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Ted Cruz Connects With New York Jews

Ted Cruz
Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz learned how to make matzo during a campaign stop Thursday at an Orthodox Jewish community center in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Reuters photo)

Despite getting an assortment of "Bronx cheers" during his visit to New York City this week, presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has received the occasional warm reception, as well.

One of his brightest moments in the Big Apple was during an event with supporters at the Brighton Beach Jewish Center in Brooklyn. The center includes a preschool and a model matzo bakery where children learn how to make the traditional unleavened flatbread that is an integral part of the Passover celebration.

Cruz visited both the preschool, talking with the children about Passover, and the bakery, where he learned how to make matzo himself. They also sang, breaking into an impromptu rendition of "Dayenu," a traditional Passover song about being grateful to God for all of the gifts he gave the Jewish people that roughly translates to "It would have been enough for us."

He also took questions from the supporters, and introduced them to Nick Muzin. The Canadian-born Orthodox Jew serves as the senator's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff for campaign strategy.

During the visit, supporters wearing red yarmulkes adorned with "Cruz 2016" in both English and Hebrew chanted, "Ted, Ted, Ted!" and "Jews for Cruz!" And, best of all, "New York values" wasn't even mentioned once.

Jewish voters, particularly conservative and Orthodox voters, are essential to Cruz' effort to prevent Republican front-runner Donald Trump from winning all 95 delegates in his home state. Currently, the Queens native is polling slightly above 50 percent in New York.

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