This past Wednesday, Agudath Israel’s vice president for community services, Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz spent the day in Albany for the first day of session of the New York General Assembly. The Assembly invocation was delivered by Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, the rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Staten Island who was joined in Albany by his brother Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, rosh yeshiva of Mesivtha Tifereth Jerusalem .
Rabbi Lefkowitz attended a reception sponsored by Senator Jeff Klein the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC). Sen. Klein told Rabbi Lefkowitz that he will be actively supporting the Education Investment Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC provides a tax credit for those who make donations which benefit public school programs and private school scholarships. Senator Klein said he will be putting the EITC in his legislative agenda for this year. Rabbi Lefkowitz also met with Senators Carlucci and Savino. He then went to the Assembly Chamber to join the Assemblymembers for the opening session. The main highlight of the session was the election of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver as Speaker for the next two years. Rabbi Lefkowitz had the opportunity to speak to Assemblymembers Silver, Hikind, Gottfried, Weprin, Kaminsky, Goldfeder, Simanowitz, Brennan, Cymbrowitz and Lavine.
Rabbi Lefkowitz then attended the reception sponsored by the Senate Republicans. Senate Majority Dean Skelos reiterated his support for the EITC and said he will probably pass the bill in January. He also met Senators Golden, Felder, Hannon, Flannigan and LaValle.