JEWISH COMMUNITY FOCUSED ON EDUCATION AFFORDABILITY BEFORE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS
Addressing more than 500 members of the New Jersey Jewish community at the OU Advocacy-NJ legislative breakfast on Sunday, Governor Chris Christie spoke about the moral obligation to provide educational choice to students throughout the state.
“We will not fix those 200 failing schools and will not help those thousands of students until we change the underlying failed system that created those failing schools in the first place,” said Gov. Christie, adding that it is “well past time to bring competition to the educational system.”
Gov. Christie also acknowledged the high level of political involvement and activism within the New Jersey Jewish community. “I hear from your community all the time that [educational choice] is a foundational issue,” he said, encouraging the breakfast attendees to continue their activism on the issue.
Several legislators and other elected officials also attended the breakfast held at Congregation Keter Torah in Teaneck, including Congressman Bill Pascrell (D-NJ). Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle were recognized for their leadership and sponsorship of the Special Education bill. If passed, the bill would allow children with special needs to attend an accredited religious nonpublic school with a special needs program. In addition, Mayor of Jersey City Steve Fulop delivered greetings.
The legislative breakfast provided an opportunity for the Jewish community to meet with its elected officials to discuss Jewish day school affordability and other issues affecting the Jewish community in advance of November’s state-wide elections.
“We are honored to have the Governor and so many state legislators join us at this important event,” said Josh Pruzansky, Regional Director of OU Advocacy-NJ. “Their presence and participation in our legislative breakfast demonstrates the importance of our community in both the State House and in municipalities around the state.”
“Jewish day school affordability is one of the most important issues to the New Jersey Jewish community and, as such, we are committed to working with the governor and the state legislature to find creative means for helping Jewish community day schools and families. Our community members, our day schools and our schoolchildren are mobilizing around this issue,” said Maury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs and Outreach.
“Many other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, have programs in place that support nonpublic schools and families in ways that are beneficial to the entire state. It is time for New Jersey to implement similar policies for its citizens,” Pruzansky added.
The New Jersey office of OU Advocacy was established two years ago and opened its office in the Teaneck community earlier this year. Its efforts have resulted in more than $7 million dollars for the non-public school community, including $1.6 million for Jewish day schools.