Trailblazing Hasidic Woman Elected as Brooklyn Judge

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rachel “Ruchie” Freier of Brooklyn was elected a Civil Court judge in New York state, reportedly a first for a Hasidic woman in the state.

Freier won Tuesday’s vote in Kings County’s 5th judicial district, which encompasses the Brooklyn communities of Kensington, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, among others, according to Patch.

Patch cited “multiple outlets that cover the Orthodox Jewish community” in noting the historic nature of Freier’s victory.

Unofficial election results published online by New York’s Board of Elections showed Freier receiving 40.7 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, with Jill Epstein and Morton Avigdor receiving 34.3 and 24.3 percent, respectively.

Early Wednesday, Freier thanked her supporters, writing on Twitter, “Tonight’s victory is your victory.”

Freier, a mother of six, practices commercial and residential estate law, according to her campaign site. After graduating from high school, she worked as a legal secretary and paralegal to support her husband’s Talmudic studies. She is a graduate of Touro College and Brooklyn Law School, and founded the all-female EMT agency Ezras Nashim.

A Hasidic man, Aron Wieder, won the New York State Assembly Democratic primary on Tuesday in the 98th District and will face the Republican incumbent, Karl Brabenec, in the general election in November. Wieder, of Spring Valley, defeated Brabenec on the Independence line.

The district includes towns with large Hasidic populations in Rockland County, including Monsey, as well as parts of Orange County.

Author

Josefin Dolsten

Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at dolsten@forward.com and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.

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Trailblazing Hasidic Woman Elected as Brooklyn Judge

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