Congressman Mike McMahon met with some of the city’s Jewish leaders today at a luncheon in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, a long scheduled confab but the first time McMahon has met with members of the Jewish community since it was revealed that his campaign was compiling a list of his opponent’s Jewish donors.
The meeting was closed to the press, but according to several sources present, McMahon mentioned the flare-up immediately, and explained that the campaign wanted to track who was giving money to one of his opponents, Republican Mike Grimm. He said that no one was authorized to label the document, “Jewish Money.”
“He reiterated his apology and his anger about the situation, he talked about firing the aide. He was very genuine in feeling bad about it and in making the case that that’s not who he is,” said one attendee.
Those in attendance included Rabbi Yechiel Kaufman of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council, Michael Miller of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Rabbi Shea Hecht of the National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education, as well as representatives from the Orthodox Union, and the Council of Jewish Organizations of Flatbush. McMahon was introduced by Rep. Jerry Nadler. Brad Lander, who represents the area in the City Council, was also present.
The area is outside of McMahon’s district, and sources say that the meeting seemed mostly like a chance for members of the Jewish community to get to know McMahon, who has only been in office for a year and a half. After McMahon’s brief remarks, he took questions from the 50 or so attendees, and sources say that the question were more focused on specifics–the foreclosure crisis, how to get more services to the neighborhood, McMahon’s views on Israel–than on the events of the last several days.
“It was very nice,” explained Rabbi Kaufman of the Boro Park JCC. “He explained everything that they were doing. Hopefully we can work together to bring services to the community.”