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 a

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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 week

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Yesterday, the City of Annapolis sprung back to life with the start of the 2018 legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly. Among many other things Agudath Israel will be working on this session, securing funding for Jewish schools is, of course, the top priority. The Broadening Options and Opportunities Today (BOOST) pr

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It didn’t take long. Illinois donors, including many from the Jewish community, generously pledged more than $36 million for private school scholarships in just one day. The pledges were the first step in the implementation of the new $100  million  Illinois Scholarship Tax Credit program. Tuesday was the first day for individuals and corporations to reserve tax credits through the Illinois Department of Revenue. Under the new program, don

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Locked out

December 29, 2017

So last night I got locked out of my car. In Baltimore. On one of the coldest nights of the year. Thankfully, a volunteer from Chaverim of Baltimore was there within minutes and while it ended up taking a second volunteer and close to an hour, they were able to get me back into my car. Without being asked, I immediately made an online donation to Chaverim to sponsor a lock out kit so that they can help others in my predicament. If you're

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Beyond partisan politics

December 25, 2017

Every week I struggle to come up with a unifying theme that ties together the various items featured in this newsletter. Writing these words at a Torah Umesorah conference held at a Trump branded hotel, it is easy to say that all of our highlights commend President Trump and his administration (especially Ambassador Haley). The president d

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When the Maccabees won the battle that led to the celebration of Chanukah, it was a triumph of good over evil and gave the Jewish People the religious freedom to impart their faith and values to their children. All of these themes are just as relevant today as they were more than 2000 years ago. Religious Freedom: Residents of Jackson Township, New Jersey, received a Chanukah gift this week with the Township's decision to all

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Not invited to the party

December 11, 2017

To all those who asked: No. I did not get an invitation to the White House Chanukah party. Agudath Israel was well-represented at the event, though, by our executive vice president Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel and our vice president for federal affairs and Washington director Rabbi Abba Cohen.

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We did. We will. Will you?

December 1, 2017

The theme of last week's Agudah convention was Together We Will. Over the course of 72 hours I found myself inspired by the nearly 100 speakers and more importantly by the tens of thousands of attendees (in person and online). It was gratifying to know so many people were interested in understanding the challenges facing the Orthodox Jewish community and the potential solutions, and who are willing to work together with Agudath Israel and others

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