Betrayal of core values

September 8, 2017

Just as Texas families are returning to their homes to assess the damage and rebuild, millions of Americans, including a significant number of Jewish families, are leaving their homes or getting prepared to face one of the most powerful hurricanes in recent history. Agudath Israel leaders are coordinating with other organizations in order to be able to respond

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It's hard to believe, but it looks like blue state Illinois will, in fact, get a robust school choice program. Although nothing is official yet, Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders have agreed to a historic education funding deal which includes a $75 million tax credit program that will generate $100 million in scholarship funds for middle and low-income students in Illinois. Agudath Israel's Illinois director for government affairs, Ra

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An odious message

August 18, 2017

As a grandson of Holocaust survivors, I found it frightening to begin the week, seeing images of neo-Nazis marching on the streets of America. I was hoping that by week's end I would be comforted somewhat, knowing that our elected leaders and all upstanding citizens unequivocally repudiate all forms of racial and religious bigotry and hatred. Sadly, there is much work yet to be done on the local and national level. The eruv controversy in Mah

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We dare not be silent

August 11, 2017

This week's newsletter goes coast to coast, and everywhere in between. In a report from the West Coast, our California chairman discusses security funding, and on the other side of the country, our Florida director

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A Tale of Two States

July 7, 2017

It took a government shutdown in New Jersey and two years (and a last minute hazmat scare) in Illinois, but finally, both states passed an operating budget. While Agudath Israel doesn't take positions on many of the thorny issues at the center of any budget debate, our directors worked tirelessly to ensure that their legislative leaders understood the Orthodox Jewish community's needs and priorities. These successful efforts entailed missions to

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The stakes are higher

July 3, 2017

What a week for religious freedom! While ostensibly about using recycled tires to resurface a playground, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Trinity Lutheran v. Comer will likely have major implications on other religious freedom cases. Monday's ruling related to Missouri's Blaine Amendment which prohibits governments from funding religious organizations, and as Justice Sotomayor wrote, "the stakes are higher." Aside from our official statement

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That’s a wrap

June 23, 2017

What does the 2017 New York State budget mean for day school tuition? With hundreds of millions of dollars allocated for nonpublic schools (see full report here), will that mean that private school tuition will go down in New York? That's one of the questions addressed by Rabbi Yeruchim

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While many state legislatures are winding down across the country, or have already adjourned, states allow the governor or legislature to call a special session to address specific t

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Coalitions and partnerships are at the core of Agudath Israel's mission. The Agudah movement was founded as an historic coalition of Orthodox groups in 1912. In fact, our very name Agudah, literally a "bundle," refers to disparate groups united by a common cause, tied together by a figurative "string." This week, I had the opportunity to see some of our current coalitions in action. I began my week in Indianapolis, where, together with Agudath

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Who’s next?

May 19, 2017

Congratulations to Rabbi Avi Schnall on being appointed vice chairman of the New Jersey Department of Education's nonpublic school advisory committee. Rabbi Schnall's appointment is a testament to the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow committee members. He is knowledgeable, passionate, and effective as he recently illustrated once again (click

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