Monday, January 5, 2015

How Mario Cuomo Won Over Both Orthodox and Secular Jews

Teenage 'Shabbos Goy' Learned Vulnerability of the Faithful

By Ron Kampeas, The Jewish Daily Forward

Mario Cuomo, the three-term New York governor who died Thursday, was the rare politician who appealed to the Jewish tent’s opposite poles.

A strident liberal with a nuanced understanding of the sense of vulnerability among the deeply religious in a secular society, Cuomo died of heart failure just hours after his son Andrew was sworn in for his second term as governor. He was 82.

Lopsided Jewish support helped propel Cuomo into the governor’s office three times, in 1982, 1986 and 1990. The state’s large Jewish community joined other liberal constituencies in celebrating the man who emerged in the 1980s as the most prominent vanguard against President Ronald Reagan.

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