On Wednesday, March 12, 2003 the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – will present United States Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) with an award in recognition of the senator’s steadfast support of religious liberty throughout his career.
The award will be presented during a senate luncheon as part of a UOJCA Advocacy Day in Washington which brings leading Orthodox rabbis, lay leaders and community activists to the nation’s capital to meet with their Representatives, Senators and Administration officials to discuss public policy issues of interest to the American Orthodox Jewish community. (Past recipients of this award include Senators Pat Moynihan and Edward Kennedy.)
The UOJCA’s award to Senator Hatch is a recognition of the Utah senator’s dedication over the years to the cause of religious freedom in the United States, an issue on which the UOJCA has worked closely with Senator Hatch. Over the last decade, Senator Hatch led the effort to pass key legislation to defend and promote religious liberty, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. Senator Hatch will also be a leading cosponsor this year of the soon-to-be introduced Workplace Religious Freedom Act and he has been a supporter of “charitable choice” and other elements of what has come to be known as the “faith based initiative.” In matters large and small, Senator Orrin Hatch has been a great defender of America’s “first freedom.”