Rabbi Jay Weinstein of the Young Israel of East Brunswick opens the legislative breakfast co-sponsored by OU-NJ VOTES with Assemblyman Peter Barnes III (D-Majority Whip) and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Jr. (D-18). Pictured (l to r): Forum Chair Alan Bash, Rabbi Weinstein, Assemblyman Barnes and Assemblyman Diegnan.
At a legislative breakfast co-sponsored by the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (OU), Assemblyman Peter Barnes III (D-Majority Whip) and Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Jr. (D-18) both discussed issues pertaining to school choice and tuition affordability and emphasized the importance of legislators having an opportunity to meet with their constituents, have open conversations and understand the “issues of the day.”
The breakfast was part of the OU Advocacy-NJ Votes initiative’s effort to increase voter turnout in local elections and build relationships between New Jersey constituents and their lawmakers. Attended by nearly 100 members of the East Brunswick Jewish community, the forum was held at the Young Israel of East Brunswick and was chaired by Ruth and Alan Bash, OU synagogue board member and past president; and Rabbi Jay Weinstein, rabbi of the Young Israel.
During his comments, Assemblyman Barnes noted that the Orthodox community in Edison has a stellar voter turnout—an testament to the fact that legislators are aware of the voter demographic as well as which areas, populations and groups are politically engaged.
Assemblyman Diegnan stated that he expects that the special education bill will become law due to the advocacy efforts of the OU Advocacy-NJ Votes team. Josh Pruzansky, regional director of OU Advocacy-New Jersey, thanked the legislators for their support of the bill and reiterated its importance to the Jewish community, in that it would allow a school district to assign a special education student to an accredited sectarian school rather than be limited to a nonsectarian school.
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The Orthodox Union is the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization; the OU Advocacy Center, formerly the Institute for Public Affairs, is the non-partisan public policy arm of the OU and leads its advocacy efforts in Washington, DC and state capitals.
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