The Jewish Voice Reports: In a 15-page mailer targeting Boro Park’s frum community, Felder referred to Storobin as a “son without a name,” explaining that he is “not even to be considered as a candidate for our community.”
According to a report by the local online publication Capital, a spokesman for Felder clarified the statement, explaining that the initial translation was “too literal,” and that the phrase is comparable to saying, in English “he isn’t known around here.”
At this point, we’d like to offer a tip of our collective hat to our colleague, political commentator and occasional JV contributor Jacob Kornbluh, who helped bring this issue to the attention of those of us not fluent in Yiddish, and who then decided to dig a little deeper.
It seems that six months ago, when the leaders of Agudath Israel were behind Storobin, Hamodia had no qualms describing the state senator as “an Orthodox Jew, who belongs to a shomer Shabbos shul,” noting that he was both “a frum Jew and a descendant of Holocaust survivors.” But wait, it gets better.
Back in 2001, Kornbluh explains, it was actually Simcha Felder who wasn’t considered “frum enough” to be taken seriously as a candidate “for our community.” Hence the following passage in the Gotham Gazette:
“Simcha Felder, an aide to longtime Assemblyman Dov Hikind and the leader in the money race, is Orthodox but, according to press accounts, not Orthodox enough for candidates Ezra Friedlander and Elya Amsel, who are Hasidic. ‘I am not interested in being a Jewish leader,’ Felder says. ‘I am interested in being the council person from the 44th district.’ He adds, ‘If someone comes along and says they are holy, I can’t compete.”
It seems the chalitzah shoe is on the other foot! But we’re not done.
Kornbluh also points out how, in 2008, Councilman Felder, running against State Senator Kevin Parker, told Vos iz Neias not to vote for him based on his Jewishness:
“I happen to be Jewish, and I am very proud of it, but that shouldn’t be the reason to vote for me. When you buy food, clothes, or cars, or when you hire a plumber or electrician, you compare the options and see which one is the best.”