This week New York City adopted its Fiscal Year 2019 budget as agreed to by Mayor de Blasio and the City Council. Agudath Israel Community Services were the recipients of significant funding in the areas of workforce development, affordable housing and senior centers, all of which serve to help thousands of local residents. Agudath Israel thanks Mayor de Blasio, Council Speaker Cory Johnson, as well as Councilmembers Chaim Deutsch, Mathieu Eugene, Rory Lancman, Mark Levine, Ydanis Rodriguez, Eric Ulrich, and Kalman Yeger for their assistance.
Agudath Israel also thanks Speaker Johnson and Councilmember Deutsch for a $1 million pilot program to serve kosher and halal meals in public schools for those students requesting them. This program will also seek to fund nonpublic schools for the additional expenses of providing kosher and/or halal. Agudath Israel, along with TEACH NYS and other advocacy groups have long been supporters of providing these services. Last January Agudath Israel was joined in the state capitol in Albany by the Alliance of Bukharian Americans (ABA), an advocacy group representing the Bukharian Jewish Community, to lobby for a bill sponsored by Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) that would mandate all public schools to serve kosher and halal to those students requesting them. Agudath Israel was also part of a roundtable convened by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer to discuss his study on the cost of providing these meals. Agudath Israel has long held that no student should be forced to choose between their religion and having a nutritious meal at school.