Agudath Israel America congratulates Biden on election victory

The letter comes after senior ultra-Orthodox rabbis lavished Trump with praise shortly before the election, which the president himself acknowledged.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden celebrates onstage at his election rally, after the news media announced that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election over President Donald Trump, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 7, 2020. (photo credit: JIM BOURG / REUTERS)
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential nominee Joe Biden celebrates onstage at his election rally, after the news media announced that Biden has won the 2020 U.S. presidential election over President Donald Trump, in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 7, 2020.
(photo credit: JIM BOURG / REUTERS)
Agudath Israel America issued a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday, congratulating him for winning the election.
The letter from the preeminent representative organization for ultra-Orthodox Jews in the US comes as President Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat, with many senior Republican congressmen backing this stance and the president’s efforts to overturn by legal action what appear to be insurmountable voting leads for Biden in key states.
“On behalf of the rabbinical and lay leadership of Agudath Israel of America, I am pleased to extend our warm congratulations upon your election last week, and our most sincere wishes for success,” wrote Aguda executive vice president Rabbi David Zwiebel to Biden on Monday.
“Agudath Israel of America has always enjoyed close working relationships with the White House, irrespective of which political party happens to be its occupant,” he added, saying the organization “looks forward to working with you and your administration in the weeks and years ahead.
“May the Almighty bless you in all that you do as you lead our great nation forward in these challenging times.”
Agudah’s letter comes following a letter of support for Trump issued by 12 of the most senior haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis in the US and published just nine days before the election, which lavished praise on Trump, lauded him for having “strengthened America to proudly hold aloft the banner of God and religious belief,” hoped that he go “‘from strength to strength’ leading us forward towards ever greater good” and concluded with a prayer that God “exalt and magnify” Trump and lift him up “higher and higher.”
The letter was not issued by Agudath Israel of America, but its signatories did include two members of Agudah’s Council of Torah Sages, Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky and Rabbi Malkiel Kotler.
Trump himself saw the letter and expressed his gratitude to the rabbinical leaders for their support on Twitter, retweeting an image of the letter and stating “Thank you Rabbis!”
The large majority of Orthodox US Jews appear to have voted for Trump, with polls before the election suggesting three-quarters intended to vote for the incumbent.
The Orthodox Union, representative of the more modern Orthodox sector of US Jewry, issued its congratulations to Biden on Sunday.
“The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America extends our congratulations to Joe Biden upon his election as 46th president of the United States and Kamala Harris upon her historic election as vice president,” the organization said.
It said it was looking forward to “working with President-elect Biden and his incoming administration on matters of critical importance to our community,” COVID-19 and its impact on synagogues, as well as “keeping the US-Israel relationship strong” and “thwarting Iran’s malign activities,” along with educational choice, religious liberty and the fight against antisemitism.