Out-of-Touch: Heilman Claims Chareidim Won’t Vote for a Woman


A report by Ben Sales for JTA on the current presidential election and the Orthodox Jewish community’s response claims that “observers” say that chareidim are attracted to Donald Trump as a candidate because of his “hawkish foreign policy, pugnacious personality and image as a successful businessman.”

And, Sales says, “It doesn’t hurt that he’s a man.”

As is the wont of the media when it comes to writing about the frum community, Sales turned to Samuel Heilman, sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York. Chareidim vote Republican, Heilman claimed, “both to distinguish themselves from less observant Jews and because they identify with the party’s social conservatism.” He said that “this election could push chareidim to Trump in especially large numbers because Clinton is a woman. Voting a woman into the most powerful position in the world, Heilman said, “would be hard for a community whose gender roles are so clearly defined that its newspapers don’t even print photographs of women, including public figures like Clinton.”

“They don’t want to be like the rest of the Jews,” Heilman said. “The idea that a woman can have the ultimate position doesn’t sit right with them. When the president of the United States makes news, they can’t put a picture of her in Yated Neeman.”

A member of the frum press strongly disagrees with Heilman’s assertion.

“He’s wrong on both counts,” said Rabbi Yitzchok Hisiger, executive editor at Yated Neeman. “Members of the Orthodox community don’t make their electoral choices to distinguish themselves from less observant Jews. I’m not sure what that claim is even supposed to mean. Frum Jews vote for those who reflect their values and will serve them well – no different than anyone else. That’s where it starts and ends. And it matters not whether that person is a man or a woman. A quality candidate, with stances and policies that are consistent with their outlook, will receive Orthodox votes.”

Rabbi Hisiger added that the fact that Orthodox newspapers like Yated and Hamodia don’t print photographs of women is irrelevant.

“Connecting that fact with the way Orthodox Jews vote demonstrates a lack of familiarity with the community and the way it operates,” said Rabbi Hisiger. “One thing has absolutely nothing to do with another. One is a journalistic decision relating to modesty, while voting is a decision related to who will best serve the Orthodox constituents.”

Another member of the chareidi media, Rabbi Yisroel Besser, a contributing editor at Mishpacha Magazine, took a shot at JTA for turning to the anti-chareidi go-to guy, Heilman, to provide analysis.

“…why ask someone who really knows if they have Heilman on speed-dial ready to identify our problem and phobias?” tweeted Rabbi Besser tongue-in-cheek.

Sale quotes Yated Neeman’s editor, Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz, who wrote in a February column that voters are supporting Trump because “he gives voice to the attitude that empowers the people. He talks about the real fear in American homes, the desire to triumph, the hope of being winners again. He continues to fill large arenas, peddling that message, and by doing so, he makes the professional politicians look silly.”

{S. Horowitz-Matzav.com Newscenter}



  1. It is known that some people will be endorsing Mrs. Clinton, in exchange for the following:

    1. Increased levels of benefits for recipients of Food Stamps, WIC, and HEAT.
    2. Easier access to Section 8 benefits.

  2. Totally agree with Sinden. Traditionally , many people vote democrats because of the government handouts. Clinton is known to have gone to certain communities to influence the leaders to vote democrat
    because of the increased program accessibility for the people under democrats. Also , once you have convinced leadership to vote for you , you will generally receive the full vote of the community. They all tend to vote for the same party and candidate.

  3. Trump has Jewis family. Just for that we need to support/vote for him. Clinton is a treife (do you see how see can cough) how will she complete her term? We need a וודי And not a ספק. I will not give them cash most poshkim say political donations are not מעשר even מידרבנן. I will try to review the pertantant halochos in אגרת משה later.

  4. Glad I donated to the Clinton campaign. She will give more men like me the right to know my kosher rights are inherent in American right. Trump will only create thugs. They wont like your given right not to eat treif.

    Hillary is cool. She will support needs in America.

    Trump is disaster hate. To think Trump, you are joining the negative. Torah is too precious to think Hashem wants more thugs. Have we not learned this before?

    Give the DNC some support. They add better ease to the markets and social needs of all of our communities. Mitzvah in every need.

    Hope the chassidix Trump-backers are jolly. They might not have better non-allied thoughts for good faith. Bickering is not standing before the King.

    G-d bless America. No Trump for me.

  5. maybe, just maybe, the real problem is that we continue to tolerate “a large and enormously complicated modern state.” Most of the real problems with modern democracy derive from the fact that we allow Government to get involved in and exercise enormous control over far more of our lives than is neccesary or desirable. In addition to the Hobbits, Hooligans and Vulcans, there is a fourth category of voters – the parasites, let’s call them the Tapeworms. These are the voters who sell their votes to the power-grasping politicians who use public funds to buy support by promising ever greater benefits, whether it is higher or longer lasting unemployment benefits, more generous welfare benefits, housing subsidies, subsidized public transit, “free” healthcare for everyone, “free” college tuition, “free” cellphones for the ” poor”, etc., etc., ad nauseum. This isn’t a new problem; De Toqueville spotted the problem 180 years ago when he observed that democracy was doomed as soon as the electorate discovers that they can use the power of the ballot box to loot for their own enrichment. Frankly, I think we could survive the Hobbits and the Hooligans if we could simply deny the vote to the Tapeworms. Deny the vote to anyone who derives more than a small percentage, say 10%, of their total income (including ALL benefits, like food stamps, rent subsidies, free or subsidized health care, etc.) from government benefit programs. Some adjustments need to be made for programs like Social Security, where benefits are funded by taxpayer contributions. But, with that accounted for the message should be – if you want the right to vote, you must demonstrate that you are a contributor to society, and not just a parasite.

    Democracy vs. Epistocracy