Members of Agudath Israel’s Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative continue to mobilize the community to promote school choice around the country. Lakewood activists met on Tuesday night, August 27, with New Jersey Assemblyman Gary Schaer at the home of Reb Yaakov Friedman.
School choice, a movement to give parents the ability to choose the school for their children and ease prohibitive tuition costs, is a high priority for our community. Our elected officials need to understand that this is an issue of deep concern to us and recognize that we appreciate their efforts on our behalf. These meetings are a big step forward in continuing to strengthen relationships between our representatives and community advocates.
Earlier meetings included those in Far Rockaway with Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, in New Hempstead with Senator David Carlucci, and in Queens with Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.
Reb Yaakov explained that he felt it was imperative to host this event: “We have so many families here in Lakewood struggling with tuition, sometimes for five or six children, so I feel that it is a privilege to contribute in whatever way to help our families.” The need to help large families in the community with the burden of tuition was discussed at length, and one of the participants shared the startling fact that there were 600 babies born to the frum community in Lakewood in one local hospital in just one recent month!
Issac (Albert) Ackerman, mayor of Lakewood, praised Assemblyman Schaer and Agudath Israel, saying, “It is always very refreshing to be with Gary. He is relentless in his efforts to bring things to fruition and is a source of inspiration for all our local politicians here in Lakewood. I think the meetings organized by Agudath Israel of America are very productive, as they bring awareness about this important issue.”
The events, organized by Rabbi Shai Markowitz, director of the Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative, focus on various school-choice initiatives, including vouchers, funding for non-public schools and special-education programs, busing, and more. v