Eichenstein and Yeger say: Three Orthodox Jewish Neighborhoods Should Comprise One Congressional District

Eichenstein and Yeger say: Three Orthodox Jewish Neighborhoods Should Comprise One Congressional District

By Yehudit Garmaise

While the New York state Constitution says that residents who live near each other and share concerns should comprise Congressional districts, the second draft of the Congressional maps divided many of the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Boro Park, Midwood, and Flatbush. 

In the latest draft of the redistricted maps released, some Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, which now stand the 10th District, were moved to the 9th District.

“Don’t sprinkle us around!” Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein (D-44) told the New York Post. “We matter.” 

After seeing that some Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods had been separated from the 10th District, Assemblyman Eichenstein and Councilman Kalman Yeger (D-44) wrote state Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister, who oversees the redistricting, to request that no 10th District Jewish neighborhoods be separated from what the state Constitution called, “a community of interest.”

“We are writing to share with you our deeply held belief the congressional lines, as currently drawn, are discriminatory against Orthodox Jews, a community of interest, per the New York state Constitution,” Eichenstein and Yeger wrote in the letter that was also signed by Bobov askan Yoeli Rosenfeld, Brooklyn’s Community Board 12’s Chairman Yidel Perlstein, and Flatbush leader Leon Goldenberg. 

In addition, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York supported the Jewish Brooklynites, by writing its own letter that similarly claiming that the new Congressional lines as they are currently drawn discriminate against Jews by dividing them.

If District 10 cannot be slightly expanded, another option would be to move all of Boro Park to the 9th District to join other Orthodox Jewish constituents, the lawmakers suggested.

Dividing up such a rapidly growing community that shares concerns, “doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” Yeger told the New York Post.

“We ask that the final maps you approve unify this Community of Interest,” the lawmakers said.

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