By Larry Gordon –
You hardly ever saw the former Orthodox Jewish senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman going about his official duties while wearing his yarmulke. That is unless he was speaking at an overtly frum event like a parlor meeting here in the 5 Towns or the last time I saw him at the Chabad Kinus HaShluchim, that is the annual event that bring emissaries from around the world for an intimate dinner for 4,000 or so attendees in New York. Last year Lieberman was the keynote speaker and he of course was yarmulke clad for the event.
The fact of the matter is that today there are a good number of elected officials in various legislative bodies who can be obviously identified as being Orthodox by the fact that they wear a yarmulke head covering. At the same time there are probably a greater number of Jewish elected officials who do not wear the kipa for whatever their reasons are but most probably so as not to publicize their Orthodoxy which really has nothing to do with their public persona as an official.
Even those like New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Phil Goldfeder and State Senator Simcha Felder and David Greenfeld and Chaim Deutsch, members of the New York City Council who represent large Orthodox communities wear their Yarmulkas wherever they go even though their districts also have within them non-Jewish communities.
Then there are those who are also good members in standing n frum communities like Assemblyman David Weprin or Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and others who you hardly ever see on official government business wearing their Yarmulkas.
So what exactly is the Yarmulka factor and how does it fit into both election campaigns and the fact of government service today? Despite the reality that stiff prejudices have to a great degree fallen to the wayside—LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling notwithstanding—there seems to be sense among Yarmulka wearers that when they are seen or identified as wearing a yarmulke they are being somehow instantly profiled or stereotyped.
Which bring us to a possible political race here in Nassau County next November that may have two Yarmulka wearers running against one another. With the announced retirement of NYS Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg last week, Dr. Asher Mansdorf—as reported here last week—has made it known that he is interested in running for the seat in the Assembly as the Democratic candidate. There is also some speculation that a popular Republican operative associated with several elected Republican officials on Long island—Avi Fertig— is also being urged to run by his colleagues. No definitive decision has been made on his candidacy as of our deadline for this article.
Last week, Todd Kaminisky, a US Attorney who resides in Long Beach and is close to Weisenberg visited our offices to talk about his being a candidate for the same seat. Interestingly enough Kaminsky …read more
Source: 5tjt Facebook Page