As I write this, we are now less than a week away from next Tuesday’s (May 10) important Teaneck Council election. As the co-publisher of this Jewish community paper, I write now with two fairly simple thoughts and, yes, perhaps even requests, if you will grant me that courtesy.
My first request is to ask you—our neighbors in Teaneck—to make the time to vote next Tuesday. In the last municipal election two years ago, I watched a number of qualified and strong candidates, who were also members of our community in good standing, lose by only a handful of votes. If only a few more people had set aside literally 10-15 minutes before or after work, the results would have been much different.
Now is not the time nor the place to go into all of the reasons why your vote is extraordinarily important, there are almost too many to count. To those who say that nothing will change with our taxes and governance, so why bother voting and going to the polls, I wholly reject that line of thought, as should you. Your vote certainly matters, especially in this kind of municipal election, and I am happy to engage anytime with anyone who questions this.
There are so many issues the council decides that directly affect our wallets, our streets, our schools, busing and our community’s development and growth. Our elected leadership have a direct hand in developing and approving these policies. If we don’t show up and vote for the candidates who we think are clear-headed decision-makers, who hold similar values and ideas to our own, we are hurting ourselves and much that we hold dear.
This now leads to my second request. I ask now that when you do vote on Tuesday, that you make my friend, co-publisher and one-term incumbent Mark Schwartz one of your three choices. His campaign ad on page 17 lists many of his strengths and professional achievements. There are many and, God willing, there will be many more in his bright future.
But I want to share with you something about Mark that you will not see in any ad or piece of campaign literature. I first met Mark (or Mendy, as many know him) over 10 years ago in Cong. Beth Aaron in Teaneck. I soon came to know him as a tremendous baal chesed with an open heart and a passion for helping those around him succeed.
The first thing he and I ever worked on together was helping community members who needed jobs find them. As a nonprofit fundraiser then, I always tried to have a few resumes in mind of people looking for work and when I met people who had growing and active businesses like Mark’s, I would always try to see if they were looking to hire or needed help. With every resume and person I sent him, Mark always interviewed each one, spent time with them, and helped them out in his own way. No, he didn’t hire absolutely everyone I sent him, but he always sought ways to help them out...and usually did so in his own understated way. He continues to do this today, on an almost daily basis.
In addition to being a savvy, integrity-oriented businessman and incredibly involved community member, all who know Mark personally know he is both a helper and builder and wants to do both for all in his life in the right way. He cares deeply about our community and helping the town of Teaneck grow in the right way, and I can think of no finer person or candidate to vote for on Tuesday.
We decided, as a paper, not to officially endorse any candidates in this election as we are sensitive to Mark’s dual role as an elected official and as the co-publisher, with me, of our paper. But this is me, Moshe, asking my friends and my community to vote for my friend Mark—not because I work with him—but because he is a consummate mensch. After working with him closely these past few years in building this paper (which, by many accounts, is welcome, useful and enjoyed), I am in the unique position to tell you that the qualities he possesses, that have certainly contributed immensely to making the Jewish Link become what it is, are also good for our town and good for our community at large.
Please vote...and vote for my friend, our friend, Mark Schwartz on Tuesday!
By Moshe Kinderlehrer