Saturday, February 9, 2013

Israeli Orthodox Magazine 'Bakhila' Profiles Bill Thompson with Header- "A Shabbos Goy"

Bakhila cover of Thompson profile
"I tell people, look at the current Mayor, that is a Jew, and look at the other hand at Bill - One is Jewish, and one is Black. But in reality, the Jew is not so Jewish, and the black guy is not so black," said one of the Jewish activists, who's supporting Bill Thompson's bid for Mayor of NYC, to the Israeli Orthodox magazine 'Bakhila' in Hebrew.

In an extensive profile of former city comptroller and mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, Bakhila magazine describes Thompson's ties to the Jewish community in Brooklyn and his support for Israel, with the header: 'A Shabbos Goy' (a non-Jew who performs certain types of work for a Jew on the Sabbath).

"I was born and raised in Brooklyn, not far from Crown Heights," Mr. Thompson told the magazine. "It's obvious that it will reflect in my job and influence me forever. I know how to get from the towers in Manhattan to the neighborhoods in Brooklyn without a driver, even with the subway," Mr. Thompson touted the Brooklyn roots he brings to the race.

"I have a very close and long relationship with the Jewish community in Brooklyn," said Mr. Thompson. "As a kid growing up in Brooklyn I got to know many Jews. " Unlike his father William C. Thompson, Sr., who's very known in the Jewish community, that speaks a fluent Yiddish and is even very aware of the Jewish halachic laws, Bill Thompson only understands a word or two in Yiddish. "But that doesn't hold back my strong relationship with the Jewish Orthodox community," Mr. Thompson clarified.

"Bill Thompson, He's Good For Jews." Ben Barber in the Bakhila
"I have no doubt that Bill Thompson will be a good mayor to Jews in general and Orthodox Jews in particular," said Ben Barber, one of the most senior Jewish leaders in Boro Park, who supported Thompson in 2009 over mayor Bloomberg. "I have no doubt that now, after out sincere disappointment from our Jewish mayor, the Jewish community will unite behind Bill Thompson, and grant him a chance to repair the damage Bloomberg is leaving behind," Barber added.

Mr. Thompson expressed his expectation to receive the endorsement of the Jewish politicians. In 2009, Assemblyman Dov Hikind was among the few who publicly endorsed and supported Thompson's mayoral run. Hence this time around, Hikind is also very close to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, which puts him in an awkward position. Mr. Thompson, however, is confident that Hikind will endorse him this year too. State Senator Simcha Felder is also on his target list.

"I know him very well. I know him from the time we served together in City Hall," Mr. Thompson expressed said of his hope of  courting Mr. Felder, despite Felder's known alliance with one of Thompson's opponents, Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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