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Could New York City Lose Its Last Remaining Jewish Congressman?

However the rise and fall of Jewish affect is a transparent, acquainted arc in a metropolis that has absorbed waves of immigrants, who grew in numbers, financial energy and, ultimately, political stature — solely to be supplanted by those that adopted. It occurred to the Dutch, English, Germans, Irish and Italians, and now to New York’s Jews, who at their peak within the Nineteen Fifties accounted for 1 / 4 or extra of the town’s complete inhabitants and gained footholds in any respect ranges of presidency.

Since then, massive numbers of Jews have left the town, mentioned Daniel Soyer, a historian at Fordham College who has written about New York Jewish historical past, bringing the current inhabitants to only over a million. On the identical time, many American Jews started to assimilate and secularize, weakening the shared identification that drove them to vote as a cohesive group and elect their very own candidates; some left the Democratic Celebration, their longtime house.

The exception has been ultra-Orthodox communities in Brooklyn and the decrease Hudson Valley. However whereas they’ve succeeded in electing their very own to state and native workplaces, they train much less sway on the congressional degree.

Successive cycles of redistricting haven’t helped, forcing New York to shed congressional seats and fracturing Jewish enclaves between districts. Mr. Nadler’s present seat, New York’s tenth District, had been deliberately drawn to connect Jewish communities on the West Aspect of Manhattan with Orthodox ones in Brooklyn’s Borough Park. This yr, the courtroom mapmaker severed the 2 areas.

“Once I was in Congress, you may have a minyan within the New York delegation,” mentioned Steve Israel, a Democrat who as soon as represented Nassau County and elements of Queens in Congress. “We went from a minyan to a minority to hardly anyone.”

The dwindling was gradual, and in some circumstances merely a matter of likelihood. In 1992, Invoice Inexperienced, a liberal Republican from the Higher East Aspect, misplaced to a younger upstart, Ms. Maloney. The identical yr, Consultant Stephen J. Solarz noticed his Brooklyn district cracked in redistricting and misplaced in a bid for a neighboring seat drawn to empower Hispanic voters.

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