New York – Mishpacha Interviews Mayor Bloomberg, Talks About His Strong Convictions For Judaism

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    Reaching out to Gedolei Yisroel.A respectful visit to the Skulener Rebbe Photo Credit: Mishpacha MagazineNew York – In an exclusive 8 page interview with Mishpacha magazine, Michael Bloomberg, the incumbent mayor of New York, reflects upon his tenure as one of the city’s most popular chief executives.

    A billionaire who’s taken on New York City as a philanthropic gesture, Bloomberg shares a confident prognosis for the city’s economy. In a nostalgic look at the past, he discusses his upbringing as a Jewish boy in an Irish and Italian neighborhood and lovingly reminisces about his biggest fan — his still-agile 100-year-old mother. Most poignantly of all, he discusses what it means to be a Jewish mayor of the world’s largest Jewish city.

    Below is some excerpts of the interview.

    Bloomberg who hails from a modest, but more religious, upbringing. “My father was a bookkeeper for a dairy company from Chelsea, Massachusetts. His
    father was a rabbi, who I’m sure made most of his money from tutoring kids for their bar mitzvah. He came over here at age six, maybe from Lithuania, said Bloomberg.

    In the interview Bloomgerg said “I’m still trying to learn the Yiddish language. My parents would speak Yiddish when they didn’t want my sister and me to
    know what they were talking about. They were fluent enough in the language to keep us guessing what they were saying.”

    The mayor also revealed that his mother and sister still keep a kosher kitchen.

    The mayor talks about his family’s personal experience of anti-semitism here in the U.S.

    In the early 1950s there was a business convention in Miami Beach, Florida, and my father was invited to attend. So my mother goes to the library and gets books on what you do, how you dress, what you say at conventions, what happens at conventions. My father gets to the desk in Miami Beach to check in, and the clerk behind the desk says, ‘Bloomberg, Bloomberg, is that Jewish?’ My father said: ‘Yes.’ The clerk said: ‘We don’t take Jews.’ Somebody made a fuss, and he got in. But when he got back, we discussed discrimination around the table.

    Bloomberg also discuss his steadfast support for the state of Israel.

    The entire interview can be read in this weeks Mishpacha Magazine available at you local newsstand

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    58 COMMENTS

      • Why then is he one of the mostr outspoken supporters of same-sex marriage? Why then was he married to a non-Jewish woman with whom he fathered two non-Jewish daughters? And finally , why is now living with his non-Jewish girlfriend? Why aren’t any of the Jewish commmunal leaders challenging him on these most important points?

        • Bloomberg is not religious, the fact remains, that someone who isn’t religious doesn not have to share your values, he only has to respect them. I am voting for Bloomberg, because I don’t think he is attempting to curry favor by flagrantly boasting about jewish he is. To the contrary, I think he is showing that someone can leave the religion behind because he has trouble with emunah (many shommer shabbos do too) but that because of his background he is in touch with his jewishness and respects and supports the community he is no longer apart of. I don’t this that is wrong.
          He is entitled to support who he wants and marry who he wants it is a free country and isn’t relevant to who we elect. All I want him to say is that if the legislation he supports does allow for ss marriage, that he will not back a future law “Forcing” religious leaders (of all stripes) to perform the ceremonies.

          • Religion is not a choice for a Jew. G-D didn’t say you have a choice to accept the Torah and if your not religious that’s OK. You think I wouldn’t enjoy some Olam Hazeh if I believed I had a choice.

            It’s a free country and he can do how he chooses, but I do not need to respect him. As for me he, would we have a Bes Din, he would have been stoned. So should I vote for a person who disrespects his religion and deserves the death penalty.

            • so you think that approximately 13 million yidden deserve stoning CV? this dark,long galus has taken it’s toll on us physically and spiritually ;don’t be so quick to judge another jew.are you so sure how you’d be living your life right now if you’d had different parents?

            • No you sadly missed his point. Hes a very bright guy and he comes from a family where his father is a Rabbi. He chose not to be religious and its a cheshbon he will have to pay for. He chose to turn his back on his upbringing. I would expect more from a man of his intelligence. There is no doubt that he is a highly intelligent man and could be a huge Talmid Chacham had he been Frum. Theres a cheshbon for not meeting your potential. All the more so if you grew up religious and threw it away.

            • He’s the one flaunting his religious parents as a reason to support him, not I. If it’s for his relationship with our community, he has non. If it’s fr his performance as mayor, he was a terrible mayor.

            • No, you should not vote for anyone because you are not only an idiot, but a condescending, self-righteous, hypocritical idiot.

              Please publicise your belief a little more that Bloomberg deserves the death penalty. In fact, call it in to City Hall. It’s important that the whole world know how smart you are.

              By the way, does anyone else deserve to die, or is it only Bloomberg?

        • actuly if you look in kisubos beis amud beis you will see that your 100% wrong those kids are not considered his kids & i am sure he went through a hard life there for you cant judge him

        • because they have nothing to do with whether or not he is a good mayor.

          Challenge him on these “most important points”? important to whom? you?

          I am not a Bloomberg fan, but it is not my business and, more importantly, not your business to criticize his personal life here. You want to be Mekarev him? Great! It would be a great Kiddush Hashem to make the Mayor of NYC frum!

          But regardless of who his wives, girlfriends and daughters are, what you are doing is, without question, much, much worse – it is absolute Loshon Horah. If you think this makes you a better person than he is, go ask your “Jewish communal leaders” about it.

          If you made these statements with the slightest attempt at, or even the slightest thought of Kiruv, it would be one thing.

          But trust me, your self-righteous, judgmental and hypocritical attitude and condemnation of others just to show off makes you more of an embarrassment to the frum Jewish community than he is

    1. look i agree that bloomberg is the better choice than thompson
      but c’mon whats with politicians pandering to religious groups. do you think bloomberg gives a hoot about judaism? he’s just buying votes and promising earmarks to those large frum groups and chassiduses and institutions that endorse him.
      hey not that anything is wrong with earmarks- as long as it goes to groups that only you care about.

    2. I see his love for Judaism
      Tickets 24/7
      Increase in real estate taxes
      Bike lanes on every street in Willi. He promised it will be taken off the day after elections………………………………………………………………
      Voucher program till one day after election………………………………………

    3. I’m sickened. He’s a slick glib flatterer who knows exactly how to play the game. He’s so shrewd and knows just what to say to each group he sits down with so that they think he’s for them and they mindlessly give him their support and their votes. Its a shame that more people don’t see through him. He’s only for HIMSELF.

    4. “The mayor also revealed that his mother and sister still keep a kosher kitchen.”

      that tells us that he’s not a Tinuk Shenishbo, rather he’s simply an opikoros.

      • did he have any kind of real jewish education?do you know what the actual halachic definition of an apikorus is? raised with a “kosher” kitchen does not at all make someone knowledgeable enough to be considered an apikorus.bloomberg,like the vast majority of yidden in our tim,is indeed a tinok shenishbo.

    5. Mayor Bloomberg had frum Parents and he is a mechalul shabbos? Now why should I vote for a person that is left his religion behind? He also seems to forget throughout his term how his brothers struggle and does nothing to help. Shame on him. Vote Thompson!

      Bloomberg has done less for us than any other mayer, much less than Giuliani. Why people are stupid to vote for a mayor that has cost our yeshivas and all of us so much, is beyond my mind. People who support this mechalel shabbos and are selling us out will give din vcheshbon. Mechalelehu Mos Yimos, and while as of today we have no Bes Din that could implement this pasuk in the Torah, Hashem still keeps his Torah and as we say Yitamu Chataim Min Haarets. Let we see it n our days before he starts a third term.

      • He is not running for president of Boro Park where you have to prove how chasidishe you are to be qualified. Stop judging people/politicians based on their religious observances and start judging them based on their performance and policies.

        • Well he’s the one that’s trying to sell us how Jewish he is. If it’s for his performance that definitely was a disaster.

          He has zero problem solving skills, he looks for the easy way out by raising fees.

    6. Please! The Mayors daughter married a non jew.

      The Mayor in the past 8 years has given over $750million in charity. All his charitable donations are public knowledge. Except for the MDA ambulance donation once in Eretz Yisroel, The Mayor has given “Nothing” to any jewish and especially any orthodox causes. It is nice to reminice about his jewish past. But, Mamish zero?? He is not required to give, Its his money. But don’t come with shaina maasahlech about yiddiskeit.

      Mr. Mayor, there are so many worthy charitable causes by the Frum jews, that you are now courting. Our causes are still as good as the Apollo Theatre, African Dancing Troupes, Black cultural causes, etc. Don’t get me wrong. They too should be fully supported.

      Honorable Mayor! if you are so proud to be a Yid –Substantial Contributions to a Bonei Olam, RCC (Cancer), Shuvu, Mekimi, Areivim, etc. etc. (all unaffiliated)would go a long way to prove your proudness..

      • first the Mayor gives 250 Million a year in charity and his donations to jewish institutions are done non publicly, i am with the COJO of Flatbush and can tell you that the Mayor has given this organization 100,000 every year..

      • Bloomberg sat around the table with a bunch of community leaders , sheine rebbis , did anyone put forth this question? , NO so, that’s what we are a bunch of gullible yooklech , bloomberg has us in his back pocket he tells us shaine stories about the bubbe and di ziede , but he hates charedim , he wouldn’t give’em a dime!

    7. Money is an indicator of where a persons heart rests. It doesn’t say everything but it is a guide to a persons love and interest.

      As one said, “Money cannot buy happiness, But its good for a down payment”.

    8. Yes, Bloomberg might have had a grandfather a rabbi, )not a pulpit rabbi but a rabbi who prepares a boy for his Bar Mitzvah); but he himself Mike Bloomberg knows nothing of Yiddishkeit; he didn’t even know not to say on his visit to Boro Park that I he was coming form a church in Manhattan. It reminds me when Mayor Ed Koch was running the first time and his father came with him to Williamsburg. His father not knowing anything about Hashkofeh’s in Klal Yisroel, announced in Yiddish that “Mein Velvel Hut Leeb Medinas Yisroel”; everyone smiled but didn’t say a word. Yes Mike’s Yiddishkeit is much less then Ed Koch’s Yiddishkeit. Their father’s, maybe the same, their grandfathers and great grandfather’s surely the same.

    9. Bloomberg’s Jewishness is at best irrelevant and shouldn’t be a factor in our helping to decide the outcome of this election. Apart from the fact that promoting his identity with whatever ethnic group whose favor he is trying to curry is the stock-in-trade of every politician, Bloomberg has not demonstrated anything particularly favorable to our communities. In fact, he promotes measures that make our lives harder. In my opinion he is an autocrat who, if he could manage it, is perfectly comfortable with forcing people to eat what he thinks we should eat, smoke when and where and if at all, etc. In other words, he is a fascist just as is Obama, Kennedy, Pelosi, ad nauseam, who are liberal in name only. But what other choice do we have in this current election; none. Our only protection derives from the constraints placed upon the mayor’s free exercise of power within the belly of this behemoth called New York City.

    10. Maybe you can explain something to a dummy like me, why everyone is fawning and salivating and giving kudos to both Mishpacha and to the Mayor for meeting?
      Honorable Mayor, you were Mayor 8 years, how many times did you meet with Mishpacha (or for that matter the Hamodia).
      Dear Mishpacha, if not that his Honor is running now, would he be meeting with you. For 8 years there was a shidduch crisis. The Mayor and the Mishpacha didn’t meet or go out. Suddenly, liebshaft, a liking, developed and they met and are best smiling friends.

      • For 8 years Bloomberg did not meet any jewish leaders but now he sits down with Rabbi Dovid feinstein and 60 other jewish leaders in the last 4 weeks. What a phony.

        • Did you wear a suit to your interviews when you were looking for a job? I guess you’re a phony, too!

          Are you so naive that you don’t understand why ALL politicians make these rounds at reelection time? Do you think this is something only Bloomberg does?

          I am not a Bloomberg fan, but PLEASE! GROW UP!

          • I’m 68 now but if you really want to know about the suit, I wore a suit if you want to call it that. In my days the world was different. Little shaineh pip squeeks like you are the problem in todays society. I bet you don’t even stand up for an older person when they enter a room or get on a bus.

            All politicians court their people before elections but not like this. The Mayor is not even going to the black community or the african american community or to Harlem. Al Sharpton has not been seen with the Mayor either. Bloomberg make it look like that the jewish community will be the deciding factor in this election.

            Jewish people don’t vote and don’t care so shy is he running around rabanim the last month? Rabanim have better things to do then meet with the Mayor. Rabanim have to work on the next ban and macholokes and they must get this in before the Aguda convention.

      • Did Mishpacha ask for an interview before?

        Everyone, please remember his is running for Mayor, not superjew. There’s a good reason the u.s. tries to keep church/shul and state separate.

    11. I am not voting for him he raised my real estate taxes. I tell, emai, text, all my friends and family NOT to vote for him.
      hopefully he will loose, let him take more money from the holywood people who come here and close down our streets and bridges to shoot movies. let him go after the diplomates to pay their parking tickets.

    12. The holy Skulener Rebbe shouldn’t have met with him. He’s an apikorus by his own admission. His lack of judaism is no surprise. Hashem distances himself from haughty and arrogant people. He’s the most self obsessed politician and they all are known for being all about themselves. True he’s wealthy and on his way to being the richest man in the usa so why can’t he share that wealth with his fellow brothers. I bet if they asked him that he’d get mad as he always does when challenged by a valid claim. You know that face he makes. I’m just sick of his smug face. Enough with his filth let him rule and dictate to some other state.

      • You wrote, “Hashem distances himself from haughty and arrogant people”

        Now, go stand in front of a mirror and read that out loud. Then read your post again.

        I hope you find your way back soon.

    13. It is a shame that Mishpacha whom I happen to love as a magasine, did not bother to ask Mayor Bloomberg, when he was last at his father’s grave? He was about 18 years old at the time. It is in the new biographry called MAYOR by George Purnick! I guess he has time to go from country to country, but no time for his father!!

      • And this your business WHY? And Mishpacha’s business to ask why?

        Is he running for grave-visitor or Mayor?

        Maybe Mishpacha didn’t discuss this with him because they know that to do so with no positive purpose would be out-and-out Loshon Horah, which you do not seem to care about?

        Do you really think that you are somehow better than him? If so, THAT is the real shame here.

        Buy a mirror, and use it. You’ll be surprised.

      • It is a SUPER interview. It so happens that the Brisker Rav’s chidren never go their father’s grave either. Not that I’m c”v trying to compare them, just simply making a point. Kudos Mishpacha for elevating frum press

    14. Sure Bloomberg raised RE taxes, and parking tickets. But I’m sure Thompson would lower all these costs because he is a real fiscal conservative. All u Bloomberg haters; if u think Thompson would be better u r a bunch of fools.

      • #1 Yes Thompson has at least committed to reducing those fees.

        #2 At least Thompson supports our Yeshivas, so we at least get our money back. Bloomberg has absolutely nothing with our community. He takes our vote for advantage.

        • 1) didn’t thompson promise to be fair and increases taxes across the board
          2) read the jewish week interview and see that thompson said that he is against vouchers.

          there is a reason that all Mosdos Hatorah endorsed the Mayor, dont be foolish.

          he is the only choice in this election.

    15. Bloomberg is opening a Moslem cultural public school funded with public money, a Jewish thing?
      Lolly pop heads, vote Bloomberg, but when you come out of your office and find that your car has been towed for some petty violation, close your eyes and say “where was my brains”?

    16. Bloomberg is so in touch with his jewish roots? and you people are buying this nonsense? do none of you remember the previous VIN article that reported how Gloomberg merrily fresses on treif and shell fish etc? But to get the Jewish voting block he will brown nose israel (which doesnt help me since i live in, and worry about what he does for Brooklyn not Tel Aviv) and now he declares he wants to wants to learn yiddish?
      FEH on Gloomberg גיין צוריק צו באָסטאָן

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