Posted on September 1, 2010 In Press Releases

September 1, 2010

Howie Beigelman, Orthodox Union

Orthodox Union facilitates key meeting in Western New York

Congressman Chris Lee (R-NY-26) met earlier today with local Orthodox Jewish rabbis, day school and community leaders from greater Buffalo. The meeting was facilitated by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization and was hosted by community leaders Richard Berger & Michael Paskowitz.

Rabbi Elie Farkas from Kehillat Ohr Tzion stated:

“The Congressman was candid and forthcoming. We appreciate his outreach to our community and his efforts at building Western New York”

At the meeting, community leaders updated the Congressman on their plans for growth in the near future and discussed ways the Congressman and other elected officials could be helpful, including broad economic development issues such as high speed rail. On a more global scale, the community leaders and the Congressman discussed Israel, Iran and education. Congressman Lee just returned from a trip to Israel for Members of Congress and was able to relate first hand to the issue, and noted that in the Congress, support for Israel is one of the few consistently bipartisan issues. As well, on the issue of ensuring Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons, the Congressman, a member of the Financial Services Committee stated his belief that the recently enacted sanctions stand a good chance of working but only if the Administration commits to fully & firmly enforcing them.

Rabbi Moshe Taub from Young Israel of Greater Buffalo remarked:

“We’re grateful the Congressman met with our community leaders to let us know he is open to working with us to help us grow in so many ways. His vision for Western New York is ambitious and we hope it will succeed.”

Regarding education, the Congressman and community leaders agreed a good education is one of the key ways to grow Western New York again and the Congressman was open to exploring ways to assist all families and all schools ensure they can provide the very best education to every child.

At the conclusion of the meeting Michael Paskowitz appreciatively noted:

“The Congressman took time to dialogue with us on national issues but also core issues critical to the Greater Buffalo’s Jewish community. He displayed knowledge and commitment on both.”

Congressman Lee additionally reflected:

“I appreciated the opportunity to meet with members from the Orthodox Union and discuss a number of important issues facing Israel and persons of Jewish faith, including our shared desire to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. I share their passion and interest in these issues and look forward to continuing a dialogue with members from the organization.”

Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy commented:

“The Congressman spent time with our leadership and pledged to keep an open dialogue on issues important to our community, including education. We’re grateful for his time, and his continued partnership.”

Isabelle Berger; Richard Berger; Rabbi Levi Greenberg, Jewish Discovery Center; Rabbi Heschel Greenberg, Jewish Discovery Center; Michael Paskowitz; Rabbi Elie Farkas, Kehilat Ohr Tzion; Joel Weiss, Kadimah School; Congressman Lee; Rabbi Moshe Taub, Young Israel of Greater Buffalo; Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy; Hon. Steven Sanders, Member, Amherst Town Board, President, Va’ad HaKashrut of Buffalo