Councilman Lew Fidler, fresh out of the hospital, is looking to gather public support from community leaders to run in newspaper advertisements next week, and one of the specific pitches to these leaders suggests the remaining sensitivity of gay marriage in the socially conservative circles of southern Brooklyn politics.
Jeff Leb, the Chairman of the Marine Park Jewish Community Council, reached out to potential supporters of Mr. Fidler’s State Senate campaign this morning via email. In addition to extolling Mr. Fidler’s work on behalf of his organization and others, the letter, forwarded to The Politicker, sought to allay potential concerns recipients may have.
“This ISN’T a David Weprin situation where there was an outright vote for Gay Marriage on the floor of the Assembly that offended many Jewish people,” he wrote, referring to Assemblyman Weprin’s failed run for Congress last year. Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind and newspapers like Hamodia cited the marriage issue when they heavily criticized Mr. Weprin’s candidacy.
“Lew Fidler has never voted for gay marriage. Gay Marriage has already been passed it New York State and will not be ‘re-voted’ on,” Mr. Leb added.
(Critics point out Mr. Fidler has taken votes on related issues in the New York City Council.)
The letter also discusses Mr. Fidler’s own religiosity.
“Lew Fidler is not Orthodox and has never claimed to be,” the letter argues for its second defensive point. “He is a traditional Jew who celebrates the major Jewish Yom Tovim. His opponent is not Orthodox either.”
His opponent is Republican candidate David Storobin. Both are competing to replace Carl Kruger in the State Senate, as Mr. Kruger resigned from the position when he pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges last year.
Update: Mr. Leb tweeted that his point was Mr. Weprin suffered extra backlash over gay marriage in the Orthodox community because he was an Orthodox Jew himself.
Read the full letter below:
Amidst all of the festivities, I wanted to take a moment to as you if you would be willing to lend your name to an ad that will appear next week in all of the local papers supporting Lew Fidler for State Senate.
This ad will be signed by a couple Hundred of Community leaders and I would like to know if I can include your name on it as well.
Lew Fidler has been the Councilman for Marine Park for the past 10 years. He has been incredible supportive of the Jewish community and has always been there for us whenever anyone has needed assistance. He has also provided funding for the community programming of Shuls in Marine Park. Any Shul that had a community program that applied for funding to Lew Fider was awarded an grant for that program.
Lew was also the first and largest political backer of the JCC of Marine Park. The JCCMP, which has serviced THOUSANDS of people over the last 4 years would not have been possible without the help of a determined Lew Fidler.
I will be signing on to this letter supporting Lew Fidler.
As an aside – for those of you who might have an issue with anything you might have heard, here is a clarification of some points:
This ISN’T a David Weprin situation where there was an outright vote for Gay Marriage on the floor of the Assembly that offended many Jewish people. Lew Fidler has never voted for gay marriage. Gay Marriage has already been passed it New York State and will not be “re-voted” on.
Lew Fidler is not Orthodox and has never claimed to be. He is a traditional Jew who celebrates the major Jewish Yom Tovim. His opponent is not Orthodox either.
If you would like to lend your name in support of Lew Fidler, please reply “YES” to me and give me the exact spelling of your name. I need this information before Shabbos. Thank you.