(New York Jewish Week) — The founder of a Democratic fundraising group is the latest Jewish candidate to run for the seat held by Rep. George Santos, the Republican congressman arrested on federal criminal charges last week.
Zak Malamed, 29, said he was spurred to run by Santos’ election last year and, in particular, bristled at revelations that Santos had falsely claimed to be Jewish.
“He is an extreme MAGA Republican who doesn’t take antisemitism seriously, makes a mockery of our Jewish faith,” Malamed told the New York Jewish Week. He added that the way Santos “uses the history that many of us carry, with relatives who are victims or escaped the Holocaust, is astounding.”
Malamed announced Monday that he will run for the Democratic nomination in Santos’ New York district, which covers parts of Queens and Long Island. He is the third Jewish Democratic candidate to declare candidacy for the seat held by Santos, following former Democratic state senator Anna Kaplan, an Iranian-American who has long championed Holocaust education, and Josh Lafazan, a Jewish Nassau County legislator. Democratic attorney Will Murphy is also running, as is one Republican, former J.P. Morgan executive Kellen Curry.
Malamed, who grew up in Great Neck, a Long Island town in the district, cofounded a Democratic fundraising organization called “The Next 50″ that according to its website focuses on “building a leadership pipeline of justice and equity-minded leaders that will counter conservatives’ massive 50-year investment in young leaders.” One of its endorsees in next year’s races is Elissa Slotkin, the Jewish centrist Democratic congresswoman from Michigan who is now running for Senate.
Malamed said he hopes to bring integrity back to the district, particularly after Santos was charged last week with illicitly collecting unemployment assistance while earning a six-figure salary. The congressman — whom Malamed called “an international embarrassment” — has pleaded not guilty.
In addition to falsely claiming to be Jewish, Santos has spread a series of other falsehoods about his background. He has largely rejected fact-checking by news organizations from around the world, in the case of his ancestry saying he never claimed to be Jewish, calling himself “Jew-ish.” In a recording of the congressman posted to Twitter last week by MSNBC host Ari Melber, Santos can be heard saying, “If you sit in a room with a lot of Jews, you’re f—ed.”
Malamed grew up in Santos’ district and identifies as a Conservative Jew. He said his family has belonged to Temple Israel in Great Neck for more than 60 years.
“It’s where I went to preschool,” Malamed said. “It’s where I went to Hebrew school, and of course, I was bar mitzvahed here. … I maintain this deep connection and care for not just the community that raised me, but the Jewish community that raised me.”
As a high schooler, Malamed launched a group focused on elevating student voices in education policy making. He subsequently graduated from the University of Maryland and worked for the 2020 presidential campaign of Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire media mogul, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked at Facebook and at XQ, an education policy initiative founded by philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs.
Malamed said he maintains “a commitment toward investing in others and elevating others’ leadership” and emphasized that the idea of running for office “didn’t even enter my mind [until] after Santos won.”
“It’s when I took stock of the field and realized that Democrats up and down the ballots have been rejected over the past couple of years, and have not found a way to break through and defeat MAGA Republicans,” he said.
Malamed said if elected, he would support Israel, a stance he attributed to the influence of his grandmother, who emigrated from Russia to Israel before moving to Great Neck in the late 1960s.
“My grandmother was in Israel the day its independence was declared by the United Nations,” Malamed said, referring to the 1947 U.N. vote approving a partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. “I think it’s important to bring next-generation leadership that’s committed to being proudly Jewish, unabashedly supportive of the state of Israel, and also committed to peace.”
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Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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