FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNION OF ORTHODOX JEWISH CONGREGATIONS WELCOMES SEN. OBAMA COMMITMENT TO KEEP “FAITH-BASED INITIATIVE” GOING BEYOND 2009; SEN. CLINTON’S PRIOR ACTIONS AND PAST STATEMENTS BY SEN. MCCAIN BODE WELL TOO
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – through its Institute for Public Affairs – welcomed a clear statement made last night by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to continue the “faith-based initiative,” should he be elected president. The UOJCA noted that this statement, combined with previous statements and actions by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and John McCain, all but assures the continuation of this critical initiative – which the UOJCA has actively supported since its inception.
Speaking last night at the “Compassion Forum” held at Messiah College in Pennsylvania, Senator Obama stated:
…. people sometimes ask me, what do I think about faith-based initiatives? I want to keep the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives open, but I want to make sure that its mission is clear…the faith-based initiative should be targeted specifically at the issue of poverty and how to lift people up. And partnering with faith communities, I think we can achieve that as long as it’s within the requirements of our Constitution. We make sure that it’s open to everybody.
This statement rounded out the field of 2008 presidential candidates supporting the faith-based initiative. During her senate tenure, Senator Hillary Clinton has been a leading sponsor of legislation designed to bolster the work of faith-based and community charities including the “C.A.R.E. Act.” Senator McCain has also expressed support for the government’s appropriate partnership with faith-based social welfare agencies.
Nathan J. Diament, director of the UOJCA’s public policy Institute issued the following statement:
The Orthodox Union is pleased to welcome last night’s statement by Sen. Obama, and the prior support by Sens. Clinton and McCain, for the continuation of the “faith-based initiative.” We have supported the initiative from its inception because it is a powerful method for bringing relief to Americans in need through constitutionally appropriate partnerships between government and faith-based social welfare groups. It’s hard to recall, but in the 2000 campaign, this initiative was something candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush agreed upon; it is most welcome that the principles of government’s equal treatment of faith-based charities and utilizing them to serve those in need is a matter of common sense consensus again.