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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flatbush Jewish Community Forms New Civic Advocacy and Political Coalition

Just weeks after a few Orthodox Jewish activist came out with plea of creating a coalition of various community activists that would solidify the Jewish community's voter base, a newly formed Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition of leading Roshei Yeshiva, Rabbanim, and community activists, was  announced Thursday morning. The coalition, as noted in the press release, was formed to coordinate efforts by disparate segments of the Jewish community in Flatbush to foster the growth and development of one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country.

The FJCC plans to address many of the civic and communal challenges that face the Jewish residents of Flatbush, including safety, zoning, quality of life concerns and emerging political issues.According to the organizers, the FJCC will also pursue the important goal of registering new voters, and encourage all to vote in both the Primary and general elections.

 “Due to the recent citywide redistricting, it is more important than ever that our community’s voice is heard through a strong voter turnout," said Josh Mehlman, one of the organizers of the coalition. "It is imperative that we register and vote in the upcoming elections, which will have a significant impact on our lives for years to come. Elected officials pay particular attention to communities with large voter turnouts; many of our concerns will be directly affected by our participation in the electoral process."


"Our goal is unity because when we speak with one voice, it is a powerful and effective,” Mr. Mehlman added.

The Orthodox community in Brooklyn, which counts 200,000 household, currently has only 3 Orthodox elected officials in government. Councilman David Greenfield, State Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Another open seat in the newly drawn 48th council district, which is highly contested in this year's election, might get an Orthodox Jewish representative if the Russians split their vote between 3 candidates and Chaim Deutsch emerges victorious in the primaries and in the general election in November.

The FJCC already has over 50 members from major shuls and yeshivas, including a group of well-known community leaders. The committee in formation includes: Avi Schron, Shimon Lefkowitz, Avi Schick, Menachem Lubinsky, Chaim Scharf, Leon Goldenberg, Abish Brodt, Elly Kleinman, Peter Rebenwurzel, Chaskel Bennett, Yechiel Landau, Yussie Zalmanowitz, Yanky Arem, Pinny Rand, Aaron Tessler, Dr. Simon Friedman, Rafi Treitel, Shmuel Kairy, Mendy Pomerantz, Yitzchok Fuchs, Lenny Wassner, Avrohom Poznanski, Ephraim Fruchthandler, Dudi Spira, Sruli Berger, Dr. Seymour Edelstein, Victor Shine, Ephraim Nierenberg, Avrohom Tikotsky, Dr. Israel Zyskind, and Josh Mehlman, among many other community askonim who are expected to join this growing coalition.

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