Members of two synagogues in Northern Virginia are furious after receiving an unsolicited invitation to a campaign event Monday night for newly elected Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, claiming their personal contact information was shared with the Virginia Democratic Party without their permission.
An intern with the Virginia Democratic Party sent an email Sunday evening inviting Jewish voters to the event, “Jews for Democratic Candidates,” held at the headquarters of then-candidate McAuliffe Monday night, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
However, the email directories from the two synagogues and a Jewish day school are supposed to be kept confidential, and certainly not to be used in partisan politics.
According to the Beacon, who reported on this exclusive story:
The Democratic Party’s use of these directories—which includes the personal contact information of every single synagogue member—has sparked privacy concerns among congregants who accuse the Democrats of abusing their confidential information.
The emails were sent to members of the Olam Tikvah and Agudas Achim synagogues in Northern Virginia as well as the Gesher Jewish Day School.
The use of Agudas’s email directory struck some recipients as particularly noteworthy because the synagogue’s rabbi Jack Moline recently accepted a job as the National Jewish Democratic Council’s (NJDC) next executive director.
The original email was sent to synagogue members by a Virginia Democratic Party intern, who described himself as “a member of Northern Virginia’s Jewish Community as well as an intern with the Democratic Coordinated Campaign.”
The message quickly sparked an outcry among many recipients who felt their private information had been used for partisan purposes.
Many outraged recipients emailed the intern personally to express their displeasure, according to sources familiar with the controversy.
The outcry eventually led Agudas president Joel Goldhammer to lodge a complaint with the Virginia Democrats, alleging that their actions may have been illegal.