Agudath Israel director, Rabbi A. D. Motzen, delivers keynote address —

On Thursday students, parents, and legislators streamed into the Rhode Island State House to celebrate National School Choice Week. Rabbi A. D. Motzen, Agudath Israel of America’s national director of state relations, delivered the keynote address in the State House Rotunda.  Rabbi Motzen lamented that while Rhode Island was one of the first in the country to enact a scholarship tax credit program, it has since fallen behind. The state’s limited $1.5 million tax credit is the most unstable in the country as scholarship organizations and students have no way of knowing if they will be receiving scholarship funds the following year. Rabbi Motzen encouraged the legislature to significantly expand the current program and look into other types of scholarship models to ensure that every child in the state has the opportunity to attend the school of their choice.

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L-R Mike Stenhouse (RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity), Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman (Providence Hebrew Day School), Edward Bastia (Diocese of Providence), Michael Chartier (the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice), and Rabbi A. D. Motzen (Agudath Israel of America) celebrating National School Choice Week at the Rhode Island State House. 

The legislative reception was hosted by Rhode Island Families for School Choice and sponsored by several organizations including the Friedman Foundation and Providence Hebrew Day School. The event featured musical performances from many area private schools. The day concluded with a special program for parents in the State Room. There, the Stukalov family of Providence Hebrew Day School were awarded the 2015 Rhode Island Families for School Choice Award. This was followed by another address by Rabbi Motzen entitled, “My Child. My School. My Choice: Unleashing your parent power.”

“School choice is a must in this culture where tuition hardship has reached epic proportions,” says Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman, dean of Providence Hebrew Day School. “Rabbi Motzen and Agudath Israel of America should be commended for their support of this issue and more importantly for their role in advocating for, and implementing successful school choice programs around the country. Rabbi Motzen’s address at the Rhode Island State House was nothing short of brilliant and inspiring.”

Prior to the rally, Rabbi Motzen joined Mike Stenhouse of the the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity on the Dan Yorke Show on 630-WPRO-AM. The interview can be heard here.