With Democratic party judicial delegates meeting shortly to fill ten open seats in Kings County Supreme Court, one nominee is calling on Brooklyn’s Chasidic residents to contact their district leaders and advocate for her to be tapped for a seat on the bench.
Judge Rachel Freier has served on the bench in Brooklyn’s civil court for nearly six years and has been working hard to earn a Supreme Court nomination.
Freier got her long-awaited approval this year from the judicial screening committee, which is presenting a pool of 26 qualified nominees to Brooklyn’s district leaders as potential Supreme Court candidates to fill 10 available spots.
The road to Supreme Court judgeship is one that is relatively unfamiliar to the public. District leaders vote on a list of approved candidates, with party leaders having the ability to share their input as well as the process unfolds.
The district leaders’ list of nominees is sent to judicial delegates, who can propose their own candidates before the roster of judicial hopefuls that will appear on the ballot in the November elections is finalized.
There are already five Orthodox Jewish judges currently seated on the Kings County Supreme Court representing the broader Charedi population. But Freier noted that none of them are members of the Chasidic community, the largest segment of Brooklyn’s Jewish population.
“I embrace all Jews, but I do feel that if you are trying to give representation to the Chasidic community, you need to be sensitive to their needs and concerns,” Freier told VIN News.
As a Chasidic Brooklynite, Freier feels confident that she is the most qualified nominee to represent the community’s needs.
She also feels strongly that she brings additional sensitivities to the bench, with her role as a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and sister giving her a unique ability to understand the complexities and nuance of marriage, divorce, family issues and even learning from past mistakes.
A July 12th letter sent by Rabbi Aryeh Ralbag to the Kings County Democratic County Committee heartily endorsed Freier for the Supreme Court position as a qualified, accomplished nominee, whose unique vantage point as a Chasidic woman would fill an existing void on the bench.
In addition to being the spiritual leader of Young Israel of Avenue K, chief rabbinical judge of Union of Orthodox Rabbis of USA and Cana, Chief rabbinical judge of The Conference of European Rabbis and Chief Rabbi Emeritus of Amsterdam, Rabbi Ralbag is also an alternate judicial delegate for the Kings County Democratic Party.
Freier’s appeal transcends the Chasidic world. In a recent Jewish Press (www.bit.ly/3Bjqshz) article she spoke about how much she enjoys campaigning throughout Brooklyn’s diverse neighborhoods and building bridges between communities, sharing “traditions and values with people who have questions and may be unfamiliar with our practices.”
With nominees vying for just 10 slots when district leaders meet to narrow down the field on August 2nd, Freier knows that she is fighting an uphill battle.
But this isn’t the first time that Freier has faced difficult odds and she hopes that the community she hails from will fight for show their support for her as the most qualified candidate to represent their needs by calling up the district leaders they voted into office and asking them to support her nomination.
Freier also expressed her full confidence in the district leaders, the Kings County Democratic Committee and its leaders, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Frank Seddio, as the process unfolds in the days ahead.
“I do feel it is time for a Chasidic woman to be on the Supreme Court bench,” said Freier. “Supreme Court justices can have a profound effect on people’s day to day lives and the average person has the ability to sway the district leaders’ vote.
Call up your district leader and advocate for your choice, in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Sea Gate, Crown Heights, Kensington, Marine Park and Flatbush, because democracy is all about representation.”