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Court nominations

Saul Stein, Rachel Freier tapped for New York Supreme Court

Freier is believed to have been the first female Hasidic judge in the U.S. when she was elected as a civil court judge in 2016

Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Judge Rachel Freier takes in applause from City Council members David Greenfield (left), Jumaane Williams (far right) & husband David Freier (right).

Two Orthodox judges were among the six individuals nominated on Thursday night to run on the Democratic party line for open seats on the Kings County Supreme Court. Saul Stein and Rachel Freier, the latter of whom has been an acting Supreme Court judge since January, were tapped by the  Kings County Democratic Party to appear on the ballot in November. Both Stein and Freier are expecting to win in the deep blue county, which encompasses all of Brooklyn.

“It was amazing to see how so many of the non-Jewish delegates embraced Judge Freier’s candidacy, and [that] her life story and her spirit and her compassion were universally accepted and appreciated,” Rabbi Eli Cohen, executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, told Jewish Insider on Thursday afternoon. “I think that she has shown to have the right temperament. She’s very careful to do things appropriately and correctly, [and] she has the right balance of understanding of the law and compassion for the people who come before.”

Freier, 58, is believed to have been the first female Hasidic judge in the U.S. when she was elected as a Civil Court judge in 2016. She graduated from college at 30, becoming a lawyer a decade later. In 2014, Freier founded the first all-female Orthodox ambulance corp, Ezras Nashim. When she was appointed acting New York State Supreme Court justice in January, she was believed to be the first Hasidic woman to hold the position. 

“This has been an incredible journey for me, and it just proves that when Hashem wants something to happen, it’s going to happen,” Freier told Hamodia on Tuesday. “The incredible people who came out to support me were just amazing, and some of them were from the most unexpected places.”

If elected, Stein, 42, would be one of the Supreme Court’s youngest justices. He has been a member of the New Jersey and New York State bars since 2005 and 2006, respectively. A graduate of Providence College, Stein received a JD degree from Cardozo School of Law in 2005, and a master’s degree in taxation from Baruch College in 2010.

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