On Tuesday, OU-NJVotes staff presented at a Northern New Jersey Jewish Education For Generations (JEFG) board meeting. JEFG is a charitable organization established by Northern New Jersey’s lay leaders, chaired by Sam Moed, that works with both day schools and the Jewish community at large to alleviate the burdens that high the cost of Jewish education places on schools and parents. The meeting was attended by representatives of JEFG member schools and a Jewish Federation representative. Affiliated schools include Ben Porat Yosef, The Gerrard Berman Day School, The Moriah School, The Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, The Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, Yeshivat He’Atid, Yeshivat Noam, and Yavneh Academy.
At the meeting, the NJVotes team presented on legislation currently pending in Trenton that would impact on the cost of Yeshiva tuition, the upcoming Primary Election this June, and how involvement in this election season will impact future State funding for New Jersey’s Day Schools. OU-NJVOTES Director, Josh Pruzansky, spoke about the current success that the Special Education Bill is seeing in Trenton. This bill has currently passed in the Assembly Education Committee and will likely have the requisite support needed to pass the Senate Education Committee when it is posted. If passed, this bill will translate into over $40,000 per student attending an accredited Jewish special needs school such as Sinai. Further, Josh spoke about NJVotes’ new Math Initiative, the next item on the advocacy agenda. This initiative is looking to secure $500 per student for the purpose of math education in private schools. If passed, such legislation will provide substantial relief to New Jersey’s day schools and parents.
Lastly, the Team spoke about how this election year presents the unique opportunity for having voicing our community’s needs in Trenton. New Jersey’s entire 120-member Legislature and Governor are up for re-election in the June 4thPrimary. Because this election does not coincide with a Presidential race, voter turnout is incredibly low, typically less that 10%. Therefore, the impact of our community voting will carry exceptional weight. The team explained how regardless of how an individual votes, politicians in Trenton will see that the Jewish community has shown increased voter turnout while the rest of the state has not. By doing so, we have a greater opportunity for legislators to campaign in our communities and address our important issues.