Igud Rally In Trenton For Tuition Relief Ensures Committee Passage, 6-0, Bais Faiga Keeps Children Away From Rally For Tznius Reasons

igud meir hertz at rallyThirty busloads of children and adults travelled this morning from Lakewood to Trenton to attend a Senate committee hearing on the proposed  voucher bill.  About 1,500 people attended the hearing, more than half from Lakewood. The hearing turned into a rally when it was moved outdoors, for the first time ever to accommodate the overflow crowd. After testimony was heard from a dozen witnesses, including Rabbi Shlomo Katz representing the Igud, and Rabbi Josh Pruzansky, representing Agudath Israel, the Senators voted unanimously 6-0 in favor of the Bill. The Bill now moves to the full Senate where it is expected to pass. Lakewood is slated to receive 1,250 Vouchers, worth $1.2 Million.

The bill would create a five-year pilot program allowing between 2,600 and 4,000 children to attend private school in its first year, at a cost of $24 million, increasing to 10,000 to 20,000 children and $120 million in year five. Funding would come from an “Opportunity Scholarship Fund,” created by corporations which receive tax credits equal to their contributions.

Lakewood 7th and 8th grade girls representing virtually all mosdos travelled to the rally.  The only exception was Bais Faiga, which cited tznius consideration in boycotting the rally. However, all Bais Faiga 5th graders travelled this morning to Trenton for their annual class trip.  Bais Faiga teachers kept their 5th grade students a discreet 100 feet away from the rally.

Sens. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) and Tom Kean (R-Union), co-sponsored the Bill. Full Senate passage of the Bill is expected by July 1.   It is expected that the vouchers will be in place for the coming school year. To qualify, a family must be earning less that 2.5 times the Federal Poverty level.

Rabbi Meir Hertz, who helped organize, and attended, the rally said, “This is the milestone we’ve been davening for more than 20 years. We now have a Governor who is fully committed to School Choice and to real educational opportunities for every child in New Jersey, public and nonpublic.  The Igud supported him for Governor, and he is standing by his principles.”

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  1. I’m sorry, but I don’t recall the Igud endorsing the Governor, can you please reference where that endorsement was.

  2. Thank you Rabbi Pruzansky of the Agudah. Thank you rabbi katz of Bais Yaakov and Rabbi Hertz of Tashbar and the Igud. This is such great news for all of us.We owe a tremendous hakaras hatov to these tzadikim for all they do for the klal. Besides their wonderful mosdos they created for us, they are always looking to help the klal.

  3. 1.2 million for 1250 vouchers? That is less than 1000 per child. That is not much of a help. The annual tuition for a child in the private school system is over 5000.00 dollars.

  4. Star Ledger Reported on the Teacher’s Union Chutzpah:

    “The hearing was scheduled to be held in a normal committee room, but senators said it was packed with NJEA members when they arrived.

    Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) said he asked them to make room for some of the bill’s supporters, splitting the seating evenly between the two sides.

    “They said we’re not moving. So we’ll have it outside,” he said.

    Statehouse staff carried out desks and chairs for senators, and the hearing — complete with testimony and parliamentary procedure — was held in front of hundreds of demonstrators.

    “It’s a great lesson in civics,” Lesniak said.”

  5. To # 8.
    Here is the math,

    Say Lakewood gets:

    Year 1 – 200 Scholarships = $1.2 million

    Year 2 – 400 scholarships = $2.4 million

    Year 3 – 600 Scholarships= $3.6 million

    Year 4 – 800 Scholarships = $4.8 million

    Year 5 -1000 Scholarships= $ 6.0 million

    Total for 5 year = $18 million dollars

    Remember whoever gets in year 1 gets all 5 years of the pilot. And you add 200 more every year.

  6. Today the Senate Economic Growth Committee voted 6-0 to approve. The bill now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, before going to the full Senate for consideration. Our Oilam will need to be there at least twice again to shepherd this Bill through to success. Against a very determined teachers union, which has declared an “all out war” against the Bill. So we have our work cut out for us. Let us build on our strength and achdus. Today’s rally was a kiddush Hashem of dignity and unity.

  7. I’m glad Beis Faiga made their own decision.. The Roshei Yeshiva obviously left the decision up to each school’s hanhala. They just said that it’s very important to go and not that you must go. I personally
    disagree with Bais Faiga’s decision not to attend, but no one is going to agree with their school’s decisions 100% of the time.

  8. More programs means more taxes, more taxes means less hiring and spending, less hiring and spending means lower income for all. Tax credits for corps means that the State has to get that money from somewhere else which is me and you, one way or another. And when the State finally takes it over they will have to fund it fully.

    Why is this good for us??????????????

  9. To #15 Never in the history of Klal Yisroel did we send our daughters out to rallies in public.The boys should have been sent instead.

  10. The reason why this bill is great for everyone is because in the big picture it will slowly drive the kids out of a failing PUBLIC school system thats controlled by power and money hungry union leaders and put them into successful charter and private scools which give a better ed. at a fraction of the price.Ultimately thre will be less of need for aid to dwindling public schools and well be left with ALL of our states children better educated at a much cheaper price.

  11. That is untrue . There was a rally called by the Agudah a number of years ago near Wall St to protest the Isaraeli Sureme court and women and girls attented as well . Second of all this was not a protest or hafgonah . They were behind a barricade just listening to a Senate Hearing . Many members of the public commented on how well behaved and properly dressed those Jewish girls are and that is a Kidush Hashem . I think that the Bais Faiga class that came for a class trip at the same time saw more pritzus next door than most of these kids who were surrounded by their classmates .

  12. Although this is an important first step I doubt this will be of immediate help for the frum kehilla. We are speaking about a maximum of 20000 students of which 25% are allowed to be in private school so 5000 for the whole state. How many do you think will be in lakewood.

  13. remember the indian shaitel scare??? Which school’s teacher’s refused to teach in snoods???? Same bunch of misguided people are now screaming about tznius? A snood is more Tznius than your 1000-3000 custim sheitel!

  14. Wow! On Wed everyone was screaming that the Rosh HaYeshiva said that all girls schools should go. When I called my daughters school to complain they said well we follow the Rosh HaYeshiva. And now we find out that the Hanhala made their own decisions not the Roshei HaYeshiva!

  15. Incredible! I private schooled my kids, and I drove them to and from school. I never got a dollar of aid from the state or federal government. Be careful what you ask for, when the government pays for it they can put demands on what they are paying for or you can loose that funding. Are you ready to hire secular teachers with beliefs unlike yours? Be very careful what you ask for.

  16. Not to make light of being careful about what our children (and ourselves) see, that was not the real issue. The tznius issue is about using our daughters as public figures to make public statements for anything – rally or protest.This is why the class trip does not contradict the decision not participate in the rally.The fact that people are impressed with the girl’s midos, is wonderful, but completely inconsequential as far as the decision to send the girls is concerned.

  17. you may wirte very eloquently but your logic is not clear . Then we shouldnt use our sons either or our wives or ourselves for that matter . Its either proper in the spirit of Tznius and Kol Kevudah or not . If its fine to go on an organized school trip to the exact same location and look at all the not fiene zachen ,then its fine to go on an organized school trip and stand between 1000 of our girls

  18. What and when was the protest on Wall Street? Wasn’t there also a large Tehillim gathering in Manhattan, maybe at the U.N.? It would be interesting to look at those occasions.

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