Posted on August 17, 2010 In Press Releases

Contact: Howie Beigelman

Orthodox Union facilitates meeting with candidate for Attorney General;
Discusses commitment to religious liberty, restoring public trust & issues relating to nonprofits.

Daniel M. Donovan
, Republican nominee for New York State Attorney General, met today with Orthodox Jewish leaders, pledging to protect religious liberty and to fight corruption. At the meeting, which was facilitated by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, Donovan had the chance to meet with lay and professional leaders representing synagogues, day schools and university students.

Donovan took the time discuss some of the priorities he would press if elected, including a renewed scrutiny of member item funding from the Legislature. Stressing his intent is to protect nonprofits, including many synagogues, day schools and social service agencies serving the Jewish community who receive such funding, Donovan argued he would focus on members of the State Legislature to ensure they knew the propriety of organizations they were funding, as well as keeping clear of potential conflicts of interest. (Click to watch Mr. Donovan emphasizing this point.)

Henry Rothman, OU Senior Vice President, stated:
“With oversight over charities and nonprofits as well as making the decisions on constitutionality of our laws, the Attorney General is a critical position in government for the Orthodox community. We appreciate DA Donovan taking the time to dialogue with our leadership on issues of importance.”

As well, Donovan argued that as chief legal officer of the state, he would uphold religious liberty, pledging to “uphold all the laws” including in cases where accommodations have been unreasonably denied in employment or housing. The Orthodox Union was instrumental in passage of New York State’s Workplace Religious Freedom Act, a bipartisan law supported by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and signed into law by Governor George Pataki.

District Attorney Dan Donovan stated:
“This much is clear to me: Albany is broken and New Yorkers deserve better. That’s why I’m running for Attorney General. I’ve had enough of the corruption and complacency and so have the people of our great state. I look forward to working with the Orthodox Union on the many issues important to their constituency to help move New York in the right direction.”

Donovan also stated he understood the unique security needs and threats faced by Jewish institutions and would use the office of Attorney General to ensure the community had all the tools and services it needed to ensure safety and security.

Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy stated:
“We appreciate the District Attorney’s time and his willingness to discuss his vision for the office with our leaders. If elected, we look forward to working with to enhance religious freedom and keep our community safe; we look forward to dialogue with the eventual Democratic nominee as well.”


This meeting is part of a nationwide effort by the IPA to facilitate discussion between our community leadership and candidates for office. The OU has a long history of elected officials, candidates for public office and other notables speaking to their leadership, including Samuel Alito, Sherrod Brown, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chris Christie, Alberto Gonzalez, Al Gore, Tom Kean, Jr., Carl Levin, Robert Menendez, George Pataki, Rick Perry, Dean Skelos, Bill Thompson and numerous members of Congress in recent years as well as surrogates of both McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden during the 2008 presidential election. The OU is a non-profit, non-partisan organization and therefore does not endorse nor support candidates. The OU will extend an invitation to the Democratic nominee to hold a similar meeting once the primary winner is known.