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Election too early to call, how Jewish candidates fared, remembering Yitzhak Rabin
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Daily Update

Election too early to call, how Jewish candidates fared, remembering Yitzhak Rabin

Rabbis Annie Lewis, left, and Yosef Goldman in Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2020. Goldman led a team of rabbis volunteering at polling places. (Ben Sales)
Rabbis Annie Lewis, left, and Yosef Goldman in Philadelphia, Nov. 3, 2020. Goldman led a team of rabbis volunteering at polling places. (Ben Sales)

The presidential race remains unsettled, after an Election Day in which President Trump exceeded expectations and left multiple paths for either him or former Vice President Joe Biden to claim victory.

What we do know:

Jewish voters favored Biden over Trump 77%-21%, according to an exit poll conducted for J Street.

Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis declared victory over Democratic incumbent Rep. Max Rose, a Jewish military veteran, in Staten Island.

Rep. Lee Zeldin, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, declared victory over Democratic challenger and Stony Brook University professor Nancy Goroff on the East End of Long Island.

Kathy Manning, a former immigration attorney who led two national Jewish organizations, won a congressional seat in North Carolina.

Merav Ben-David, an Israeli-American scientist who mounted a quixotic bid for Senate in Wyoming, the country’s reddest state, lost as expected to Republican Cynthia Lummis.

Cori Bush, a Democrat who expressed support for the movement to boycott Israel, is set to become the St. Louis area’s next congresswoman. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, who also support the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — known as BDS — are also expected to win second terms.

Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene will become the first member of Congress who has expressed belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory, which is rife with anti-Semitism. Meanwhile, Lois Frankel won reelection in her South Florida House district, fending off a challenge by the right-wing self-described “Islamophobe” Laura Loomer.

Jon Ossoff was trailing Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue in Georgia with 20 percent of the vote outstanding.

Al Gross, a Jewish physician and former commercial fisherman, fell well short of his bid to knock off Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan in Alaska. Days before the vote, the Anti-Defamation condemned an online ad attacking Gross for having anti-Semitic tropes.

We will be updating these results throughout the day.

Rabbis fanned out across the battleground state of Pennsylvania Tuesday to de-escalate tension and to advocate for people who might have been denied access to the ballot box.

Volunteer clergy for “Election Defenders” found that the day proceeded calmly, but they were worried for the days ahead, when uncertainty about the election’s outcome and the Trump campaign’s legal challenges could lead to unrest.

Related: Popular Jewish conservative pundit Ben Shapiro broke ranks with the Trump administration in a tweet Wednesday morning, calling the president’s claim of an early electoral victory “deeply irresponsible.” The Forward has details.

Many Jews got through the anxious build-up to Election Day by composing and reciting prayers written especially for the occasion.

“Spread your shelter of peace over our country, that we might have a clear and peaceful outcome to our election,” reads a prayer by two Brooklyn rabbis. JTA reports.

The 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh weighed heavily on the minds of Jewish voters there.

The local JCC and three synagogues served as polling stations in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, where precautions included barricades separating voters from worshipers and security staff in case an attacker were to come in under the guise of being a voter.

In Other News

On the 25th anniversary of his assassination, Yitzhak Rabin is remembered by The Jewish Week with an essay by a reporter who recalls meeting the once and future prime minister in 1978.

“Foreshadowing his own tragic fate,” Steve North writes, “Rabin concluded that Israel would ‘no doubt be taking a lot of risks for the purpose of the achievement of peace.'”

Related: A Beersheba court on Wednesday rejected a request by Rabin’s jailed assassin, Yigal Amir, for a prison furlough to attend his son’s bar mitzvah.

Following a suspected terrorist attack by a shooter who reportedly shouted “Allah,” European rabbis made an unusual appeal for more “control and transparency” over what goes on at mosques across the continent.

Police in Austria were searching for any possible accomplices of the 20-year-old suspect killed at the scene of the first of multiple shootings. Four victims have died and 22 were wounded.

“It is important to know what is being preached in mosques and other places of worship over here, by whom they are financed, what foreign influences are promoting such terrible deeds and how social media serve as a vehicle for this,” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, wrote Tuesday in a statement.

Streaming Today

American Sephardi Federation presents Shalva Weil, discussing her new book “The Baghdadi Jews in India: Maintaining Communities, Negotiating Identities and Creating Super-Diversity.” Weil is Senior Researcher at the Research Institute for Innovation in Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, and Research Fellow in the Department of Biblical Studies and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa. Register here. 12:00 pm.

Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan presents WNYC’s Jami Floyd as she discusses the outcomes of the 2020 election. Guests to be announced. Co-sponsored by The Joseph Stern Center for Social Responsibility and JCC Harlem. Register in advance and the program link will be sent to you. 8:00 pm.

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