Who’s That Guy in the Black Hat Next to Cuomo?


cuomo-satmar-small1[Video below.] Josh Nathan-Kazis reports: Only one ultra-Orthodox fixer appears to have accompanied New York gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo on all four of his early October visits to¬†Brooklyn’s Chasidic rebbes.A video (see below) shows the man, wearing the fedora typical of the non-Chasidic ultra-Orthodox, sitting diagonal to Cuomo in a meeting with Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum and next to Cuomo in a video of a meeting with Rav Aaron Teitelbaum. He leans over the back of Cuomo’s chair in a video of a meeting with Rabbi Yaakov Yechezkel Greenwald, the Pupa Rebbe, and in a video of a separate meeting with Rabbi Asher Anshel Katz, the Vienner rav.

So who is this Zelig? Turns out his name is Abraham Eisner, an Orthodox businessman and a relative newcomer to the ultra-Orthodox political scene.

“He’s a very prominent communal and business leader who is very well respected in all segments of the Orthodox community, and Cuomo wisely reached out to him to help structure [his] Jewish outreach effort,” said Ezra Friedlander, a public relations consultant specializing in the ultra-Orthodox world.

Eisner’s role in orchestrating the meetings between Cuomo and the rebbes is unclear. A spokesman for the Cuomo campaign said that while he had been involved in arranging the meetings, the point person was Rabbi David Niederman, head of the Satmar-affiliated United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg.

Niederman acknowledged arranging the meetings with the Pupa rebbe and Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, but said that he had not arranged the meeting with Rav Aaron Teitelbaum. Eisner declined to comment.

Beyond the meetings with the rebbes, Eisner was also a key organizer, along with New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind and Friedlander, of a September 20 press conference on the steps of New York City’s City Hall when Jewish leaders and elected officials slammed Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino for calling New York State Assembly president Sheldon Silver an anti-Christ.

According to Friedlander and others, this marks Eisner’s first foray into the business of connecting political hopefuls with the ultra-Orthodox leadership. “Although he’s not a professional and seasoned politico, sometimes that brings a fresh perspective to political relationships with the community,” Friedlander said.

Eisner is the chief executive officer of GFI Mortgage Bankers, a division of GFI Capital Resources Group, a New York-based financial services company. In 1997, Eisner was quoted in a New York Times story extolling what was then a new innovation – “no-doc” mortgages. “No-doc means all we need is your name, address and Social Security number, depending on your credit history,” Eisner said at the time. According to the story, subprime mortgages accounted for 25% of GFI Mortgage Bankers’ loans in 1997, up from 10% in 1995.

There are no indications as to whether that trend continued at the company or whether the company played a part in the larger subprime mortgage crisis that rocked the nation’s economy in 2008.

Eisner’s family foundation, the Eisner Charitable Foundation, had assets worth $618,206 in 2007. He is the president of the board of directors of the HASC Center, an Orthodox social service group for the developmentally disabled.

Click below for video:

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 Read more at The Forward.

{The Forward/Matzav.com}


  1. I am sure Mr. Eisner is a wonderful person and a big Baal tzedakah who is helping Cuomo for the betterment of the Jewish community. That said, he is also helping a candidate who has publicly said he will push toevah marraige in New York.

  2. I think Cuomo will be good to our community and eisner is certainly an ambassador we can trust. he is a fresh face and only will have the the best in mind for us.

  3. “toeveh marriage among goyim is not nor should it be, our biggest concern. In fact i dont even think it should make top 100”

    Its a concern for Hashem so it is most certainly a concern for us! Hashem in his immense kindness entrusted us to be a light on to the nations. We must stand up for his values and wisdom that in his mercy he gave to us and not cherry pick mitvot. Every letter of the Torah is sacred, EVERY LETTER.


  4. “Ben torah” you couldnt be more wrong, there is no such thing as tochacha of goyim, it isnt our concern if they are over issurim, never mind the fact that wether or not it is called marriage doesnt change the issur even an iota)
    We are responsible for ourselves not for goyim.

  5. “yankel” – you are absolutely wrong. the gemorah says the only reason the goyim aren’t being destroyed is because there is no toeiva “marriage”.

  6. Mr eisner or better yet Rabbi eisner is a person who goes out of his way for everybody. I run a moisad and he is a big donor and NEVER does he want any body to know that he is a GIVER. I know somebody who needed to get a child in to hasc and it was RABBI EISNER who personally did it all. From A to Z. He is a true askan and believe me has everybody in mind. Thank u RABBI EISNER

  7. So “BEN Torah” we should be pro-toeiva marriage, if the goyim want to destroy themselves lets let them. Yet another reason to vote for Cuomo. Oh and as i assume you are aware we dont pasken based on aggadata, quote shulchan aruch which says to oppose toeiva marriage among goyim and then youd have a point until then all you have is empty rhetoric.