The Jewish Standard is not in the habit of making electoral endorsements. Among other reasons is our lack of specific expertise. We pride ourselves on keeping abreast of the local goings on – the synagogues, the schools, even, God forbid, the occasional scandals.

But Washington and Trenton? Not so much.

We read the same national and local news sources as you do.

Every now and then, however, something happens in our community that we think should have ramifications come election day.

One such event took place this week.

For the past several election cycles, Joy Kurland, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, has been organizing candidate forums, in which opposing candidates take turns answering questions posed by moderators. It is a chance to increase the Jewish community’s involvement and investment in the political process, and in national and local election campaigns. And this year, to help forge connections beyond the Jewish community, the JCRC is sponsoring the events together with the Bergen County NAACP. Among the co-sponsors, we are proud to say, is the Jewish Standard.

This coming Monday night in Englewood, for example, Rep. William Pascrell of New Jersey’s 9th District and his Republican opponent, Dr. Dierdre Paul, will appear at the Community Baptist Church of Englewood. Last Monday night, however, Roy Cho, the Democrat who is running for Congress from the 5th District, stood alone.

Incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett did not answer Joy Kurland’s call.

He did not take questions from the Jewish Community Relations Council, nor from the hundreds of people who went to Temple Israel in Ridgefield for the forum.

He did not show up.

Our report on the forum on page 8 accordingly is very one-sided.

That’s not our choice. That’s Congressman Garrett’s.

Given the chance to come to address the Jewish community, Scott Garrett declined. Those of us who live in the 5th District will remember that on election day. We hope you do too.

-LY