Following the second National White House Conference on Faith Based & Community Initiatives held today in Washington, DC, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America applauded this morning’s speech by President Bush outlining that which has been accomplished to date under his initiative and a statement of goals yet to be achieved. The UOJCA also welcomed the President’s announcement that he has directed the Department of Homeland Security to set up a Center for Faith Based & Community Initiatives to review its policies and procedures for its agencies’ interactions with faith based entities.
Several UOJCA leaders including Public Policy Director Nathan Diament and Development & Resources Director Andrew Goldsmith attended the President’s address.
After the President’s address, Nathan Diament stated:
We welcome and appreciate President Bush’s clear and continuing commitment to having the government support the “armies of compassion.” The UOJCA has been a proud partner and supporter of this initiative since its inception and we appreciate what has been achieved, as well as the challenges yet to be overcome.
We welcome President Bush’s creation of a Center for Faith Based & Community Initiatives in the Dept. of Homeland Security. As we have particularly seen in the wake of last year’s hurricanes, FEMA – which is within DHS – must reform and streamline their policies with regard to faith based entities. We hope this Center will begin that process in earnest.