As we wrap up the second week of the new Trump administration, Agudath Israel has been kept busy, weighing in on the flurry of activity coming from the White House. After commenting on the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement that left out mention of Jews (we called it “a missed opportunity”), the executive order on immigration, and finally, the Supreme Court nominee, we have received a lot of (overwhelmingly positive) feedback from our constituents. You should always feel free to share your feedback or questions on our statements or positions. We try to respond to all respectful questions.
We also announced this week that Shia Markowitz, (not to be confused with our Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative director, Rabbi Shai Markowitz) began serving as our new (volunteer) CEO, alongside our executive vice president, Rabbi Zwiebel, to help manage our growing organization.
On the legislative front, much of our work this week was focused on education. Ohio Governor John Kasich continued the expansion of the popular EdChoice voucher program, and school choice bills were moving ahead in Georgia (a new education savings account and a scholarship tax credit expansion) Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas, to name a few. If you live in those states and want to get more involved on a grassroots level, please contact me.
Secretary of Education-designate Betsy DeVos will face the full Senate next week and Agudath Israel continued its efforts to support her confirmation. I appeared on Zev Brenner’s radio show with Chaskel Bennett, our Ohio director, Rabbi Yitz Frank, submitted a letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and I participated in a conference call with Ohio journalists. It is not too late to make your voice heard. To see our action alerts click here.
Lastly, our Illinois director, Rabbi Shlomo arranged a tour of the Chicago Orthodox community for the Illinois Treasurer. We encourage our community leaders across the country to invite your elected officials to your schools, synagogues and organizations so that they can become more familiar with your community.