Washington – Jewish Democratic Leader Furious Over Chabad McCain Confernce Call

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    Ira FormanWashington – According to the JTA, A Jewish Democratic leader says he will decline invitations to future Chabad-Lubavitch events in the nation’s capital because of its “partisan activities.”

    National Jewish Democratic Council executive director Ira Forman will skip the events because “certain Chabad associated individuals and institutions” have been “taking part in partisan activties” in the last three election cycles.

    “I currently do not feel that it is proper for a NJDC representative to give a ‘bi-partisan hechsher’ to your events,” wrote Forman in an e-mailed letter to American Friends of Lubavitch Washington director Rabbi Levi Shemtov that was obtained by JTA.

    Forman was upset most recently, according to the letter, by a conference call last month that about 40 Chabad-Lubavitch shluchim had with McCain, in which the Republican asked for the group’s endorsement.

    “With this McCain event I do not believe you have adequately considered the issues we previously discussed – including making sure that if you invite the candidate of one party that you then proceed (before the first event takes place) and make a formal, written invitation to the candidate of the other party,” the letter said.

    Shemtov said he had “several” discussions with the Obama campaign about a similar event and the only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because of “scheduling challenges.”

    “If between one event and an an equivalent event there is a lapse of time beyond our control, that can hardly be considered partisanship,” said the rabbi. “Especially in this particular case, we were clear with both campaigns that whatever would be done with one we would be willing to do with the other.”

    Forman would not comment further on the e-mail. “This letter was not intended to be public,” he said. Forman had blind-copied the e-mail to some mutual friends of the two men.

    Shemtov said his organization does not take sides in elections. “Chabad-Lubavitch has never been nor cannot be nor will it ever be a partisan organization,” said Shemtov. “In fact, we are diligent in ensuring access and information both ways across the spectrum of public officials.”

    Shemtov added that he does not rely on Forman for bipartisanship, pointing out that his annual dinner always includes members of Congress from both parties as honorees. “Many of our events attract more Democrats than his do, so frankly I’m not too concerned,” said Shemtov

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    34 COMMENTS

    1. Chabad has always been there for everyone, and never took sides. It is obvious this Forman has some beef with Rabbi Shemtov.

      Rabbi Shemtov will survive, while Forman will be out of a job after the elections, due to the dismal showing of Jewish voters for Obama.

    2. Funny how some jews believe that a Jewish person MUST be a democrat.

      Well guess what – a whole lot of jews are Republican and a whole lot are political conservative.

      Seems the democrat party doesn’t really believe in democracy if they get so insulted by freedom of choice.

    3. It is rare to see a politician behave in a way that is so foolish – what did he have to gain by this? Absolutely nothin… Once it becomes personal you have lost your effectiveness.

    4. the NJDC is the most partisan anti frum group in all of politics. They do nothing but spread propaganda and attack Republicans. Chabad has a LONG history of being there for BOTH political parties. There are THOUSANDS of Jewish people on The Hill that Rabbi Levi Shemtov is there for, he doesn’t ask them for which Party they belong to when he invites them to come daven in his shul, or shake lulav and esrog with them or get them to keep shabbos and kosher.

      The NJDC should be ashamed of itself. Both McCain and Palin are friends to the Jews and if elected will be good to us. Sen. Obama (and Biden) will almost make certain Jerusalem is divided.

    5. The Democrats believe in “choice” of candidates exactly the same way as they believe in a “woman’s right to Choose”, as long as they choose “correctly”- Choose a dem, choose an abortion,

      When I first was able to vote (those many years ago- I am 54) I didn’t know how the whole process worked, but the “elders of the community” (Jewish , from large Conservative “Temple” instructed me: “You just go down the many listings, and pull the names that have a “D” after them, its really very simple” I took their wise old sage advice ( must have had relatives from Chelm). that one time-and NEVER AGAIN!!!

    6. Well Mr. National Jewish DEMOCRATIC Council Executive Director Ira Forman … on your way out please dont let the door hit ya where the good L-rd split ya!

      Is is only me or does the word DEMOCRATIC in his organization’s name make him lose ALL credibility here??

    7. I would trust George Foreman and his grills to do a better job than this Forman——probably so politically correct he grills tofu burgers on his grill (for PETA approval).

    8. To Anonymous at 10:22 – McCain and Palin are NOT friends to the Jews. My stomach turns at the thought of these two leading the most powerful nation on earth. Palin is a heartbeat away from becoming president of the United States. Do you really think this is what Americans want? I, for one, do not. Read all you can about those two, then make your decision.

    9. lets do this rationally

      ira forman in an election year takes on a group that has 4000 RABBIS IN THE FIELD TO PROMOTE barack hussien obama to the jewish community.

      well i hope foreman has a resume ready to be the next arab democratic party leader– oops sorry no such job

      thats why macain palin will win

    10. McCain :America is a Christian country that needs a Christian President

      Palin : The suffering of the Israeli people is because of their refusal to accept Christ as their Savior.

      Why should any American Jew support that?

    11. Vildechaia,

      Isnt Joe Lieberman a yid and a good friend of John McCain? Has John McCain ever said he supports the division of Jerusalem or negotiations with the psychotic “little napoleon” ahminijead like Obama has? Hmmmmm I wonder who is a friend of the Jews. Show me ONE frum Jew who is good friends with Obama.

    12. Most reform and secular yidden are democrats where as most frum yidden are republican. This clearly suggests those who observe Torah would be more inclined to vote McCain/Palin instead of Obama/Biden.

      Any frum yid who is going to vote Obama can you please tell me one thing he supports/does that is in line with Torah principles/beliefs?

    13. How come that I am not surprised that these non-Torah types support the Democrats while the Frume Yiden, who think with their heads, support the Republicans. Chabad Lubavitch is 10% right.

    14. YOu just want ONE thing?… OK how about Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Abortion, No prayer in public school, teach Evolution as science…..I could go on and on, oh excuse me…oops, these DemonRat principals are actually against a Torah viewpoint.!

      If a frum Jew doesn’t want Mccain, they should vote for Bob Barr, or stay home.

    15. Palin now attends the Wasilla Bible Church. She was there on August 17, just days before entering the national spotlight. David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God’s “judgment” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity. Brickner said, “Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”

      I’ll Vote Democrat

    16. Simchat torah can you tell me one issue that fundamental christian have in common with a “frum” yid except spending money to convert yidden here and in Israel

    17. With all of the information we had on the church that Obama went to for 20 years, considering that pastor his “most trusted advisor”, an advisor that spewed hatred and black separatism and supremecy as well as plain old antisemitism and antiJudaism, I find it difficult to understand why someone would vote for him over Palin, due to visitors or activities in her church. Also, Palin is not running for president; Obama is; thus the influence of his church and trusted advisor are far more of a real and present danger than those of Palin.

    18. someone in rockland county…. dont forget what barak hussein obamas pastor jeremiah wright said about israel, the united states and the jewish people. but you must have a better reason for voting obama must be his call for “change”

    19. Someone in Rockland & Baltimorean,

      Rather then answer my question (Tell me one thing Obama supports/does that is in line with Torah principles/beliefs) you attacked Palin’s churchs affiliation with a J4J. I could easily turn this around and attack Obama’s affiliation with Jeremiah Wright or maybe the fact that Biden is a catholic (edom) who are responsible for killing more Jews then anyone else. But this would be digressing from my question. Let me be clear why I support McCain/Palin and typically most republicans.

      While both dems/republicans practice avoda zara(mentioned above)republicans tend to share more Torah values then democrats. EX: Stands against Gay Marriage & Late Term Abortion. I would prefer to live in a society which shares similar values and different beliefs, as opposed to a society which I share little/no values and have different beliefs. A good example of this is in california, where many frum yidden and xtian idolaters are unified in support of proposition 8 to overturn gay marriage. And this is why I will vote McCain / Palin because they share more Torah Values with me then Obama/Biden.

    20. While it may be true that the Republican agenda may fall more in line with the “laws” and restrictions contained in the Torah (ie. social issues such as homosexuality, etc.) Democratic values are more about helping people which is in the nature of Mitzvot. Which is more important? Not for me to say. Thats what freedom of choice is all about.

    21. Someone Else in Rockland, I think it’s more like a robin hood thing. Steal from the rich and give to the poor. If it’s socialisim you want then go to china.

      and we all can see how well it’s working out for the average citizen over there.

    22. to all those democrates there .last time i checked the defenition of chasidi imos huoilem (rightus gentiles) does not mean they cant b christan and therfore they can belive in whatever they belive in.

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