Surfside Mayoral Candidate’s Promises Have Yidden Worried

Photo by Alexf via Wikimedia

Surfside, Florida, has become a kosher paradise in recent years, but campaign promises made by one of the two mayoral candidates has the Jewish community worried.

By Dan’s Deals

Surfside has become a kosher paradise in recent years with over 20 Sabbath observant store fronts on Harding Ave. But not everyone in Surfside is happy about this.

There are Mayoral elections on March 19 in which two candidates running for Mayor, the current Mayor Shlomo Danzinger, and his opponent, former Mayor Charles Burkett.

The campaign recently took an ugly turn when Burkett said “I believe we should have long ago had…a majority of downtown restaurants that do not close for half of the weekend.”

Meaning, he doesn’t want there to be as many kosher restaurants as there are today…is this a campaign promise? Does he intend on trying to shutter frum owned businesses? Or is it just his feeling that Surfside should not be host to too many Jewish-owned businesses? Whatever the answer is, this is very concerning.

On top of that, he has the classic anti-frum tropes of:

“I think we already have enough people living in Surfside. I don’t believe we need more residents or traffic here.”

I.E. We don’t want more big frum families building homes to meet their needs.

“I don’t believe our downtown needs more new housing apartments above it, rather I believe that every one of the historic and interesting buildings should be restored to their former glory, creating a small and quaint gem filled district, showcasing interesting and diverse shopping and dining options for our residents – and as many guests as we can reasonably accommodate.”

“Diverse shopping and dining options” is a call for less kosher food and less frum owned stores like the shaitel, tznius clothing, and jewelry stores currently on Harding.

“As many guests as we can reasonably accommodate” is a call for allowing less frum people to visit the restaurants on Harding via restricting parking access and raising the cost to park in Surfside.

You can find these direct quotes posted and shared by Burkett on his blog here.

So, if you enjoy traveling or living in Florida and want to do something, here is what you can do now:

1. Encourage anyone you know that lives in Surfside to get vote by mail ballots. Many residents that are eligible to vote won’t be in town on March 19th and it’s crucial for them to request and send in absentee ballots now.

2. If you’d like to donate to Danzinger’s campaign and help protect the Orthodox Jews of Surfside and the kosher paradise it has become, you can do so here.

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