Intensive Get-Out-the-Vote Efforts in Orthodox Community

BROOKLYN -

As New York City residents headed to the polls on Thursday for the Democratic primaries, members of the Jewish community were urged by their communal leaders to extend themselves and make sure to vote in this crucial election. Local mosdos sent out robocalls and employed other methods as they exercised great effort to boost voter turnout in the neighborhoods inhabited by the Jewish community.

“We received a call by a prominent member of the vaad of our son’s yeshivah explaining the importance of voting in this primary,” said a mother of a student in Yeshiva Mevakshei Hashem. Rav Fischel Schechter, a noted maggid shiur, explained that the eyes of thousands of New Yorkers are watching to see the participation of the frum community, and how important they consider their representation to be.

“This morning,” said Rav Schachter, “Rav Moshe Wolfson spoke in his shul, Emunas Yisroel, and exhorted his congregants to take out from their precious time and go to vote. Certainly, people are busy these days searching for a beautiful esrog and building their sukkah. Nevertheless, it is crucial for everyone to take the time and go to vote.”

The Rachmastrivka kehillah also sent out a robocall on Thursday afternoon, which featured Rabbi Lazer Yida Fogel, the Menahel of the Rachmastrivka Kollel and a noted community askan. Rabbi Fogel made an impassioned plea imploring the members of the kehillah and the parents body of its mosdos to make certain to vote. He stressed that the future of the chinuch of our children is at stake, and that every single vote was crucial.

The robocall was only one part of this effort. Parents of the Mosdos haChinuch of Rachmastrivka, which includes Talmud Torah Ohel Yochonon and Bais Shifra girls school, received a separate phone call from a staff member midday Thursday, asking whether they can be counted on to vote. This was an addition to two letters – one brought home by each student last week and another one on Wednesday – urging the parents to vote.

The Satmar Kehilos in Boro Park also made a very intensive get-out-to-vote effort, which included letters sent home to parents along with large signs posted inside the batei medrash, urging members of their kehillos to vote.

In a robocall by Gerrer askanim, the members of their kehillah were pressed to make sure to have their votes counted, as the future of the Jewish community’s representation at the state level hangs in the balance of this election.

Bobov and Bobov 45 also made robocalls encouraging their adherents to vote. Bnos Tzion, the girls school of Bobov, dismissed their classes early so the older girls would be able to babysit while their parents went to vote.

Tax-exempt organizations such as yeshivos are prohibited by law from making political endorsements, and none of the callers named a specific candidate.


Updated Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 11:51 pm .