It is safe to say that all of the incoming City Council members come from diverse and unique backgrounds, but few had to take on so much responsibility at such a young age like Chaim Deutsch. Deutsch grew up one of four boys in a small two-bedroom apartment. In between semesters at yeshiva, Deutsch took odd jobs to help support his family and, perhaps as a sign of maturity beyond his years, married his wife at the tender age of 19. Thereafter he worked in real estate management for some time, while also holding a variety of civic positions within his south Brooklyn neighborhood, including as a community liaison to the New York Police Department.
Deutsch’s career in government began under former Councilman Lloyd Henry, then continued under Councilman Michael Nelson, for whom he handled constituent services and from whom he learned how to navigate the city’s bureaucracy to provide basic services.
“I helped with constituent services for 17 years, and I learned how to cut through chronic red tape when needed, and fight for those small issues that can grow into larger issues,” Deutsch said. “The small issues are as important to me as the larger issues; if it’s a large enough issue for one individual, it’s large enough for me to deal with right away.”
Having worked in government for so long in his district, Deutsch should have a smoother transition than some of his freshmen colleagues. Basic quality of life issues are important to him, but as a representative of waterfront neighborhoods, Deutsch wants to focus on prioritizing the continued recovery of areas like Manhattan and Brighton Beach, which were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. Deutsch also has a soft spot for senior citizens, who make up a large portion of his constituency, and he aims to ensure that they are well taken care of.
“The 48th Council District comprises probably the most seniors in the city of New York,” Deutsch said. “Seniors are very near and dear to my heart. My father was a chef in nursing homes and senior centers, so I grew up with senior citizens.”
Neighborhoods represented: Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Midwood
Policy focus: Waterfront Sandy recovery, senior issues, quality of life
Date of birth: April 15, 1969
Birthplace: Long Beach, N.Y.
Education: Attended yeshiva in Sullivan County and Westchester, N.Y.
Previous Occupation: Community liaison, Councilman Michael Nelson
Family: Wife: Sara; five children: Rachelle, Sheva, Aaron, Rivka, Avrohom; grandson: Ezra