NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli meets Orthodox Union Leadership

Posted on September 13, 2010 In Press Releases

September 13, 2010

Contact: Howie Beigelman

Discusses divestment from Iran & Sudan, alternative energy & the State’s financial future

Today, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli met with lay and professional leaders of the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization.

Comptroller DiNapoli provided an overview of the State’s financial future and his efforts to reform the office and the way the State’s budgets and contracting are done, including, of interest to the nonprofit sector, efforts to ensure the State makes contracted payments in a timely manner. As well, he discussed efforts by the Comptroller to utilize the pension fund to stimulate investment – and new jobs – in alternative and green energy, an issue of importance to the Orthodox Union.

Finally, the Comptroller provided and update on efforts to divest from companies with business in Iran & Sudan, marking the first such times the NYSCRF had ever divested a portion of its portfolio in this manner. He also provided the rationale – that genocide or incitement to genocide be the trigger – and explained the process the office goes through with companies to ensure such divestment meets his fiduciary responsibilities. (For video of Mr. DiNapoli discussing divestment, please click here.)

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli stated:

“It was a pleasure to meet with the membership of the Orthodox Union to discuss the work I have done as Comptroller and my vision for how this office will continue to keep New York’s finances strong,” said Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. “I am continually impressed by the depth of knowledge and insight that the members of the Orthodox Union have about New York State. We shared a lively exchange of ideas today on a range of topics-from the pension fund’s divestment from certain energy-sector companies that do business in Iran and Sudan to alternative energy solutions here in New York. I appreciate their candor and look forward to further discussions with the Orthodox Union in the coming years.”

Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy stated:

Comptroller DiNapoli was open and candid with us regarding the State’s finances, his efforts to stimulate alternative energy and where we stand on divestment from genocidal regimes. We thank him for his time and look forward to a continued partnership.

[Editors note: The Orthodox Union is nonpartisan and nonprofit and makes no electoral endorsements. Previously, the OU met with Comptroller DiNapoli’s Republican challenger, Harry Wilson.]

(l-r) Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, University Chaplain/JLIC Educator, NYU; Ari Fuchs, OU Regional Vice President; Michael Fragin, OU Public Affairs Commission; Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director Public Policy; Comptroller DiNapoli; Mark Bane, Chairman, OU Board of Governors, Chairman, OU Public Affairs Commission; Martin Fineberg, OU Public Affairs Commission; Laya Pelzner, OU Assistant Director of Synagogue Services