Orthodox Union’s Schools in Session Initiative Launches with Meetings in Four of NYC’s Five Boroughs


The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center’s New York office has launched Schools in Session: Engaging Parents and Legislators in Jewish Education, a new initiative that connects Jewish day school parents and leaders throughout New York State with their elected officials to discuss the importance of Jewish day school education, tuition affordability and other challenging issues facing the Jewish day school community.

Schools in Session kicked off with meetings in four of New York City’s five boroughs. The first group of schools to participate in the program included The Ramaz School in Manhattan, which met with State Senator Liz Krueger; Luria Academy of Brooklyn, which met with Assembly Member Walter Mosley; Bnos Malka Academy in Flushing, which met with State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.; and SAR in Riverdale, which met with Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz.

Speaking to lay leaders and administrators of The Ramaz School, State Senator Liz Krueger said, “The rising cost of energy affects all schools, regardless of whether they are public or private.  The Energy Parity Act will allow all schools to receive the wholesale rate on their energy bills, saving each school thousands a month. This frees up resources that can be put into the classroom instead of into the hands of corporations.”

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Maury Litwack, OU Advocacy Director of State Political Affairs and Outreach, and Jeff Leb, Director of New York State Political Affairs for OU Advocacy, leads a question-and-answer session following Senator Krueger’s talk at The Ramaz School. Pictured (l to r): Maury Litwack, Senator Liz Krueger, Jeff Leb.

Following his tour of the Luria Academy, Assembly Member Walter T. Mosley said, “Growing up in central Brooklyn, my mother was able to make the finest choices concerning the education of her children. We need to make sure parents today have the same opportunities my mother had to do what is best for their families.”

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Prior to his conversation with leaders and teachers of the Luria Academy, Assembly Member Walter Mosley toured the school, meeting students from various grades. Pictured (l to r): Assembly Member Walter Mosley and Amanda Pogany, Head of School.

Schools in Session is an important element of our outreach to state legislators so that they can get to know the Jewish community more intimately and learn more about their constituents’ concerns regarding tuition affordability,” said Jeff Leb, Director of New York State Political Affairs for OU Advocacy. “We are setting up these meetings now so that our community’s issues will be top of mind when the New York legislative session starts up again in January.”

“Beyond giving legislators an opportunity to get to know their constituents, the Schools in Session initiative will educate them about the important contribution Jewish day schools make to the community overall,” said Maury Litwack, Director of State Political Affairs and Outreach.

“While Jewish education has minimal cost to the taxpayer, the cost to Jewish parents has skyrocketed in recent years. OU Advocacy works with legislators to identify ways that are constitutionally permissible to alleviate some of these costs for parents,” Litwack added.

OU Advocacy’s New York team is reaching out to Jewish day schools across New York State to include them in the program. For more information about Schools in Session or to participate in the program, please contact NY@OUadvocacy.org.

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State Senator Joseph Addabbo met with students as well as parents and leadership of Bnos Malka Academy during his tour of the school.
Pictured (l to r): Michael Salzbank, Executive Director, Jake Adler, Associate Director of Field Operations, OU Advocacy-NY, State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Rabbi Michael Wechselbaum, Principal.

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Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz discusses the funding secured by OU Advocacy on behalf of private schools during his meeting with SAR leaders and parents. Pictured (l to r): Rabbi Binyamin Krauss, Principal of SAR Academy, Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, Jeff Leb, New York Director of Political Affairs for OU Advocacy.