Edited by: TJVNews.com
Rabbi David Hirsch, an Orthodox rabbi and education policy consultant, is stepping into the political arena as he runs for an open Assembly seat in a special election in north-central Queens, as was reported by the New York Post on Saturday. With his unique background and insights, Hirsch believes he’s the candidate to lead the GOP to victory in this diverse district. According to the Post report, the election is set to take place next month, and Hirsch’s candidacy has drawn attention for its potential to bring a fresh perspective to the Assembly and make history as the first elected rabbi to hold such a position.
Rabbi Hirsch, 34, emphasizes the insights he’s gained from his religious background, especially regarding religious freedoms and sensitivities for all faiths, the Post report indicated. Ordained in 2019 after completing a three-year study at Yeshivas Ohr HaChaim in Kew Gardens, Hirsch believes his rabbinical studies offer a distinctive way of looking at complex issues and finding solutions, the report added. If elected, he would join Brooklyn State Sen. Simcha Felder as one of the few rabbis to hold political office.
“I think it gives me certain insights on a variety of issues, particularly those regarding religious freedoms and sensitivity for all faiths,” Hirsch, 34, told The Post.
Hirsch draws inspiration from religious teachings, particularly from the Book of Exodus, where he cites the importance of shared governance and representation. The Post reported that he expressed a desire to apply these principles to his role as an Assembly member, aiming to provide proper representation and feedback to his constituents.
“It gives you a new way of looking at things and how to break it down and find a solution,” he said of his rabbinical studies, as was reported by the Post.
Hirsch told the Post that if elected he planned to join a synagogue in Albany and would be prepared to serve as a spiritual leader for his fellow legislators.
“If anyone wants that I would be more than glad to offer,” he said, adding that he took lawmaking inspiration from Moses in the book of Exodus.
“Moses takes the advice to take 70 people to help him judge the people. You cannot concentrate too much power. That is kind of a good way to manage a government to make sure there is proper representation and feedback,” he said.
Hirsch has outlined his top priorities, which include addressing crime, the migrant crisis, and education. The Post report noted that he has advocated for replacing the cashless bail system with proportional bail, based on the severity of the crime and the number of offenses committed. This, he believes, can help address the “catch and release” system that currently exists.
“I want to replace cashless bail and replace it with proportional bail, which is set based on the severity of crime and number of offenses,” Hirsch told the Post. “We can’t have the catch and release system we have now.”
The special election was triggered by the resignation of Democratic Assemblyman Dan Rosenthal, who left his position to join the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the NYT reported. Hirsch’s opponent, Democrat Sam Berger, who is also Jewish, is a recent law school graduate and has received Rosenthal’s backing. The district, which includes a significant number of religious Jews, is characterized by its diversity, with more than 30% Asian and 35% white population, the Post report said. While the district voted for President Biden in 2020, it showed support for former GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin in his 2022 contest against Governor Kathy Hochul.
“David Hirsch is an extraordinary candidate for this State Assembly seat,” Zeldin, himself the grandson of an Orthodox rabbi, told The Post.
Rabbi David Hirsch’s candidacy in the upcoming special election adds a unique and fresh dimension to the political landscape in north-central Queens. With his religious background and passion for effective governance, Hirsch aims to represent his constituents while bringing new perspectives to the Assembly. As the election approaches, the district awaits the chance to cast their votes for a candidate who is committed to addressing key issues while drawing inspiration from age-old teachings.