“Being pro-Israel has put a target on my back, but it has allowed me to vote how I believe,” passionately expressed Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal at a fundraiser held in his honor. “Redistricting means the entire chessboard is reset for the next ten years.”

Rosenthal has been faithfully serving the interests of Kew Gardens Hills, Kew Gardens, Pomonok, Electchester, College Point, and parts of Whitestone, Richmond Hill, Briarwood, and Forest Hills since assuming his position in 2017. In November of 2020, Rosenthal secured his coveted spot until 2023.

On Wednesday, November 17, Shalom and Victoria Zirkiev invited their closest friends and colleagues into their home for a cocktail reception in support of Rosenthal’s reelection. “We need a commonsense representative who will continue to be our voice in local government,” commented Shalom Zirkiev. “Assemblyman Dan Rosenthal is the correct person to lead our community.”

Rosenthal, a graduate of Lander College for Men where he studied political science ahead of his work as District Director for former Council Member Rory Lancman, maintains a vital piece of the religious Jewish identity in the Assembly.

“The Progressives are unhappy with what we do in Queens, and they will come after me and after Dan,” warned Shimi Pelman, a strong District Leader. On the controversial topic of bail reform, Pelman was quick to note how many in the room would vehemently oppose the measure. Rosenthal was up against a lot of opposition from his colleagues but stood up to them and “voted against bail reform.” Rosenthal also voted against the debated congestive pricing bill. In explaining the profundity of Pelman, Rosenthal joshed, “I speak to Shimi more than my own parents!”

The Zirkievs live in Forest Hills, a predominantly Bukharian community where the struggle remains to get voters registered. “In Queens, we are losing our Jewish identity, and we must not forget that the Bukharian community depends on us,” said Pelman. “Lynn Schulman will be the head of the Jewish coalition in Queens because she is the only one who will be Jewish in the City Council from Queens. We must not forget that important funding comes from the City Council for our local organizations and shuls.” Pelman was speaking of the recent successful election of Schulman to the New York City Council covering the areas of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and Richmond Hill.

At the event, Schulman said, “Dan has been very helpful to me in my race, and has been an excellent member of the NYS Assembly.”  Schulman pledged to work with the community to make sure Dan is re-elected.

Schulman also spoke of how the Jewish Caucus of the City Council, chaired by Council Member Eric Dinowitz of the Bronx, will be losing members in the next election cycle and that it is integral to keep the Jewish voice alive.

“The flyer said that Daniel is a common-sense person. As we have all seen, New York City is largely lacking common sense, but Dan will continue to bring common sense as our Assemblymember,” declared Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, CEO of Chazaq. “Daniel is young, active, and, in fighting for the truth, has been slowly climbing up the political ladder. He proudly stands wearing his kipah and has spoken out against issues when the need arises. His kipah sticks out, showcasing his pride at being an Orthodox Jew and as a supporter of its causes.” Meirov also spoke to the Bukharian leadership present, “We cannot be satisfied. Many organizations are doing phenomenal work. The Bukharian community needs Daniel as our elected official to continue to help spread the great work happening in the Jewish communities of Queens.”

In politics, money is the secret ingredient to get out a message, and the message for Rosenthal is quite clear for our community. “My showing of a strong filing can change the dynamics of my election,” noted Rosenthal. “That is why any support is helpful.” As a community, the responsibility to ensure that Rosenthal has the necessary funding to get out his pitch falls upon its members.

Nearly every election in New York City is determined based on the results from the Primary Election. Rosenthal’s loss in such an election would mean that the Jewish community of New York loses one of just two Orthodox representatives in the Assembly. Thankfully, the math is quite simple: If most of our community members register as Democrats and come out to vote, Rosenthal will have a sure chance to continue as our representative locally and in Albany.

You can partake in the evening with a contribution to Rosenthal’s campaign at secure.actblue.com/donate/zirkiev.

By Shabsie Saphirstein