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An Open Letter to Eric Adams

"We want one thing — not to be singled out. Don’t single us out for good, don’t single us out for bad"

Dear Eric,

Congratulations on your big win — or as they say in France, mazel tov. There’s something about your come-from-behind victory that tugs at my heart. They say the winner is the guy who seems to be having fun, and you certainly looked like you were having fun. They also say that the guy who wants it most will win, and there’s no denying that you gave it your heart and soul.

With Curtis Sliwa as the Republican nominee, it appears that the Jewish infatuation with the GOP will take a break this year, meaning that you will be the community’s candidate in November. It is easy to lose sight of what we as a community want, so let’s give it a quick review.

We want one thing — not to be singled out. Don’t single us out for good, don’t single us out for bad. Sounds uncomplicated, right? You will soon find out that it ain’t that simple.

You will have the Yaffed bunch heckling your press conferences with the false claims that they represent the silent majority. Read this advice every day — calm down, they don’t represent anyone but the dozen or so who attend their press conferences.

You will have the media buzzing about our supposed sins, such as blaming us for a measles outbreak, although our vaccination rates are higher than the overall population’s, and for not heeding Covid rules. Again, we just don’t want to be singled out. Don’t send in the artillery for the Jews and ignore the packed beaches.

I’m confident you will succeed. Bill de Blasio was also close to the community before he was elected mayor. But after his election, he went AWOL on us for a while, refusing to take our calls and even skipping a fundraiser in Flatbush. That’s why I’m glad to see you visit the shivah house of Josh Mehlman of the FJCC and having dinner with Chanina Sperlin and Eli Cohen of the Crown Heights JCC last week.

Many in our community are pessimistic about the future we have here in the city. We want to hear an inviting tone for business, not to hear them used for target practice whenever the mayor needs a boost from the left. We want to hear more about your 22 years as a cop and less about how you were roughed up as a teenager. We want the criminals to know that Eric Adams will not suffer them for a second.

But you can’t imagine how a single incident throws us into a tizzy.

Pandering to the Democratic Socialists of America scares us.

Talk of defunding police alarms us.

A night of unfettered looting — even one solitary night — spooks us more than a thousand firecrackers.

Seeing lawlessness go uncountered terrifies us.

Letting pro-Palestinian protests descend into attacks on Jews frightens us.

Jews are naturally hopeful. We arrived on these shores hundreds of moons ago and would love nothing more than to know that we’re welcome to stay. Please see that the headlines in four or eight years read that there were more Jews in the city at the end of your term than there were at the beginning.



(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 869)


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