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Tikvah Fund Discusses Orthodoxy and School Choice

The Tikvah Fund has announced it will convene a special program on education policy and the observant community, “School Choice and The Jews.” The event will take place at Tikvah’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters on Thursday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. It will mark the first of a new evening lecture series open to the public, “Torah Jews in America: Political Ideas for the Future,” in which seasoned experts will address American public policy as it relates to the Orthodox community.

The education policy program will feature Tom Carroll and Jason Bedrick. Carroll is the president of the Foundation for Opportunity in Education, which conducts research and analyzes policy measures addressing the Jewish day-school tuition crisis, among other areas. Bedrick is a former legislator in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and now is the director of policy of EdChoice, an American education reform organization. Both speakers have worked extensively on education policy as it relates to religious communities.

In addition to addressing national and state-level efforts aiming to provide public support for those saddled with high private-school tuition bills, Bedrick and Carroll will focus on roles Orthodox leaders and communities can play in advancing helpful policies.

“We’ve all heard about vouchers, tax credits and education savings accounts,” said Rabbi Mark Gottlieb, Tikvah’s senior director. “But where are they actually working and where could they be working? This program will provide a compelling picture of the ongoing national education policy conversations, offered by serious people directly involved in working on solutions.”

The Tikvah Fund has led programming for the Orthodox community in the past. These include institutes for rising leaders among men and women in the yeshiva community. This August, Tikvah’s Institute for Yeshiva Men will host its fourth annual program. The week-long seminar attracts participants from yeshivas such as Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, Ner Yisroel in Baltimore and Yeshiva University, among others. Rav Ahron Lopiansky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of Greater Washington, the celebrated author and columnist Jonathan Rosenblum, and Professor Robert P. George, a leading public intellectual and distinguished teacher at Princeton University, are among this year’s speakers addressing the relationship between the Torah community and key political and moral debates unfolding in the United States today. The program’s goal is to explore which policies can best benefit American Jews.

Tikvah’s programming is generally by application only, making the evening lecture series a rare opportunity for the general public. Those interested in attending “School Choice and The Jews” should register at http://evenings.tikvahfund.org by Monday, May 15. The website also features information on the other evening lectures, including “The Future of Religious Liberty” on Monday, June 12, and “Left, Right and the Defense of Israel” on Wednesday, July 26.

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