May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Teach NJS Launched to Push Community on Education Issues

More than 300 members of the New Jersey Jewish community, from Bergen County and beyond, attended last week’s launch of Teach NJS, a new initiative of New Jersey Jewish day schools, yeshivas, community organizations and the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center, to mobilize the community to become more politically engaged, in order to influence and change the way the state of New Jersey funds non-public education. Through Teach NJS, the New Jersey Jewish community can “fundamentally change the way they approach politics,” according to Josh Pruzansky, New Jersey’s regional director of OU Advocacy.

The coalition so far includes 18 schools, the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey and the newly formed Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, which have joined OU Advocacy in this effort. The launch event was held at Congregation Rinat Yisrael in Teaneck, N.J.

Pruzansky, in an interview with JLNJ, said that the coalition is relevant to schools advocacy groups outside the Jewish community, but that active engagement of the Jewish community is the OU’s starting point. The OU has successfully initiated other schools advocacy efforts in other states, including New York and Florida.

“Teach NJS is about concrete action and a concrete solution,” said Sam Moed, co-chair of Teach NJS, in his opening remarks, emphasizing that the essence of Teach NJS is “education, unity and action.” Attendees also heard from Rabbi Chaim Poupko of Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, Dr. Zvi Marans, president of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, and Rena Klein of Edison, who participated in an advocacy mission to Trenton in 2014 and discussed the impact advocacy can make.

Assembly Member Gary Schaer also addressed the group. He urged the group to “make their mark” in order to be successful. “My efforts in the state legislature will be strengthened by your commitment, your dedication and your voice,” he said.

Encouraging the community to vote in all elections was something many of the speakers touched upon as key to bringing attention and heft to the community’s voice as a voting bloc. Pruzansky also mentioned that bus trips to Trenton for Teach NJS are an important way the community will voice issues to legislators.

For more information or to get involved in Teach NJS, which will include Trenton political advocacy missions, please contact Field Director Ariella Noveck, [email protected].

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