Network Ambassadors Program Leads Campus Visits for Legislators to Foster Awareness of Nonpublic School Education
Flushing, N.Y. – Hadar Bet Yaakov and leaders representing Teach NYS, an education advocacy group and division of the Orthodox Union’s Teach Coalition, recently hosted New York State Assemblymember Nily Rozic at her very first visit to the school.
Assemblymember Rozic was accompanied by Teach NYS Executive Director Sydney Altfield. As part of its advocacy efforts, Teach NYS coordinates visits by local legislators to Jewish schools so they can learn, in person, about the unique needs of both the students enrolled there and their families.
Assemblymember Rozic represents New York’s 25th Assembly District, which spans the Eastern portion of Queens, including the communities of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside, and Douglaston.
The youngest woman elected to the New York State Legislature, Assemblymember Rozic is deeply committed to continuing her mission of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and pursuing economic and social justice for all. Her legislative priorities include advocating for consumer protection, fighting antisemitism, expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and protecting survivors of domestic violence.
At the conclusion of the visit, Altfield interviewed Assemblymember Rozic about her impression of Hadar Bet Yaakov and relationship with her district’s Jewish community. Following is a transcript of their conversation.
Sydney Altfield: When were you elected to the Assembly?
Assemblymember Nily Rozic: I was elected in 2012.
Altfield: Why did you run for office?
Assemblymember Rozic: I decided to run in an effort to leave my community better than I found it. I represent the neighborhood where I grew up and where my family still lives, so it’s extra meaningful.
Altfield: What is your relationship with the Jewish community in your district?
Assemblymember Rozic: As a part of the Jewish community in my district, I am constantly working together with lay leaders, clergy and my neighbors to host many events and information sessions in partnership with schools and shuls in the community.
Altfield: What do you think is important to the Jewish community in your district?
Assemblymember Rozic: Right now, the rise of antisemitism and subsequent security needs is top of mind. I have been working hard to ensure adequate state security funding and expanding hate crimes protections so that our community feels safe.
Altfield: Was this your first visit to a Jewish day school?
Assemblymember Rozic: No, I attended Jewish day school. So I always feel right at home visiting other day schools.
Altfield: What are your takeaways from this particular visit?
Assemblymember Rozic: It was so great to see a newer school thriving right in the heart of Fresh Meadows. I loved seeing the building and speaking with students —our future leaders —about their concerns and questions.
Altfield: Why do you believe that a strong and affordable nonpublic school education system is important for New York?
Assemblymember Rozic: As someone who attended both Jewish day schools and public school in my academic career, I am a testament to the need and importance of both. My Jewish day school career was pivotal in instilling Jewish values and provided me with a lifelong community. I hope every family who wants that environment for their children has the access and resources they deserve.