For Immediate Release Contact:
February 24, 2014 Roslyn Singer, 212-613-8227
The New Jersey office of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center has launched a series of mini advocacy missions to Trenton with its first group of delegates from Bergen County. Bringing small groups from communities throughout New Jersey to the Statehouse to meet with legislators, the missions provide participants with the unique opportunity to have small, more personalized discussions with their elected officials and give legislators an opportunity to hear about the challenging issues—such as tuition affordability—that is affecting their constituents on a micro level.
Currently, New Jersey Jewish day schools receive less than $100 per child in basic services such as technology and nursing. As part of its 2014 legislative agenda, OU Advocacy-NJ seeks to increase that amount to $500 per student, as well as help pass a special education bill that will permit district funding for programs and services for special needs students in religious schools and a tax credit program to assist families sending their children to non-public schools.
In the past two years, OU Advocacy-NJ restored funding for technology aid for the non-public school community, increased the amount of nursing aid, and ensured that non-public schools would be included in the joint purchasing agreement between two school districts.
During the visit to Trenton, the delegation met with Assembly Members Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37 Bergen), who is a co-sponsor of the special education bill, and Tim Eustace (D-38 Bergen) to discuss the items at the top of OU Advocacy’s legislative agenda. They also met with Assembly Members Gordon Johnson (D-37), Holly Schepisi (R-39), Patrick Diegnan (D-38), Upendra Chivukula (D-17), Nancy Pinkin (D-18), Gilbert “Whip” Wilson (D-5), and Senate President Stephen Sweeney.
The group included members of OU Advocacy’s retiree network, which is co-sponsored by Staje, a Jewish organization dedicated to fostering a culture of meaningful and purposeful living among retirees and empty nesters. To learn more about Staje, visit staje.org.
The Orthodox Union is the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization; the OU Advocacy Center, formerly the Institute for Public Affairs, is the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU and leads its advocacy efforts in Washington, DC and state capitals.