Jewish Candidates Skip New York Mayor's Race, But Crowd Vies in Los Angeles

Rare No-Jew Race in Gotham as Trio Aims for History in Calif.


By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published February 19, 2013, issue of February 22, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 3 of 4)

Eric Garcetti, president of L.A.’s city council, is of mixed Jewish and Mexican ancestry. He called himself “the Kosher Burrito” in an interview with the Forward last summer. Jan Perry, a member of L.A.’s city council and an African-American Jew, told the Forward that she has “always been a seeker.”

Even candidates with more tenuous Jewish ties have tried to cash in. Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, the city controller, is married to a Jewish man. Last January, Greuel told L.A.’s Jewish Journal that she “would like to” convert to Judaism.

“I believe in the Jewish tradition and religion,” the newspaper quoted her saying.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the fact that no New York Jews are expected to win the race for mayor hasn’t stopped the candidates from making aggressive plays for their loyalty.

Just as Yaroslavsky was expected to take the Jewish bloc in L.A. if he chose to run, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer would have laid claim to a wide swath of the Jewish vote if he had stayed in the race. Instead, Stringer chose to run for city comptroller, a contest he’s expected to win.

There actually is one Jew in the New York City mayoral race. Tom Allon, a newspaper publisher, is running for mayor as a Republican, though his lack of name recognition makes him a long shot.

Democratic primary candidates such as Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio and Bill Thompson have already been photographed with Jewish leaders and appeared at Jewish events all over the city. But in New York, their efforts to win the Jewish vote are complicated by a communal diversity not seen in L.A.

“I think that the very great heterogeneity within the Jewish population in New York means that it doesn’t vote as consistently as the Jewish population in L.A.,” said John Mollenkopf, director of the Center for Urban Research at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, arguing that the city’s Jewish voters are less uniform than their L.A. counterparts.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.