Every day, I am inspired by the dedication, skill, and compassion of my colleagues at Agudath Israel, but nothing brings out those feelings more than when we all get together. Thank you to Rabbi Ariel Sadwin for hosting last week's government affairs staff retreat in Baltimore/Washington. Special thank you to our board member and national Jewish leader Howard Tzvi Friedman for joining us for a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion about bi-part

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Due Deference

July 13, 2018

While at least one Jewish organization was apparently "incensed" at President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, Agudath Israel welcomed the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh earlier this week. Aside from issuing an official statement (see here), Rabbi Abba Cohen was interviewed by the JTA in an article summarizing the reactions of various Jewish organizations. Rabbi Cohen said that Judge Kavanaugh was an "impressive candidat

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Agudath Israel of Florida is pleased to announce that Governor Scott signed a bill this week to expand the funding sources available to support the Gardiner Scholarship for special needs students and the Corporate Tax Scholarship program. This change has the potential to generate an additional $57.5 million. The Gardiner scholarship program helped over 10,000 students with special needs during the 2017-2018 school year, but due to the lack

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Who would you call?

February 23, 2018

Earlier this week I posted a picture of our first ad in a series and received many positive comments. While we are not a law firm, the first ad highlights Agudath Israel's role in defending the religious rights of Orthodox Jews and

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Americans woke up this morning to find that the government shutdown was over before it really started. The budget deal including many things, but one issue of particular importance to Agudath Israel was a measure that enhances the ability of houses of worship and religious schools to apply for FEMA-adminis

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Out of our hands

February 2, 2018

Have you ever planned meticulously for an event only to see something unexpected  happen that destroyed your plans? What if millions of dollars were on the line? How would you react? I got to watch exactly that this week and I left inspired. I traveled to Chicago on Wednesday on the day that thousands of parents across the state were expecting to apply for tuition scholarships worth up to $26,000. The new Illinois scholarship tax credit law, kn

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Why Yellow?

January 26, 2018

National School Choice Week has become known for its ubiquitous yellow fleece scarves. I don't know if the organizers picked yellow because it reminded them of yellow school buses, because the neon color stands out in a crowd, or simply because it is a happy color, but whatever the reason, the scarves, like school choice are very popular.

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Couldn’t Wait

January 19, 2018

National School Choice Week (NSCW) begins on Sunday, but some people just couldn't wait. Yesterday, Rabbi Sadwin joined Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and members of Congress at an early NSCW celebration at the Capitol (see here for some exciting school choice news out of Maryland). Next week, Agudath Israel and

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Small, but painful mistake

January 15, 2018

In many states (like Maryland and New York), this week marked the beginning of the legislative session. Agudath Israel's team of state and regional directors have assembled an aggressive legislative agenda on behalf of our community and we hope to report about their progress in the weeks

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