Cynthia Nixon Dodges Yeshiva Oversight Question On Campaign Trail by the Forward

Cynthia Nixon Dodges Yeshiva Oversight Question On Campaign Trail

Image by Ben Fractenberg

New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon refused to say if she wants greater state oversight of yeshiva education.

Nixon, who has promoted her experience as an education activist during her campaign, dodged the question while commuters darted around her during a Wednesday press conference at the Union Square subway station in Manhattan.

The former “Sex and the City” actress said she was “not going to weigh in on that today” when asked her position on oversight of yeshivas, but did hint at her displeasure with Democratic state Sen. Simcha Felder for holding up budget negotiations over regulations for the private Jewish schools.

“We’re very close to having the Democratic majority in the state senate that we should have had the last five years, and a lot of people are up for election this fall, not just me, and I am very confident that we will retake the senate fully, and I think when we do, then Simcha Felder will not be in such a crucial position that he’s in right now,” she said.

Felder has rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s advances and continues to caucus with Republicans, giving them a single-vote advantage in the legislature’s upper chamber. The Brooklyn senator also held up the state’s $168 billion budget until other lawmakers agreed not to more strongly regulate the school’s teaching of English, math, history or science.

Leaders in the Orthodox community told the Forward they wanted Nixon to address funding for the schools, which they described as a “crushing” financial burden on some Jewish families.

Nixon has been a strong advocate for improving education standards for nearly 20 years and was part of a group of activists who successfully sued the state for additional funds for city schools.

The candidate did weigh in on progressive candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise win over incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley during Tuesday’s primary.

“She ran an incredible grassroots campaign,” Nixon said, “and she showed us that when you give New Yorkers a chance, when you give Democrats a choice in a primary, they’re going to go for the progressive, particularly right now…with Donald Trump in the White House.”

Nixon then touted her similarity with Ocasio-Cortez in supporting issues including single-payer healthcare, 100% renewable energy and refusing corporate donations.

“She won because she spoke the truth and she spoke the truth to power.”

Contact Ben Fractenberg at or on Twitter, @fractenberg

Cynthia Nixon Dodges Question On Yeshiva Oversight

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires 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 and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. 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 Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Cynthia Nixon Dodges Yeshiva Oversight Question On Campaign Trail

Thank you!

This article has been sent!