Brooklyn – City Council candidate Ari Kagan has called on his opponent Chaim Deutsch to apologize for remarks made at a candidate forum last night criticizing Kagan for publishing his name in Hebrew on campaign materials.
The forum, which took place last night at the Young Israel of Midwood, was hosted by the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition.
“It is outrageous for someone to suggest that I should not use my name in Hebrew on campaign materials,” said Kagan. “Where I grew up in Minsk, Belarus, my family wasn’t permitted to practice Judaism freely. My grandmother was killed by Nazis in the Minsk ghetto, and my grandfather died from injuries he suffered fighting in World War II. I’m grateful to be living in America where I can practice my religion freely and be proud of being Jewish. That’s why over a decade ago I had my name legally changed from the Russian Arkady to the Hebrew Ari. I proudly use my Jewish name wherever I may be. I have no other name. My name is Ari.”
“Chaim Deutsch should apologize for his attack on my Jewish name last night,” Kagan added. “His words were hurtful, divisive and dishonest. This represents the same old ‘politics as usual’ that people in our community have grown tired of. In the spirit of Rosh Hashona I will certainly forgive him if only he apologizes and promises not to attack me for my Jewish name again.”
Deutsch responded to Kagan, stating, “I was merely pointing out the fact that Ari Kagan only uses his Hebrew name when it is politically convenient for him to do so. That should raise questions about what his motives are.”
Deutsch added: “The fact remains that I am the only frum candidate in the race for the 48th City Council seat with a 22 year record of community service.”