Eying Orthodox Vote, New York Mayor Candidates Back Aid to Religious Schools

Quinn, Weiner and Thompson Jockey for Support

Pander or Principle? New York’s mayoral frontrunners are tripping over themselves to vow more aid for religious schools. With the race up in the air, they want to make sure they get a slice of the Orthodox vote.
yermi brenner
Pander or Principle? New York’s mayoral frontrunners are tripping over themselves to vow more aid for religious schools. With the race up in the air, they want to make sure they get a slice of the Orthodox vote.

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published July 23, 2013, issue of July 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Yet as Quinn and Weiner have emerged as the dueling favorites in recent weeks, both have stepped up efforts to appeal to the Orthodox.

In response to questions, both said in late June and early July that they believe the West Bank to be disputed territory rather than occupied. The United States, the United Nations, the international community and Israel’s own Supreme Court consider Israel to have occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

“These shouldn’t be issues for a mayoral race,” Leb said of the candidates’ statements on the West Bank. “It’s nice that they consider it disputed as opposed to occupied, but honestly, I think any real discussion of the West Bank’s status really comes across as pandering a little bit.”

Their pushes on nonpublic school aide, however, have been better received.

Quinn described her positions on aid to private religious schools over sandwich wraps and sushi at a lunch meeting of roughly 40 guests of the O.U.’s advocacy arm. David Greenfield, a Democratic member of the New York City Council representing heavily Orthodox neighborhoods in Brooklyn, introduced Quinn. Greenfield has not endorsed anyone in the mayor’s race.

“She got a very warm reception today,” Greenfield told the Forward.

In a question-and-answer session, Quinn said she would cooperate with the Orthodox community to find more public funding for religious schools. “There are areas, we all know this, where the government cannot get involved in nonpublic education. But then there are areas that we can,” Quinn said when asked whether the city could pay for security guards at private religious schools. “We would like to work with all of you and others to figure that out and see what can be done.”

Weiner’s proposal, made outside a closed Catholic parochial school, was more sweeping. “If you’re a student, no matter what type of school you’re in — a yeshiva, a parochial school, a charter school — you’re entitled under the law to certain specific services that go into your education,” Weiner said, according to the news website Gotham Schools.


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!
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • 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.