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Last week I visited Baltimore with my family and it was amazing to see the growth of the Maryland Orthodox community since I left 16 years ago. With that growth comes challenges, and thankfully Rabbi Ariel Sadwin and Agudath Israel of Maryland have played a critical role in addressing many of the community’s pressing needs. I hope you will join me in Baltimore on October 14th as we celebrate the Maryland’s organization’s 10th anniversary.

Rabbi Abba Cohen was recently featured in a Mishpacha magazine interview about his work representing Agudath Israel in our nation’s capital. Some of his recent activities in Washington involve tax issues that were raised after last year’s tax overhaul. Please see our action alert here which addresses a potential new tax on nonprofits that offer certain fringe benefits. Rabbi Cohen is also working with American Federation for Children and others in pushing back on new IRS rules that have negative implications for certain donors to scholarship granting organizations and more generally to taxpayers in higher taxed states. These changes may lead to fewer scholarship opportunities for students in affected states.

NOTE: The new rules only apply to donations made after August 27th, so making a donation to a scholarship organization in your state before that date may have a positive tax implication for affected taxpayers. Please speak to your tax professional.

Agudah in the News:

 

The New York Times published a letter from our director of public affairs, Rabbi Avi Shafran, who took issue with some of the points made by Ronald S. Lauder in a recent op-ed.

One of the biggest issues in New York education news surrounds the battle over the curriculum in certain religious schools. Rabbi Zwiebel joined other representatives of PEARLS (Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools) in a press conference and participated in an interview on NY1 (click

here to watch segment).

Candidate meetings: Our New York headquarters continued to host candid ates for public offices to discuss matters important to our community and this week’s visitor was Simcha Eichenstein, who is running for the NY State Assembly.

Watch our Make Every Day Count video here and we’ll send you an Agudah calendar.