New York Governor Cuomo’s Joke That Jews Can’t Dance Falls Flat During Speech at Church
The audience listening to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s speech at a predominantly black church in Harlem on Sunday did not find his joke about Jews to be humorous, the New York Post reported.
While thanking the congregation at Mount Neboh Baptist Church for inviting him to speak, Gov. Cuomo said, “I want you to know as a matter of full disclosure, I am a Catholic. Catholics basically believe the same teachings that Baptists believe. We just do it without the rhythm. But we try. We are not as without rhythm as some of our Jewish brothers and sisters.”
Cuomo then pointed out Democratic consultant and former campaign adviser Rabbi Hank Sheinkopf, who was sitting in the front row, for his off-beat moves.
“I was watching Mr. Sheinkopf here in the front row moving to the music,” Gov. Cuomo added. “It was ugly, I’ll tell you the truth.”
Sheinkopf — who was at the church because he works for its pastor and his advocacy group, Mobilizing Preachers and Communities advocacy group — told The Post about the governor’s joke, “There weren’t many people laughing, but I didn’t feel humiliated.” He added sarcastically, “He’s the governor. He’s now in charge of American dancing.”
Jewish pro-Israel activist Arthur Schwartz also was not amused, saying, “The governor should focus more on governing and less on Jew jokes.”
State Senator Simcha Felder, an Orthodox Jew, said, “I don’t think it was that good a joke. I can write better material.”
Cuomo’s spokesperson later stated about the governor’s joke, “He was clearly poking fun at himself and one longtime friend who was in the audience.”