US Jewry spreading to the South will benefit Republican Party – opinion

Jewish migration from blue states to swing states is increasing and is likely to continue

Nashville, Tennessee (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Nashville, Tennessee
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
With post-election tensions running high, it appears the American Jewish community’s near monolithic support for the Democratic Party is coming to an end. According to a New York Times/AP poll, “President Donald Trump won 30.5% of the Jewish vote this year, up 6.5 points from his 24% share of the Jewish vote in 2016. It is the highest percentage for any Republican presidential candidate since 1988.”
While certainly a respectable gain, a closer look reveals a more promising alliance between the American Jewish community and the Republican Party. Jewish migration from blue states to swing states is increasing and is likely to continue. Consequently, there will be a renewed focus on our community’s vote if it ceases to all be concentrated in die-hard blue states. Additionally, the ascent and growth of “The Squad” and the Democrats’ growing inability to renounce their antisemitic leanings will eventually draw more Jews, albeit on a smaller scale, into the Republican Party.
This past Passover, with New York COVID cases spiking, my family and I had our own exodus of sorts. We left New York at the height of the pandemic and spent a couple of months in Arizona, where some of my family resides. Today, the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area boasts several kosher restaurants and a number of kosher supermarkets. My sister’s synagogue in Scottsdale, which was a storefront only 10 years ago, is now housed in a beautiful new modern building. Every month, there are prospective families visiting from Lakewood and Englewood in New Jersey, and from Riverdale and Queens in New York.
Their membership is growing by the week, and it is now estimated that there are approximately 120,000 Jews living in Arizona, most of whom are concentrated in Maricopa County. President-elect Joe Biden appears to have won that state by less than 11,000 votes.
Arizona is not unlike many other southern states. According to a recent article in Ami Magazine, Rebbetzin Malka Taussig from Brooklyn is luring thousands of young Orthodox families to Tampa, Florida. Efforts are underway to build a development that will accommodate approximately 2,500 homes, a kosher market and a yeshiva. The Republican Jewish Coalition spent over $5 million in Florida and it paid off for President Trump, who garnered over 40% of the Jewish vote and eventually won that state.
Even Ben Shapiro, the American conservative commentator and media host recently moved from California to Florida. He subsequently moved his media company to Nashville, Tennessee, a city where 25% of the Jewish population has been for 10 years or less. As an Orthodox Jew, Mr. Shapiro wants his kids to “grow up in a community with a future, with more freedom and safety than I grew up with. California makes that impossible.”
American Jewry will continue to evolve in these southern states, home to a growing number of Jews seeking a place that is friendly to religious and traditional values. Eric Cohen, executive director of the Tikvah Fund, points out in his recent piece in the online Mosaic Magazine “as cultural conditions in New York, New Jersey and California continue to become even more hostile to traditional Jewish communities, the migration might accelerate.”
The continued deterioration of cultural values in blue states and cities is evidenced by the pass given to Black Lives Matter protesters as they took to the streets this past summer and engaged in violence against businesses, diners and police officers. As local authorities turned a blind eye to the violence, orthodox Jewish children were locked out of playgrounds and many Jewish neighborhood businesses were forced to shut down.

MORE RECENTLY, thousands of revelers took to the streets in Manhattan to celebrate the Biden victory while that same evening several deputies with the NYC Sheriff’s office confronted Ilana Cagan, a single Jewish mother of five, for violations of government-mandated coronavirus restrictions. Ms. Cagan runs a pottery studio out of her home and sells her art to help care for her family.
While Republican advancements with Jewish voters may be a result of shifting Jewish population centers, they are only being exacerbated by the Democrats’ inability to root out antisemitism within their own party. In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Kelly Loeffler will face each other in a runoff election for that critical Senate seat, effectively deciding the balance of power in the US Senate.
Rev. Warnock has gone on record signing his name to a letter likening Israel to apartheid South Africa as well as giving an impassioned sermon in 2018 blasting President Trump and his support for Israel. His candidacy has earned him the support of the majority of Democratic senators, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Incidentally, Jews in Georgia voted for Trump by a higher margin than seen in other states, handing him 50% of their votes, according to AP VoteCast.
As Caroline Glick pointed out in a recent article, “Progressive forces hostile to Israel and to Jewish Americans have grown in the Democratic Party.” Not surprisingly, these progressive forces represent liberal cities and states. Members of “The Squad” added to their ranks on November 3 with Mondaire Jones (D-New York) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) winning their seats handily. They both replaced moderate Democrats Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).
This is further indication that the “old guard” is being replaced by younger and more progressive personalities whose policies will be antithetical to the Jewish community’s best interest. And just last week, on the eve of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, “Squad” member Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) accused Israel of ethnic cleansing after security forces lawfully removed pitched tents located within a firing zone. Her remarks were met with silence by the bulk of the Democratic Party and by the overwhelming majority of Jewish organizations.
In the coming years, the Republican Party as a whole will continue to develop and nurture its relationship with the Jewish community as Jewish voters become a more concentrated voting bloc in areas outside of the tri-state area and California. What remains more uncertain is how many votes Republicans will gain from disenchanted Jewish Democrats.
Are there too many American Jews who will remain “blue” regardless of what’s thrown their way? The Democratic Party has spent the last four years vilifying President Trump, the best friend American Jews have ever had in the White House, while ignoring the growing threat of antisemitism within their own party.
While the rise of the Republican Party within Jewish communities will be aided in part because of the Democrats’ behavior, it will play a greater role in the lives of American Jews who have made their homes in red or swing-state America. These are states and cities where American exceptionalism, tradition and Judeo-Christian values are celebrated and protected, not thwarted. In the meantime, Jewish Democrats will continue to see a rise of politicians, likely within their own cities, whose policies will be at best unfriendly, and at worst, potentially dangerous for our people.
The author is a freelance writer with a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus on the Middle East from George Washington University. Her pieces have appeared in the Times of Israel and The Algemeiner. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for several members of Congress.With post-election tensions running high, it appears the American Jewish community’s near monolithic support for the Democratic Party is coming to an end. According to a New York Times/AP poll, “President Donald Trump won 30.5% of the Jewish vote this year, up 6.5 points from his 24% share of the Jewish vote in 2016. It is the highest percentage for any Republican presidential candidate since 1988.”
While certainly a respectable gain, a closer look reveals a more promising alliance between the American Jewish community and the Republican Party. Jewish migration from blue states to swing states is increasing and is likely to continue. Consequently, there will be a renewed focus on our community’s vote if it ceases to all be concentrated in die-hard blue states. Additionally, the ascent and growth of “The Squad” and the Democrats’ growing inability to renounce their antisemitic leanings will eventually draw more Jews, albeit on a smaller scale, into the Republican Party.
This past Passover, with New York COVID cases spiking, my family and I had our own exodus of sorts. We left New York at the height of the pandemic and spent a couple of months in Arizona, where some of my family resides. Today, the greater Phoenix/Scottsdale area boasts several kosher restaurants and a number of kosher supermarkets. My sister’s synagogue in Scottsdale, which was a storefront only 10 years ago, is now housed in a beautiful new modern building. Every month, there are prospective families visiting from Lakewood and Englewood in New Jersey, and from Riverdale and Queens in New York.
Their membership is growing by the week, and it is now estimated that there are approximately 120,000 Jews living in Arizona, most of whom are concentrated in Maricopa County. President-elect Joe Biden appears to have won that state by less than 11,000 votes.
Arizona is not unlike many other southern states. According to a recent article in Ami Magazine, Rebbetzin Malka Taussig from Brooklyn is luring thousands of young Orthodox families to Tampa, Florida. Efforts are underway to build a development that will accommodate approximately 2,500 homes, a kosher market and a yeshiva. The Republican Jewish Coalition spent over $5 million in Florida and it paid off for President Trump, who garnered over 40% of the Jewish vote and eventually won that state.
Even Ben Shapiro, the American conservative commentator and media host recently moved from California to Florida. He subsequently moved his media company to Nashville, Tennessee, a city where 25% of the Jewish population has been for 10 years or less. As an Orthodox Jew, Mr. Shapiro wants his kids to “grow up in a community with a future, with more freedom and safety than I grew up with. California makes that impossible.”
American Jewry will continue to evolve in these southern states, home to a growing number of Jews seeking a place that is friendly to religious and traditional values. Eric Cohen, executive director of the Tikvah Fund, points out in his recent piece in the online Mosaic Magazine “as cultural conditions in New York, New Jersey and California continue to become even more hostile to traditional Jewish communities, the migration might accelerate.”
The continued deterioration of cultural values in blue states and cities is evidenced by the pass given to Black Lives Matter protesters as they took to the streets this past summer and engaged in violence against businesses, diners and police officers. As local authorities turned a blind eye to the violence, orthodox Jewish children were locked out of playgrounds and many Jewish neighborhood businesses were forced to shut down.

MORE RECENTLY, thousands of revelers took to the streets in Manhattan to celebrate the Biden victory while that same evening several deputies with the NYC Sheriff’s office confronted Ilana Cagan, a single Jewish mother of five, for violations of government-mandated coronavirus restrictions. Ms. Cagan runs a pottery studio out of her home and sells her art to help care for her family.
While Republican advancements with Jewish voters may be a result of shifting Jewish population centers, they are only being exacerbated by the Democrats’ inability to root out antisemitism within their own party. In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Kelly Loeffler will face each other in a runoff election for that critical Senate seat, effectively deciding the balance of power in the US Senate.
Rev. Warnock has gone on record signing his name to a letter likening Israel to apartheid South Africa as well as giving an impassioned sermon in 2018 blasting President Trump and his support for Israel. His candidacy has earned him the support of the majority of Democratic senators, including Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Incidentally, Jews in Georgia voted for Trump by a higher margin than seen in other states, handing him 50% of their votes, according to AP VoteCast.
As Caroline Glick pointed out in a recent article, “Progressive forces hostile to Israel and to Jewish Americans have grown in the Democratic Party.” Not surprisingly, these progressive forces represent liberal cities and states. Members of “The Squad” added to their ranks on November 3 with Mondaire Jones (D-New York) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) winning their seats handily. They both replaced moderate Democrats Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Eliot Engel (D-NY).
This is further indication that the “old guard” is being replaced by younger and more progressive personalities whose policies will be antithetical to the Jewish community’s best interest. And just last week, on the eve of the anniversary of Kristallnacht, “Squad” member Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota) accused Israel of ethnic cleansing after security forces lawfully removed pitched tents located within a firing zone. Her remarks were met with silence by the bulk of the Democratic Party and by the overwhelming majority of Jewish organizations.
In the coming years, the Republican Party as a whole will continue to develop and nurture its relationship with the Jewish community as Jewish voters become a more concentrated voting bloc in areas outside of the tri-state area and California. What remains more uncertain is how many votes Republicans will gain from disenchanted Jewish Democrats.
Are there too many American Jews who will remain “blue” regardless of what’s thrown their way? The Democratic Party has spent the last four years vilifying President Trump, the best friend American Jews have ever had in the White House, while ignoring the growing threat of antisemitism within their own party.
While the rise of the Republican Party within Jewish communities will be aided in part because of the Democrats’ behavior, it will play a greater role in the lives of American Jews who have made their homes in red or swing-state America. These are states and cities where American exceptionalism, tradition and Judeo-Christian values are celebrated and protected, not thwarted. In the meantime, Jewish Democrats will continue to see a rise of politicians, likely within their own cities, whose policies will be at best unfriendly, and at worst, potentially dangerous for our people.
The author is a freelance writer with a master’s degree in international affairs with a focus on the Middle East from George Washington University. Her pieces have appeared in the Times of Israel and The Algemeiner. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for several members of Congress.