Candidates to debate

Candidates to debate

The Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey traditionally has sponsored forums where candidates can exchange their views on issues of concern to the Jewish community.

This year, the Jewish Standard is joining the JCRC in co-sponsoring the events.

Three forums are scheduled, beginning on October 7 with Fifth Congressional District candidates Rep. Scott Garrett, the Republican, and Democrat Adam Gussen.

A week later, four candidates for Bergen County freeholder will meet.

The date for the District 9 forum, which will feature Rep. Bill Pascrell, the Democrat, and Republican Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, has not yet been confirmed.

Discussions on scheduling the candidates for Senate – the incumbent, Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat, and his Republican opponent, State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos Jr., are underway.

“JCRCs all over the country hold candidates forums,” the JRCR’s director, Joy Kurland, said. “It’s basically an informational and educational opportunity for people to become apprised of the different positions of the candidates. We feel it’s a service to the community in that respect.”

Last year, the JCRC scheduled four forums in October featuring candidates for state offices. Three were canceled because of an unseasonable snow storm.

The Jewish Standard’s publisher, James Janoff, also pointed to community service in explaining why his newspaper is joining as co-sponsor.

“The Jewish Standard is a community newspaper, which means that it’s concerned about the community, what it represents, who represents it, and the issues that define it,” Janoff said.

“Co-sponsoring these forums is one way to help educate the community about issues that should be of concern to it, and also to educate the various segments of the community about the candidates who seek to represent them in legislatures at all levels.

“We don’t take sides, but we do have an obligation to inform,” he said.

Janoff said that he hopes the paper’s involvement with the JCRC will draw even larger numbers of potential voters to the events.

A light breakfast will be served at the forums.