In contrast to the cabinet of outgoing President Donald Trump, which included many political supporters who previously served in Congress and prominent private enterprises, President-Elect Joe Biden has a more traditional cabinet that includes veterans of federal agencies with career and educational backgrounds relating to their nominated positions. The incoming cabinet also includes nominees with affiliations and backgrounds that connect to the Jewish community. The personal connection that comes from Biden’s Jewish grandchildren and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ husband is matched by the professional experiences of these individuals. While Trump leaned towards Orthodox and politically conservative Jews for support, Biden’s Jewish circle represents a wider denominational spectrum.

With less than a month remaining until the nonpartisan City Council special election for the 24th District seat, this publication is reminding readers to be aware of their poll sites and the candidates on the ballot, and to mark Tuesday, February 2, on your calendars. Having interviewed James Gennaro and Neeta Jain last month, we now turn to two more candidates who have reached out to the Queens Jewish Link but in actuality happen to be our neighbors and demonstrated a thorough knowledge of Jewish communal priorities. In a ranked choice election, voters can choose all of the candidates mentioned above, ranking them based on preference.

In the last three decades of his life, Sheldon Adelson, 87, had an outsized influence on American and Israeli politics, fueled by an empire of casinos in Las Vegas, Macao, and Singapore that defined the skylines of these cities. Estimated by Bloomberg News as the world’s 37th wealthiest person, this cabdriver’s son was unapologetic and tough in his embrace of conservatism as he purchased newspapers and bankrolled successful presidential campaigns.

I had my bar mitzvah in a shul that asked little from its members. It could afford to pay for its expenses with the Hindu temple across the street renting its parking lot and a Chinese daycare renting out the former Hebrew school. My grandfather was a member and his brother-in-law was a gabbai, and the only Levi in a minyan that echoed in a sanctuary designed for at least a hundred worshippers. On paper, Kissena Jewish Center is an active synagogue but it is a shadow of its former self.

The center of the Jewish community in West Hempstead has been expanding in every direction, and all shuls, shops, and schools have been experiencing the need for more space. For Bais Torah U’Tefilah, or BTU, the relocation to a bigger facility is a walk across the street. “We have been getting ten to 15 new families joining each year, and we initially made plans to expand our current building before the opportunity came to move across the street” said Rabbi Uri Lesser, mara d’asra of BTU.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Rabbi Dr. Aaron Glatt has been holding public online briefings on the latest developments concerning the virus. This past Sunday, he had a much larger audience in a presentation sponsored by Yeshiva University, where he made a solid case for vaccination alongside Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a rosh yeshivah at its rabbinical seminary. “We have to understand that it’s an incredible chesed from HaKadosh Baruch Hu that within one year we’ve been able to come up with two vaccines,” Rabbi Glatt said. “The Ebola vaccine took five years and most vaccines take 11 to develop.”