Bitter Feud Divides New York’s Orthodox Jewish Politicians

Source: The New York Times

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Councilman David G. Greenfield, center, with the City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Councilman Donovan Richards Jr., at City Hall in March 2016. Mr. Greenfield’s surprise decision this month not to seek re-election has set off intrigue and infighting in the city’s Orthodox Jewish political circles.CreditKirsten Luce for The New York Times

The idea that a New York City councilman would forgo running for re-election to take charge of a multimillion-dollar nonprofit with a big name and a citywide footprint — and very likely get a big pay bump along the way — would normally amount to a blip of a story.

But in Borough Park, Brooklyn, where politics are played as a sport, the recent decision of David G. Greenfield to abruptly cut short a rising political career has set off intrigue and infighting in the city’s Orthodox Jewish political circles.

Mr. Greenfield renounced his City Council seat in such a way as to hand off his party’s nomination to an ally, Kalman Yeger, who had been running in a neighboring district. The maneuver was effectively an end run around his longtime local nemesis, State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whom the councilman once served as chief of staff, and who happens to have been angling for his own son to enter political office.

“This is a community,” said Michael Tobman, a Brooklyn-based political consultant and the publisher of a weekly magazine, New York Jewish Life, “that enjoys fighting amongst itself for fun.”

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Categories: America, Jews, The Muslim Times, USA

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