Thursday, February 02, 2023

Keep Dunkin Donuts Safe for Our Children

Dear Dunkin-Donuts Candy Man,

You have a cherubic face, an innocent smile and a kippah. You appear to be a Sabba (grandfather). However, I do not know you and the children with me do not know you. Therefore, you are a stranger. Given that we live in this day and age, when we teach our youngsters not to accept candy from strangers, I request that you refrain from offering sweets, no matter how kindly meant, to children whom you do not know.

Let’s keep Dunkin Donuts kid-friendly and kid-safe.

A D-D Customer
(Name withheld upon request)

OU Advocacy Helps Increase Funding to NJ Jewish Day Schools and Yeshivas

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center focuses its New Jersey advocacy work on obtaining state funding for our Jewish day schools. After unprecedented success in New York, OU Advocacy and leaders of local organizations decided to bring that model of community partnership across the river to New Jersey.

And we have succeeded. Recently, the New Jersey Legislature and Gov. Chris Christie passed and signed into law the fiscal year 2017 state budget, which allocates funding increases to Jewish day schools and yeshivas—and all other non-public schools—that will bolster the safety and security of our students.

The story behind this extraordinary achievement began just over a year ago, when 20 Jewish day schools, the Jewish Federations of Northern New Jersey and the Heart of New Jersey united with OU Advocacy to form Teach NJS-OU. Our vision was to bring the community together to secure increased state funding for non-public school education.

Teach NJS-OU’s leaders determined that ensuring the safety of our children at school would be the main focus of our advocacy for the state’s fiscal year 2017 budget. With the ever-increasing risk of terrorism, we wanted to ensure significant security funding for non-public school students.

Now, for the first time, the state’s non-public schools will receive $223 per student, the greatest per-pupil funding in New Jersey’s history. Teach NJS-OU and its partners achieved a number of victories this year, as demonstrated in New Jersey’s new fiscal-year budget. Those include:

Overall state funding for non-public school students has increased by 20% since the inception of Teach NJS-OU.

Non-public school security funding by the state has been established, this year at $50 per student—double the initial amount of $25.

Technology funding has been increased to $26 per student, an increase of $6 over the governor’s proposed budget.

Nursing funding has been increased to $90 per student, an increase of $5 over the governor’s proposed budget.

But our efforts didn’t end with ensuring our students’ safety: Teach NJS-OU also succeeded in restoring non-public school funding levels for nursing and technology that had been cut in the fiscal year 2016 budget. These amounts are challenged every year and could have been reduced significantly. Given that the budget that was just passed eliminated $300 million overall in legislative-initiated funding, we are pleased to have obtained critical increases for non-public schools. That said, we still have much work ahead of us to accomplish our goals. We must keep building on our success.

For all of our victories, we have many people and partners to thank—starting with Assembly Budget Chairman Gary Schaer who spearheaded this effort, Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo and Senator James Beach.

We also express our deep appreciation to Teach NJS-OU’s executive committee: Dr. Mort Fridman, Dr. Eric Fremed, Cheryl Rosenberg, Jonathan Gellis and Yehuda Blinder.

Additionally, we thank our participating schools: Ben Porat Yosef Yeshiva Day School, The Frisch School, Hillel Yeshiva, Kellman-Brown Academy, Lubavitch on the Palisades, Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls, Moriah School, Netivot-The Montessori Yeshiva, Politz Day School of Cherry Hill, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva, Rosenbaum Yeshiva of North Jersey, Shalom Torah Academy, Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County, Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Monmouth County, Torah Academy of Bergen County, Yavneh Academy, Yeshiva Bais Hillel, Yeshivat He’Atid, Yeshivat Noam and Yeshiva of the Jersey Shore.

We also thank our partners, The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey.

Working together with the community, we can look forward to a bright and successful future for our students.

Sincerely yours,

Sam Moed/Nathan J. Lindenbaum

Co-Chairmen Teach NJS-OU,

Maury Litwack

OUAC Director of State Political Affairs,

Josh Pruzansky

NJ Regional Director OUAC

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