Meeting to Be Held in Non-Church Venue for Frum Candidate

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isaac-abrahamJust two days after it was reported that City Council candidate Isaac Abraham would not attend a political meeting in a church basement because of his religious views, the group behind the forum found a new – entirely secular – venue. The Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats had planned to hold its April 23 endorsement meeting in the cellar of the Park Slope United Methodist Church, but Abraham – a frum Jew and longtime activist in Williamsburg’s Satmar community who is vying to succeed Councilman David Yassky – said that his faith barred him from entering the building (as reported here).”I asked my rabbi and [he said] it was better that I not go,” Abraham told The Brooklyn Paper earlier this week.

Abraham was criticized by club President Lucy Koteen, who suggested that Abraham could not represent a secular community if he “has so many restrictions on his life.”

“When you are on City Council, you have to go to funerals – if someone gets shot, are you not going to go because it’s a Catholic church?” Koteen asked.

But in the ensuing controversy, Koteen’s group found a new location for the forum, which will test the six candidates fighting to win the 33rd Council District that covers Brooklyn Heights, Greenpoint and parts of Williamsburg, Boerum Hill, and Park Slope.

“We respect the diverse populations and we want to hear from all candidates,” Koteen said on Friday. “We respect anybody who puts themselves out to there to run as a public servant, and we want to hear from all voices.”

The endorsement meeting will take place at an Eighth Street venue that is down the block from the Park Slope United Methodist Church.

For his part, Abraham said that he is eager to show Brownstone Brooklyn his political views next month.

“I will attend and make my position and platform clear to the people,” he said.

{The Brooklyn Paper/ Newscenter}


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