Courting the Jews

Mike’s endorsement from Dov Hikind this week and his planned Sunday visit to Orthodox Catskill enclaves do a lot to wrap up the dwindling, but still real, discomfort some Orthodox Jews have had with the Mayor. Before he sought office, a standard-issue secular Jewish ambivalence about his identity seemed to come through, and some took offense at lines like this (from “The Portable Bloomberg“): “The three biggest lies are: The check’s in the mail, I’ll respect you in the morning, and I’m glad that I’m Jewish.”

His jokes about Kosher food, a staple at Jewish events, still grate on some Orthodox.

But he’s also clearly worked hard on the community, and made a study of it.

“I saw when I spoke to him that he was really just not knowledgeable about some of these things but he listened,” Hikind recalled of a Bloomberg visit to his Brooklyn neighborhood.

“He’s come a long way,” Hikind said. “I’d like to help contribute to even more change to be honest with you.”

Hikind said he’d discussed Israeli politics with Bloomberg — Hikind is aligned with the country’s radical settler movement — but declined to describe the conversations.

(Meanwhile, there’s been a bit of grumbling from Manhattan Jewish quarters about Virginia Fields, who apparently skipped an event at the Center for Jewish History last night; this is an issue because she was the event’s host.)

Courting the Jews