“That sent a message to the community, to the entire neighborhood, very loud and clear: We’re here, we’re working with you,” he said. But when it comes to the coronavirus, he added, the neighborhood was facing a crisis of “tremendous uncertainty, a tremendous amount of misinformation and a lack of information.”
Yosef Rapaport, 66, a Yiddish podcaster whose brother and brother-in-law both died of Covid-19, said Mr. de Blasio needed to rebuild trust with a religious minority that has largely spurned his administration and aligned with President Trump.
“This community is being hit by a double whammy: the incompetence of City Hall and the ugliness that is coming from Washington,” Mr. Rapaport said. “There is a deep, deep mistrust among the community for the intentions of the mayor, especially when the president takes a different approach.”
Dr. Katz defended the city’s efforts, saying that it had made over 200,000 public health robocalls to neighborhoods with significant Orthodox Jewish populations and distributed tens of thousands of masks in Borough Park, Williamsburg, Brighton Beach and Flushing.
The city has also placed “nearly 60 newspaper ads in community papers to get the word out” among Hasidic Jews, he said, and talked to 20 synagogue leaders in Borough Park, a neighborhood with about 300 synagogues, according to Mr. Greenstein.
One lingering issue in the city’s relationship with Hasidic New Yorkers has been a late-night Twitter outburst by the mayor after he personally oversaw the dispersal of a rabbi’s funeral in Williamsburg in April. For many, it validated their fears about the city’s leadership.
Jacob Kornbluh, a Hasidic Jew who lives in Borough Park and writes for Jewish Insider, a national publication, summed up a perspective he often hears in the neighborhood: “De Blasio became the guy singling out the Jews so we don’t have to listen to him anymore.”