26-Year-Old Chossid Named to City Hall’s ’40-Under-40′: The Next Generation of Political Leaders in New York


40-under-40 chossidIf this list were titled “400 under 40,” there would probably still be some worthy people not included. As it is, with a mere 40 slots, this year’s task of picking the Rising Stars in New York City politics and government was especially difficult, given the hundreds of nominations sent in and the transformative year in city politics that is now coming to an end.The strength of this impressive group lies in each one and in their diversity as a whole-not in how “diversity” has strictly come to be understood, but rather in the true sense of the word.

There are people on this list from every borough and every major political party. There are government agency higher-ups, commissioners, political operatives and advocates representing a host of issues of vital importance to New York.

Some are even current, soon-to-be or almost-elected officials.

Politics, or government, is by no measure glamorous work. The public culture does not hold those who make sure our democracy or our government run smoothly in high esteem, and reduces those who get involved to caricatures, labeling them bureaucrats or hacks. These are jobs that come often with little pay, with little sleep and with the possibility of not seeing results for months or years.

Everyone on this list could have devoted their still-young careers to successes in other fields. That instead they chose to contribute to the worlds of New York City politics and government is enough of a reason to salute them, but the considerable talents they devote to their work is even more so. If past is prologue, there is good reason to be eager to see the next chapters for all 40 of these rising stars. See the full list here. Below is the profile of Simcha Eichenstein, who was named to the list. 

Simcha Eichenstein
Director of Political and Governmental Services, The Friedlander Group
Age: 26

When politicians need to do outreach to a certain large, fragmented and fractious segment of city voters, they reach out to Simcha Eichenstein.

“Let’s be honest,” he says. “They don’t call me to go to Flushing.”

Still, in Jewish communities, especially in the city’s growing religious neighborhoods, Eichenstein has established himself as a go-to political operative.

He helped secure portions of the vote in Hasidic Williamsburg for Daniel Squadron’s successful 2008 upset over Marty Connor, and does work in Borough Park for State Sen. Kevin Parker. He most recently did outreach in the Brooklyn neighborhood for Josh Skaller’s Council run and Mark Green’s race for public advocate.

“I think the difference is I can get down on my knees and I can do the dirty work,” he says. “I’ll come in and take the entire Jewish campaign off their shoulders.”

How did your past jobs get you to where you are now? I try to learn something new from everything I do in life.

If you were not in politics, what would you be doing? Making money.

Five years from now, what will it say on your business card? Chief of staff to the President of the United States.

{City Hall/Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. First of all, let’s set something straight. This isn’t the famous Crains NY Business mag 40 under 40; this is a political magazine. Still, very impressive for those in the political field.

    Secondly, there is another frum person in that group: Yerucham Goldfeder, who went to Yeshiva with me in Eretz Yisroel.

    Phillip Goldfeder
    Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. Charles Schumer
    Age: 28

    Chuck Schumer is a notoriously demanding boss. But Phillip Goldfeder, Schumer’s director of intergovernmental affairs, says he would not have it any other way.

    “It’s all worth it,” Goldfeder said. “Working for Chuck Schumer is a challenge because he is constantly challenging his staff to do better.”

    Goldfeder’s role is to serve as a liaison to the city, state and federal agencies. Before coming to Schumer’s office, Goldfeder spent two years in the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit. He has also worked for Council Member Simcha Felder.

    “Working for an executive is very different than working in the legislative branch, because the type of work is very different and because of the different staffing levels,” he said. “But I would never work for somebody that I didn’t respect immensely.”

    Goldfeder says he is often asked whether he is related to Jerry Goldfeder, the prominent New York City election lawyer. (He is not.)

    One time, the two randomly ran into each other at Starbucks.

    “I said, ‘People always ask me if you’re my father,’” Phillip Goldfeder recalled, “and he said, ‘People always ask me if you’re my son.’”

    How did your past jobs get you to where you are now?

    I like to think every job I’ve had has carried over to the next one. I wouldn’t be where I am now without any of those experiences.

    Five years from now, what will it say on your business card? Retired. I haven’t figured out how.

    If you were not working in politics, what would you be doing?

    I would teach history and politics. Throughout my career, I’ve tutored at schools near my home in Far Rockaway on the side. I teach what I know.