Skip To Content

Spitzer Scandal’s Israeli Connection, Etc.

The man who is accused of being the ringleader of the prostitution ring that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer apparently patronized was found with an Israeli passport in his apartment, the Associated Press reports. Mark Brener, 62, of Cliffside Park, N.J., is being held without bail after the passport and $600,000 in cash were found in his apartment.

If Spitzer steps down, he’d be the third governor in the Tri-state area to resign in the past four years due to a scandal. And Spitzer’s scandal wouldn’t be the only one with an Israeli connection.


Of Albany’s Big Three — Spitzer, State Senate leader Joe Bruno and Assembly leader Sheldon Silver — Silver, a kippah-wearing Lower East Side powerbroker, is the only one not currently ensnared in a federal investigation.

Huffington Post’s Rachel Sklar speculates on how the Jewish media will cover the scandal: “Oy, such a nice Jewish boy, on his way to becoming the first Jewish President! What’s this girl’s name, Kristen? Sigh. To think he threw it all away for a shiksa.” (Hat tip: Romenesko)

My colleague Anthony Weiss notes that the Jewish community had been one of the last redoubts of support for Spitzer, who even before this scandal broke had been having a rocky first year in Albany. According to a February poll (PDF), Jews were the only New York demographic group with a majority viewing the Governor favorably — 53% to be precise.

Politico’s Ben Smith writes:

Spitzer’s announcement briefly galvanized a political world that has been singularly focused, for months, on the presidential contest. It has no immediate consequences for the 2008 race, though it seems to render more distant a prospect long floated by Spitzer’s circle: that he could become the first Jewish president.

It could also affect the fortunes of another prominent Jewish pol: Some have speculated in the past that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg might be interested in the job of governor at some point in the future.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.