OU Applauds VP Gore’s Embrace of Charitable Choice Initiatives

Posted on May 25, 1999 In Press Releases

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, applauded Vice President Al Gore’s embrace of charitable choice initiatives in a speech delivered yesterday in Atlanta. Charitable choice is the concept of providing religious institutions with government funds -on the basis of religion neutral criteria – for the purpose, typically, of supporting their social service programs for which the government already supports other non-government service providers.

In a letter to the Vice President, Orthodox Union President Dr. Mandell Ganchrow and IPA director Nathan Diament stated that ‘you have recognized, potential examples of revolutionary public-private partnerships abound; whether it is drug counseling and rehabilitation, providing child care or job skill retraining – there are a variety of “social services” that are provided to citizens by secular private entities who receive government grants for doing so. But there exists an even greater potential for building a better society if faith based institutions are invited into this enterprise because, as you said, “faith works.”‘

The letter continued: ‘Some will tell you that such initiatives are unconstitutional and that they risk violating America’s traditional separation between religion and state. These critics are wrong.. Yesterday, in Atlanta, you said: “I believe that faith itself is sometimes essential to spark a personal transformation.” We couldn’t agree more. Our Torah and our experience have taught us this. We applaud your efforts.’