Posted on June 3, 2010 In Press Releases

Contact: Maury Litwack

Orthodox Union facilitates key community leadership meeting

Congressman Patrick Tiberi of Ohio met yesterday with rabbinic and lay leaders from the Columbus, Ohio Jewish community at Congregation Torat Emet, an Orthodox Union member synagogue. The Congressman, who represents Ohio’s 12th District, addressed key issues before taking questions from meeting participants.

On the domestic front, Rep. Tiberi reaffirmed his support of energy efficiency initiatives and committed to looking into nonprofit inclusion in energy retrofit initiatives.

The Congressman plans to back legislation calling for the U.S. embassy to be relocated to Jerusalem.

In addition, Rep. Tiberi voiced his support for Israel’s actions during the Gaza flotilla interception, and assured meeting participants that he would work with the Republican caucus to issue a statement of support.

“It was an honor to participate in this discussion with Central Ohio leaders of the Orthodox Union. Their work to ensure the best education possible for their children, to support a secure nation, to curb our reliance on foreign oil, to encourage religious freedom and to support Israel should be commended,” said Rep. Tiberi. “I look forward to working with members of the Orthodox Union on these issues.”

The meeting was facilitated by the Orthodox Union, which has also connected other Ohio elected officials with their constituencies, including Senator Sherrod Brown at the Fuchs Mizrachi School in Cleveland, Rep. Marcia Fudge at Green Road Synagogue in Cleveland, and Rep. Steve Driehaus at Golf Manor Synagogue in Cincinnati.

Maury Litwack, Deputy Director of Public Policy for the Orthodox Union, stated:

We thank Rep. Tiberi for his time today and for his unequivocal support for issues dear to the Orthodox community in Columbus and across the U.S. As nonprofit inclusion in energy retrofit programs takes off around the country, we are grateful to Rep. Tiberi for his leadership on this initiative.

Rabbi Howard Zack, rabbi of Congregation Torat Emet commented:

Thank you to Rep. Tiberi for his commitment to initiatives important to the Columbus community and the Orthodox community at large. We look forward to further dialogue with the Congressman, and are grateful to the OU for this opportunity to meet with an Ohio elected official.

Rabbi Chaim Yosef Ackerman of Congregation Ahavas Sholom in Columbus remarked:

We very much appreciated Rep. Tiberi taking the time to come and speak to us today. We thank the OU for connecting us with our Congressman and giving us a chance to discuss important issues with him.

Rabbi Naphtali Weisz of Columbus’s Beth Jacob Congregation expressed:

As synagogues and other nonprofits look to upgrade our facilities and become more environmentally friendly – which is often a struggle for these institutions – we are grateful for Rep. Tiberi’s commitment to ensuring that nonprofits are included in energy efficiency programs and resources.

Rep. Tiberi with Columbus Orthodox leadership

OU Deputy Director Maury Litwack (right) listens as the Congressman (left) addresses meeting participants

This meeting is part of a nationwide effort by the IPA to facilitate discussion between our community leadership and its elected officials. The OU has a long history of elected officials, candidates for public office and other notables speaking to their leadership, including Samuel Alito, Sherrod Brown, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chris Christie, Al Gore, Carl Levin, Robert Menendez, George Pataki and Rick Perry and numerous members of Congress in recent years as well as surrogates of both McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden during the 2008 presidential election.