Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America welcomed President Bush’s advocacy for expanding the partnership between government and faith-based institutions. In remarks delivered yesterday at Notre Dame University’s commencement exercises, the President reasserted his commitment to this initiative and designated it the “third stage” of America’s war on poverty.
The President cited Jewish and Catholic teaching of special concern for the poor and recommitted his administration to unleashing the power of local and faith-based groups in this cause. This will be done by providing incentives for increased charitable giving and by eliminating obstacles to government partnerships with faith-based social service agencies on terms equal to those currently enjoyed by secular agencies.
The UOJCA also applauded the President’s announcement of his intention to increase federal resources allocated toward fighting these challenges. The President announced that his FY 2001 budget will contain a three-fold increase in funding for federal housing rehabilitation and development grant programs administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He also announced a $1.6 billion increase in federal drug treatment program funds.
Nathan Diament, public policy director for the Union stated, in reaction to these announcements that “our community and all Americans should appreciate the renewed commitments being made by this Administration to helping the needy among us. Opening social service partnerships to faith-based providers, combined with an increased allocation of resources is the right mix of approaches to dealing with these social challenges in a renewed way.”