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Trump’s strength stuns liberal Jews, moderate Dems eke victories, Polish Jews debate abortion law
Daily Update

Trump’s strength stuns liberal Jews, moderate Dems eke victories, Polish Jews debate abortion law

Arnon Mishkin on Fox News on election night 2020, when he called Arizona for Joe Biden, reportedly angering President Trump. (Screen shot from YouTube)
Arnon Mishkin on Fox News on election night 2020, when he called Arizona for Joe Biden, reportedly angering President Trump. (Screen shot from YouTube)

This afternoon, Jewish Council for Public Affairs presents a webinar with post-election analysis by Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor in chief of The Jewish Week; Forward editor in chief Jodi Rudoren and Jonathan Tobin, editor in chief of JNS. They’ll discuss how the campaign impacted the Jewish community, and what the results mean for the Jewish communal agenda. 3:30 pm. Register here.

Election Day was a stark reminder that half of American voters embrace a version of politics that liberal Jews have seen as alien to their understanding of what it means to be American.

Nationalist, protectionist, restrictionist on immigration and deeply suspicious of government and global alliances — the Republican Party has never seemed less welcoming to the Jewish majority, writes JTA’s Ron Kampeas.

JTA also reports on Jewish groups who had hoped that Tuesday’s election would have been a “massive rejection of Trumpism.”

Related: In his weekly column, Jewish Week editor in chief Andrew Silow-Carroll writes that a deep divide between Jewish conservatives and liberals reflects a national trend toward polarization. And these aren’t mere policy divides, he writes. “They are deeper, more primal, more tribal, and more personal.”

Satisfaction: Jewish Republicans were relieved that their party appeared to preserve its majority in the Senate, reports Jewish Insider.

Perspective: Abraham Foxman, the former national director of the Anti-Defamation League, agrees that “we never had this polarization we have today,” but remains optimistic that faced with a common threat, like anti-Semitism, “there’s no question in my mind that the American Jewish community would come together.”

Two Jewish moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives — Elaine Luria in Virginia and Elissa Slotkin in Michigan — have narrowly held onto their congressional seats.

Luria and Slotkin are two Jewish members of the so-called “Gang of Nine,” a group of moderate Democrats with national security backgrounds who were elected in 2018 to seats that had previously been held by Republicans.

A third Jewish lawmaker in the group, Max Rose in New York’s 11th District, is lagging far behind his Republican opponent, although he has not conceded the race.

Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old Republican in western North Carolina who posted selfies from a vacation at Hitler’s retreat in Germany, is headed to Congress.

Cawthorn was heavily favored to win the House race in his solidly Republican district. But he faced a number of controversies during his campaign, including inconsistencies in his biography, allegations of sexual assault and criticism of his 2017 vacation, during which he posted on Instagram that visiting Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest retreat was on his “bucket list.” In captions, he called Hitler “Führer,” a term of reverence, and said the experience “did not disappoint.”

He will be the youngest member of Congress when he takes office in January.

Arnon Mishkin — a Jewish registered Democrat from New York who is the leader and face of the Fox News numbers team — infuriated President Trump when he was the first to call Arizona for Joe Biden Tuesday night.

In a speech to his Upper West Side synagogue B’nai Jeshurun in 2001, Mishkin, 65, said both his parents were Holocaust survivors. His father was the physics and engineering professor Eli Mishkin, whose obituary said he was the first person to receive a doctorate from the Israel Institute of Technology, or Technion. His mother Esther volunteered at YIVO, the institute for Jewish research that preserves European Jewish history.

As the country waits for a complete result of the presidential election, American rabbis are holding processing sessions for congregants, counseling patience and urging them to act as peace-keepers in the event of violent protests.

Rabbi Emily Cohen of West End Synagogue sent an email to her congregants Wednesday morning reminding them to breathe. “This was never going to be the end of our work,” she said of the election. “This was always going to be a stop on the way.”

In Other News

Nationwide protests about a strict new abortion law in Poland have divided the country’s organized Jewish community.

The Religious Jewish Community of Warsaw, a multidenominational organization that claims to represent the interests of Jews in the city, issued a statement saying it understands the anger of Polish women over a law that would outlaw almost all abortion.

But an emissary of the Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch chasidic movement, Rabbi Mayer Stambler, objected, asserting that the Warsaw community’s position was neither a consensus among Polish Jews nor in agreement with Jewish principles.

Israel’s army demolished the homes of nearly 80 Palestinian Bedouins in the West Bank.

Israel said it had destroyed structures “built illegally in a firing zone (military training area) in the Jordan Valley.”


America needs to take a lesson from Israeli elections, which on numerous occasions saw the eventual winner emerge only after all the votes were counted. “Netanyahu has sometimes questioned both the voting process and even the legitimacy of the vote in the Arab sector,” writes David Horovitz in the Times of Israel. “But neither he nor his rivals have challenged the fundamental legitimacy of the national vote or claimed their rivals were fraudulently intervening in the process.”

Streaming Today

JPRO Network and the Mayberg Center present an opportunity for Jewish professionals and others to connect with colleagues and clarify what the election means for them as individual and community professionals. In this nonpartisan program, Dr. Erica Brown will teach and facilitate individual reflection. Then, in breakout sessions, participants will hear from a thought leader who is considering the implications of the moment for their own work. Register here. 2:00 pm.

Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust presents Martin Puchner, author of the newly released book “The Language of Thieves: My Family’s Obsession with a Secret Code the Nazis Tried to Eliminate.” Puchner interweaves family memoir with World War II history to describe a coded language developed on the road in Europe that blended words from Yiddish, Hebrew, German, Romani, Czech and other European languages. Moderator: Harvard Magazine writer Marina Bolotnikova. Register here. Suggested Donation: $10. 2:00 pm.

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