The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America applauded President Bush for his continued commitment to supporting America’s faith- and community-based social service agencies. In a speech delivered in New Orleans on Thursday, the President recognized the critical role that such social service agencies play in local communities and continued to press for the reform of federal rules and regulations that discriminate against faith-based agencies by excluding them from partnerships with the federal government solely on the basis of their religious character.
Consistent and simultaneous with the President’s speech, it was announced that several proposed reforms of Department of Justice regulations were being finalized in order to “level the playing field” so that faith-based groups might participate in social service programs administered by that Department. The President also called upon Congress pass the pending Omnibus spending bill next week which includes $48 million for the Compassion Capital Fund, designed to assist faith-based agencies in building their capacities, and $50 million for a program to mentor the children of prison inmates.
Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the Union, issued the following statement in reaction to the President’s speech:
The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America applauds President Bush’s continued commitment to America’s faith- and community-based social service agencies. Americans associated with such organizations are working to serve their fellow man and woman in need. Such efforts must be supported, wherever appropriate and possible, by partnerships with the government. And no agency should be excluded from such productive partnerships merely because its members coalesce around a set of religiously inspired principles.
The UOJCA has been a proud partner with President Bush since the inception of his faith based initiative, and we look forward to our continued mutual efforts in the cause of compassion and service.