May 16, 2021


Tuesday saw New Yorkers cast their votes in the primaries, and both Democratic and Republican candidates spent time courting the state’s sizeable Jewish community in the days leading up to the race, Israel National News reported.

Republicans Ted Cruz and John Kasich recently visited matzah bakeries in Brooklyn, while Donald Trump hosted a 20-minute Q&A with primarily Orthodox Jewish reporters. Orthodox Jews have become a significant voting bloc in New York.

Meanwhile, some candidates have run ads in Yiddish, spoken overwhelmingly in Ultra-Orthodox communities. While Orthodox Jews tend to vote Republican (55 percent, versus 31 percent Democrat), some Ultra-Orthodox communities, especially those with strong anti-Zionist beliefs, have publicly supported Democratic candidates.

One group circulated YIddish flyers in support of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, complete with Sanders’s official campaign logo. The flyer emphasizes Sanders’s disapproval of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following his name with the Hebrew acronym for a curse which translates “may the name of the wicked rot”.

“Some self-interested haredi figures have attacked the Democratic candidate for president, Bernie Sanders, calling on [the Jewish public] not to vote for him,” the flyer reads. “The real reason [for their opposition] is because Sanders refuses to bow down to radical right-wing Zionists, and because he does not agree with the radical policies of Netanyahu, may the name of the wicked rot”.

On the other hand, Cruz’s Yiddish ad plays up his religious faith in an effort to build common ground.

“Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is the first and only since President Reagan who believes that God is the one who decides who will be elected president of the US, which is why he is confident that he will be elected,” the ad says.