July 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

NJ Jewish Community Votes in Record Numbers, Wins in Key Districts

On Nov. 7, New Jersey’s Jewish community proved its power in the state when they showed up to vote in huge numbers, and heavily influenced the results of the recent election.

In fact, across New Jersey, Jewish communities voted at significantly higher rates than other constituencies in their districts. This was seen in Bergen County—including Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, New Milford, Teaneck and Englewood—and in Monmouth County, including Deal, Ocean, Long Branch and West Long Branch.

And in District 30, newly elected Assemblymember Rabbi Avi Schnall received more votes in Lakewood in this election than total votes cast in the township in the 2021 gubernatorial race.

“From North to South Jersey, this election shows the power of a united Jewish community acting in one voice,” said Schnall. “I am incredibly grateful for the support of the Jewish community, and look forward to accomplishing many great things together for our communities and families.”

Most notably, however, was who the Jewish community voted for this election.

Teach NJ PAC, a political action committee that advocates for fair and equitable funding for nonpublic schools, instrumented a major get-out-the-vote campaign in an effort to bring tax credit scholarships to the state. The PAC presented voters with endorsed candidates from both sides of the aisle, representing those candidates who have proactively supported nonpublic schools throughout the state—advocating for funding and resources in areas such as school security, nursing and health care, transportation and STEM programming.

Voters and communities listened. This year, Teaneck, Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Deal, Ocean and Long Branch, which usually lean heavily Republican, voted majority Democrat. For example, in District 38, the Jewish community dictated the election by turning out over 3,000 Jewish constituents to vote Democrat. By flipping years-long trends, the Jewish community established themselves as an electoral powerhouse, giving themselves a voice to advocate for their interests within the democratic majority in Trenton.

Chairman of Teach NJ PAC, Joseph Feldman explained, “By effectively communicating the issues that impact our families locally, we were able to fully engage our community and get out the vote. We proved that when we show up, and use our voices, results will follow. We look forward to working with the incoming legislature to keep education safe and affordable.”

Teach NJ PAC ultimately saw its full slate of endorsed candidates win their respective elections, with the winners now expressing their gratitude to New Jersey’s Jewish community.

In District 38 (covering parts of Bergen County, including Bergenfield), Senator Lagana, and Assemblymembers Chris Tully and Lisa Swain, received 77% of the vote in this election (v. 43% in 2021), helping to secure their win in what was anticipated to be a tight race. Re-elected Assemblymember Swain, of District 38, stated, “Since 2018, I have been privileged to work alongside the Jewish community in my role as assemblymember. I am honored by my reelection and their continued confidence in me to fight on their behalf, and behalf of families across District 38.”

Senator Declan O’Scanlon, District 13’s endorsed Republican candidate, received over 76% of the vote from the West Long Branch Jewish community this election, while in 2021, the community supported the Republican candidate with only 65% of the vote.

Further south, re-elected Senator Vin Gopal of District 11 (which includes the Syrian community in Deal) received over 60% of the vote (v. 20% in 2021) in the Township of Deal; and in Ocean Township, Senator Gopal received 60% of the vote this year (v. 40% in 2021). In addition, the two assembly seats flipped from Republican to Democrat. District 11’s race was anticipated to be one of the tightest races in the state, and the clean sweep drew attention from leadership state-wide.

Senator Gopal said, “I am grateful for the ongoing support from the Monmouth County Syrian-Jewish community, and specifically from the Community Federation of NJ and Teach NJ PAC … They have been staunch advocates for me over the years, and I look forward to continuing our important work together to ensure all families have access to safe, affordable education.”

Looking ahead, with the votes of the Jewish community engaged and ready to act, Teach NJ PAC plans to expand its efforts and focus on legislative and statewide races in 2025.

Said Feldman, “This election is a true testament to the power of organizing, voting and engaging in our democratic process.”

The endorsements made by Teach NJ PAC are not an endorsement from any other organization. Teach NJ PAC is a New Jersey political action committee run by an independent board.

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