Most weeks this newsletter focuses on the ‘tuition crisis” and how we help struggling parents afford day school tuition and help Jewish schools meet the needs of every child, as highlighted by the recent Yeshiva Expo.
One division of Agudath Israel that is rarely mentioned on these pages is the Southern Brooklyn Community Organization, which is working to solve a different challenge for the Orthodox community- the “housing crisis”. This week, Agudath Israel hosted NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio on a tour of SBCO’s latest affordable housing project in Boro Park.
One solution to the housing crisis is moving out of established communities. This poses unique challenges, such as the anti-Orthodox ordinances passed in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Those actions led to an Agudath Israel lawsuit which was amended this week. All of these topics were discussed at our annual legislative breakfast yesterday. Five NYC Council Speaker candidates were among many candidates for office.
In advance of next week’s elections, I encourage you to read Rabbi Avi Schnall’s op-ed, where he makes the point that “voting is our voice, and the number of votes is the size of our influence”. For New York residents, please see our special message about the proposed Constitutional Convention.
Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which overhauls the current tax code. Agudath Israel’s vice president for federal affairs and Washington director and counsel, Rabbi Abba Cohen (who was recently named to the Jewish Forward’s top 50 Jewish influencers of 2017), is working together with a team of tax experts to review the bill and analyze how it may affect Orthodox families and institutions.