BROOKLYN (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – A light hearted joke made during roll call at a Monday night Zoom meeting of the Brooklyn Democratic Party had one committee member going on the offensive and bashing stereotypes about the Chasidic community.
David Schwartz, one of two committee members representing Brooklyn’s 48th Assembly District in the party and the only Chasidic member of the group, was late to roll call for the meeting, prompting one individual to suggest that perhaps he was attending a “10,000 man wedding,” referring to the marriage of the grandson of the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, which was inaccurately described by the media as a 10,000 person event.
Hearing about the remark after being texted by a few colleagues, Schwartz took the opportunity to set the record straight once he joined the meeting, explaining that he had been late because he had gone out to buy diapers for his baby, something his wife had been unable to do because the red zone lockdowns left her home all day with their two children.
Video of the Zoom conference showed Schwartz holding up his mask and noting that he has grown tired of the generalizations about Chasidim not wearing masks.
“I understand that every community has bad apples but I do know that I missed two funerals of relatives of mine so I don’t think whoever made the joke was appropriate to include me in a 10,000 man wedding which didn’t even take place,” said Schwartz, who said that he spent three months in quarantine.
“I don’t know what the media is telling you, but I follow rules,” added Schwartz.
Beyond appalling! Executive Director at @BkDemocrats cracked a joke about fellow committee member @DavidSchwartz48.— Mordechai Lightstone (@Mottel) October 20, 2020
Anti-chasidic rhetoric has been creeping into politics and media. It's insidious and repugnant - and incredibly counterproductive.pic.twitter.com/l69aPUeKS1
The person who made the joke apologized for his remarks, and Schwartz told VIN News that he shares warm relationships with his fellow committee members and that he understood that the comment wasn’t intended to be mean spirited. He added that he felt it was important to seize the moment to demonstrate to the committee that the view of the Chasidic community portrayed by the media isn’t necessarily accurate.
“This quip came after days and days that we are on the receiving line of baseless attacks by the media and authorities,” explained Schwartz. “We are being besmirched, mostly without any basis. It just boiled over and the pain for my community busted. We are law-abiding citizens, not media fodder.”