Dear Senator Stavisky:
Although I have retired and live in Baltimore, I remain in close touch with the leadership in Queens and am keenly aware of what is going on. I am therefore very disappointed in your letter of January 11 to Yeshiva University – the letter in which you and two other state senators accuse Yeshiva University of bigotry against LGBTQ and of misappropriating millions of dollars.
The letter was obviously leaked to The New York Times, which was glad to run with it, as they have been on a racist and bigoted rampage against Orthodox Jewry in recent months.
I am surprised that you would sign such a letter. You have received much support from the Orthodox community over the years, including from my father, of blessed memory. The merits of the case are not the issue. The issue is that it is very hurtful that a fellow Jewish political leader chooses to go public against a Jewish institution, which can only do further harm to the security of Jews during these times of unchecked anti-Semitism. Do you think any other ethnic leaders would do that against one of their own? The New York Times does not need more fodder to trash the Orthodox community, resulting in unprecedented violence against them.
I hope you reconsider your actions in this matter.
Sincerely, Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld
Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld is the Rabbi Emeritus of the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, President of the Coalition for Jewish Values, former President of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, and the Rabbinic Consultant for the Queens Jewish Link.