by Arthur Popowitz
June 10, 2015
On Monday, June 8th, representatives from the Orthodox Union, UJA-Federation of New York and Agudath Israel joined together in efforts to secure the passage of New York’s Parental Choice in Education Act. Leading the campaign for the proposed legislation is New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo who made a personal visit to the predominantly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Flatbush in Brooklyn a few weeks ago to generate support for it. The new law, if passed, would be a measure that would assure economic assistance in the form of government tax credits totaling $150 million to parents of children attending private or parochial schools and to those who regularly contribute to scholarship funds earmarked for these schools.
The three groups held a press conference outside of Cuomo’s New York City office where they placed a focus on the exceptionally positive impact the bill would have on New York’s Jewish day schools and yeshivas. Representing the troika were Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the Orthodox Union; Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York; and Rabbi David Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel of America.
Since Governor Cuomo publically announced his intent to ensure the bill’s passage, the three groups have been engaged in feverish lobbying efforts both in Albany and with their own members and respective communities. The bill would provide substantial incentives for contributors to private and religious schools to donate even more money than they are presently and would ease the financial burden of parents who are paying tuition for their children.
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