OU Calls For ‘Days Of Action’ In NY, NJ To Confront Day School Crisis

Calling on its constituencies to take on the role of activists, the Orthodox Union (OU) has announced the launch of a national grassroots mobilization effort to confront the single most important issue facing observant families: The Day School Crisis. The week-long “Days of Action” (November 13-15), culminating with an Advocacy Dinner keynoted by school choice advocate Newark Mayor Cory Booker,  will empower and engage families to achieve a solution to the K-12 affordability challenge.           

“Sending our children to day school is paramount to the Jewish faith – it preserves our identity and culture, strengthens our community, and most importantly offers children a first-rate education,” stated Dr. Simcha Katz, Orthodox Union President. “Yet, this tenet of our faith is being threatened by current economic pressures, which literally are placing a Jewish education out of reach for middle-class families.”           

“Although the OU has been leading the fight for solutions such as tax credits and government support for tuition affordability, there is a need to demonstrate much stronger communal support to engage legislators on this topic – thus the launch of a new grassroots initiative,” added Dr. Katz. “It is vital to the success of this new initiative and to a solution to the crisis that everyone within our own community participates in the events scheduled from November 13 through 15. It’s the best opportunity to become educated, involved, and empowered to act.”           

In a series of events, culminating in an Advocacy Dinner at the Sheraton New York Hotel featuring Newark Mayor Cory Booker as Keynote Speaker, participants will engage with leadership from the OU, nationally recognized experts and advocates on school choice, legislators from the respective states, and leaders from other national faith-based and minority organizations who also seek solutions to this crisis. The Week also will feature a rally at the War Memorial in Trenton, NJ on Tuesday, November 13 and an Advocacy Luncheon at the Sheraton New York Hotel on Thursday, November 15.  Legislative events and advocacy training will be conducted in Houston, TX on Tuesday, November 13, and Bala Cynwyd, PA on Wednesday, November 14.            It is estimated that a nonpublic education costs approximately $18,000 annually, per pupil. For a family with three children, these educational costs greatly exceed the national median income before even factoring in property taxes and other forms of taxation that fund public education systems. At the same time, a reduction in day-school enrollment – Yeshiva enrollment was down 3-percent from last year – threatens to increase class size and cost in public schools.            

“If individuals are going to make a difference in their own lives and that of their families, they must make their voices heard – and that starts with participation in this vital new initiative,” urged Dr. Katz.  “We need everyone to attend and participate – to become an activist.” TLS-PR.

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  1. Our community is interesting. We are for the most part politically conservative and we condemn liberal policies, including government programs. However, when we are in a crisis, the first place we turn to is the government. Ironic, isn’t it?

  2. Move to South Bend, Indiana. The school tuition is under $4500 a year, and there is a voucher program in the state of Indiana that will pay nearly all of that for you. I am considering a move there from Queens.

  3. sending your children to public school C”V wont help you save any money? your taxes & everyone elses will just rise to a very high amount to pay for the public school childrens education

  4. First, what about the children who are not yet placed in a school as of this date in October, in Lakewood. Who is going to be an “activist” about that???

  5. #3 You are totally wrong. If all our kids were registered in the public schools, our taxes would be zero if not for the state mandated local fair share. We would bring in about $400 million in equalization aid from Trenton. And this is a possibility, not C”V bringing them into our facility, but bringing our faculty to them.

    Vouchers are very limited in scope through restrictions on eligibility. The solution to the tuition crisis is for the public district to accommodate our people, so that we too may enjoy our privilege as taxpaying American citizens.

    The solution is on record and documented inside the district organization. Scores of proposals, backed by constitutional, statutory and regulatory sources have been submitted over the last several years on how to bring education to the child in the place of his or her choice.

    Elected officials do not have the capacity or knowledge to be able to fix the tuition problem. Sure, they can offer bandaid type temporary solutions such as extra funding, but in the grand scheme, they will always defer to us, the educational and legal professionals. The key is to install superintendents and assistants who are passionate and creative, so that every child and young adult who wants a free education will finally be able to access it. The problem is that the academy feels that sending our kids to private schools is “a choice.” This is a myth that exonerates them from responsibility to help us and allows elected school board officials to deny any ability to implement the permanent solution. There is little motivation for creativity under such a climate.

    Recent Supreme Court rulings and the current political climate encourage the kind of experimentation that will eventually solve our tuition crisis. There has been no more propitious time to bring opportunity to our people.

  6. A Lang
    when are you becoming a member of the BOE? you seem to be eduated in its needs & are a very concerned person for our children in school


  7. Thank you #8 but the answers are not in the hands of the Board, but our central administration. Boards have many members, no one of which can be accountable for everything, and no one of which has the professional training, position or time to fix our district.

    As long as our elected leaders appoint superintendents who have no other stake in Lakewood other than their job we will get nowhere. For years, the Board of Education has avoided finding a homegrown administrator with political ties to the local community who would be able to strong-arm our disparate interests and who will use his connections and bully pulpit to bolster support for education, efficiency, and opportunity.

    Lakewood needs to stop “Waiting for Superman” and elevate one of our own to Central Office, a true Educational Czar accountable to his neighbors, who knows their burdens and concerns. The Board is just a board, not a single member executive who can take control of our general welfare.

    Note that which John Stuart Mill wrote in 1861. “As a general rule, every executive function, whether superior or subordinate, should be the appointed duty of some given individual. . . . [T]here must be one person who receives the whole praise of what is well done, the whole blame of what is ill. . . . Boards, therefore, are not a fit instrument for executive business, and are only admissible in it when, for other reasons, to give full discretionary power to a single minister would be worse.”

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