to not knowing the difference between the Orthodox and the larger Reform or Conservative denominations. Which explains how he got mixed up early in his campaign with a fringe rabbi, Yehuda Levin, whose entire agenda consists of fighting gay rights and abortion. So desperate was he for Jewish friends after being accused of anti-Semitism, Paladino never had an opportunity to learn that for the vast majority of New York Jews, like those in the rest of the country, their priority is opportunity for all people and programs that improve the communities where they live.
"In his emailed response to the same question I asked Paladino about Jewish diversity, Cuomo (or his campaign) said: "Throughout my career I have traveled the state meeting with a wide variety of Jewish leaders in different communities." That may be true of his time as an advisor in his father's administration and as attorney general, but he didn't show it in this campaign. The sole foray into organized Jewish life, as far as I can see, was a visit with Satmar and other chasidic leaders in Williamsburg and Borough Park on a single day."