A Rabbi, A Priest and a Politician…

Posted on March 14, 2007 In Blog

A Rabbi, A Priest and a Politician …

No joke here.

Rick Karlin, at the Albany Times Union, writes up the visit yesterday to Albany of Edward Cardinal Egan, the Archbishop of New York, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, of the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens, and several Orthodox Jewish leaders who pressed legislators on supporting Governor Spitzer’s proposed tuition tax deduction. As of this posting, the Senate’s draft budget bills included the proposal.

The Cardinal, the Bishop, and the Rabbis, one of whom was the OU’s own Executive Vice President, Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, all made the same points again and again – that this proposal is one of simple fairness and equity. It is, in the totality of the State budget, which is in the $120 billion (with a “b”) range, a program costing under $30 million. But it is a symbol (and to poor and middle income parents who struggle to make tuition payments, more than just symbolism, but tangible help) to families that their choices are respected, their sacrifices noted, and the savings provided to the State treasury when their child does not attend a public school, duly recognized.

One hopes the sight of clergy of different faiths standing together on this issue sent a clear message. In case it didn’t, Bishop DiMarzio sent a clearer signal, telling the Times Union: “We aren’t going to leave this issue.”