New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang was endorsed Thursday by the Queens Jewish Alliance for Action, a coalition of Orthodox activists from Central Queens.
“We identify with Andrew’s message of change,” QJAA member Nechemiah Hoch told Hamodia. “We are excited to support a candidate who will unabashedly stand with the Orthodox community, and offer unwavering support for the issues that are important to us.”
QJAA members include community activists Sorolle Idels, Jennifer Martin, Alan Sherman, Shabsie Saphirstein and Meshulam Lisker.
“Andrew’s support in the Jewish community, including in Central Queens, is reflective of his extensive outreach and sensitivity to our values,” Queens Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, who endorsed Yang in March, told Hamodia Thursday. “He has consistently expressed support for our rights and interests, and we are confident that if Yang is elected mayor the Jewish community will have a true friend in City Hall.”
The QJAA, along with Rosenthal and other community activists, is credited with a strong get-out-the-vote effort in a City Council special election in February, ensuring a victory for moderate Democrat James Gennaro over progressive Moumita Ahmed.
Yang, an entrepreneur who has never held public office and did not previously have deep ties in the Orthodox community, burst into the mayoral race in January, quickly shot to the top of the polls, and began racking up endorsements in the Orthodox community with his promises to allow yeshivas’ independence in formulating their curricula and opposition to the anti-Israel BDS movement. Rosenthal was one of the first elected officials to endorse Yang; he was later followed by Brooklyn Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and Councilman Kalman Yeger. Yang also received endorsements from united coalitions of Chassidic activists and yeshiva administrators in Boro Park and Williamsburg.
But recently, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a mayoral candidate with longstanding ties in the community who has expressed displeasure at Yang racking up these endorsements, won a string of his own endorsements in the community, getting the support of Crown Heights activists, the Far Rockaway Jewish Alliance, the Sephardic Community Federation, culminating Thursday with his biggest prize, the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition.
In this first mayoral race to use the new ranked-choice voting system, the QJAA is supporting Kathryn Garcia for its second-place vote, Adams third, and Ray McGuire fourth. Garcia, the former city Sanitation Commissioner, has recently seen a surge in the polls following endorsements by The New York Times and Daily News, and is seen as a frontrunner in the race along with Yang and Adams. McGuire, a former Citigroup executive, is viewed as a moderate candidate (as are Yang, Garcia and Adams) with pro-business views that align with many Orthodox voters’, but polls have shown him near the bottom of the field.
Yang campaign co-chairman Chris Coffey told Hamodia Thursday that the campaign is “honored and humbled” to have won the QJAA endorsement, and is “proud to have Dan Rosenthal helping guide Andrew on our strategy. ”
“Andrew has been working hard since he got into the race to build deep connections to Queens and to the Queens Jewish community,” Coffey said. “We are excited and confident that we will win this race and work to improve the quality of life for Jews across the city.”