Hosted by Agudath Israel —
On Monday, Rep. John DeBerry (D – Memphis) and Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey (R – Germantown) visited several Memphis Jewish institutions. The legislators first visited the local Jewish schools. They were very impressed by the high academic standards, the moral values infused into the curriculum, and by the community’s overall dedication to Jewish education. Although Rep. DeBerry had to return to Nashville, Senator Kelsey remained for a meeting with the rabbinic and lay leadership of the three Orthodox synagogues at the Baron Hirsch Synagogue. Rabbi A. D. Motzen, Agudath Israel of America’s national director of state relations, arranged the day’s visits and joined the elected officials on their community tour.
The main topic of conversation throughout the day was the Opportunity Scholarship legislation sponsored by the two elected officials. The bill received Governor Bill Haslam’s support and was one vote short of passage last year, but Senator Kelsey expressed his optimism that the proposal would become law in the upcoming legislative session. Agudath Israel of America has worked closely with Senator Kelsey, Rep. DeBerry, and other school choice advocates for several years.