OU and Crown Heights Lubavitch Unite to Fight Tutition Burden

27 Mar 2012


In an effort to expand the coalition working toward tuition relief for New York State Jewish day school parents, key members of the Orthodox Union and its political arm, the Institute for Public Affairs | Jewish Political Affairs, met with the leadership of the Crown Heights Lubavitch Jewish community on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

In making Jewish day school tuition affordability a top priority, the Orthodox Union has been dedicating significant time and resources toward building a coalition of all affected communities statewide. The Orthodox Union has been building a Jewish communal political infrastructure aimed at influencing policy on the state and municipal levels, through which most education funding policies flow.

The Orthodox Union offered the Lubavitch community, among other things, assistance in providing political training seminars to the yeshivas’ lay leadership as well as personnel to assist in grant research and writing. The Orthodox Union also offered assistance in dealing with security issues, being able to act as a nexus between the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Orthodox communities state-wide.

“The Orthodox Union’s mission here is to achieve exactly what our name represents, a true union of Orthodox communities to achieve the critical objectives that we all share. I am truly grateful for the Lubavitch community’s commitment toward those shared values and I look forward to this being the beginning of a long and productive partnership,” stated Orthodox Union Managing Director Rabbi Steven Burg.

“The only way that we are going to provide a long-term remedy for the parents of the more than 110,000 yeshiva students in New York State is to build a communal consciousness of the political influence needed to realize success and the unification of the communities across the diverse spectrum of the day school community toward those efforts. The commitment toward those goals coming out of this meeting gives me great hope that we can achieve those lofty goals,” said Michael Cohen, New York State Director of Political Affairs for the Orthodox Union.

This meeting is the first of a series of community-engagement meetings being conducted by the Orthodox Union, each aimed at building the necessary partnerships for a unified communal front in the fight to increase government participation in funding the day school world.

Representing the OU was Rabbi Burg; Maury Litwack, IPA National Political Director; Michael Cohen; and Yehuda Freidman, Deputy Director of OU Synagogue Engagement.

Representing the Crown Heights Jewish community was Rabbi Chanina Sperlin, Director of Political Affairs for the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council; Rabbi Eli Cohen, Executive Director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council; Zaki Tamir, Board Chairman of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council; Eliyahu Davis, Executive Director of the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva; Zalman Wilhelm, Executive Director of Bnos Menachem; Sholom Rosenfeld, Director of Educational Institute Oholei Torah; Yossi Hackner, Board Member of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council; Rabbi Yaacov Schwel and Rabbi Yosef Braun of the Bet Din; and numerous other prominent rabbis and yeshiva and community representatives.

OU | Enhancing Jewish Life