OU Urges Senate to Support NJ Scholarship Bill

Posted on May 7, 2008 In Press Releases

May 8, 2008

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, submitted testimony before the Economic Growth Committee supporting the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Jobs Scholarship Act (S.1607) which would raise scholarship funds from corporations so lower and moderate income families living in certain failing public school districts could attend an out of district public school or a nonpublic school. The legislation is based on similar programs in Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island; Jewish federations in those states have raised millions of dollars in education scholarships.

You may read the full testimony submitted by OU Deputy Director of Public Policy Howie Beigelman here, or see excerpts below:

” … Jews have always valued education above all else … Whether in the Warsaw Ghetto under the Nazi boot or newly liberated in displaced persons camps across Europe, and even behind the Iron Curtain, on the KGB’s watch, Jews risked their lives to teach their children.”

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“These programs have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars for tens of thousands of scholarships so that lower and moderate income families can make sure their children have the very best education possible.”

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“While we are a synagogue based movement, we say unashamedly that nothing is as crucial to families that move in – or out – of any community as the educational opportunities afforded their children.”

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“This is not about a ‘parochial’ interest of any kind. It is about serving – and helping – the most vulnerable of New Jersey’s children and families.”