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West Orange, NJ - Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Meets With Orthodox Jewish Leadership

Published on: August 3, 2009 08:37 PM
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Bottom Row, L-R: Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, Congregation AABJD; Chris Christie; OU Deputy Director of Public Policy Howie Beigelman; Steven Sholk, OU Public Affairs Commission.  Top Row, L-R: Ari Fuchs, OU VP, New Jersey Region; David Fisher; Martin Fineberg, OU Public Affairs Commission; Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director, NCSY/OU Director of Program Development.Bottom Row, L-R: Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, Congregation AABJD; Chris Christie; OU Deputy Director of Public Policy Howie Beigelman; Steven Sholk, OU Public Affairs Commission.  Top Row, L-R: Ari Fuchs, OU VP, New Jersey Region; David Fisher; Martin Fineberg, OU Public Affairs Commission; Rabbi Steven Burg, International Director, NCSY/OU Director of Program Development.

West Orange, NJ - Today, Chris Christie, the Republican nominee for New Jersey governor met with Orthodox Jewish leadership from around the state in an issues roundtable facilitated by the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization.  Held at AABJ&D in West Orange, one of the OU’s 52 member congregations in the Garden State, the program featured remarks by Mr. Christie, the former United States Attorney followed by a discussion of key issues critical to the Orthodox community.  Orthodox synagogue rabbis and presidents, lay and professional leadership of New Jersey Jewish day schools and community leaders from Bergen, Essex, Morris, Passaic and Union counties were in attendance.

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Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, senior rabbi of host congregation AABJ&D stated:

“Orthodox Jewish voters, like others, need to make informed decisions when they cast a vote. There is no better way than to have them hear from the candidates themselves as to where they stand on issues of import to our community. We thank the OU for their work on this and Mr. Christie for coming and being candid; we look forward to continuing this conversation with Governor Corzine.”

Mr. Christie reiterated his strong support for the corporate tax credit legislation supported by the Orthodox Union, its constituency statewide and especially Orthodox families in Elizabeth, Lakewood and Passaic.  Mr. Christie cited the bi-partisan bill, the New Jersey Urban Enterprise Zone Jobs Scholarship Act, which is sponsored by Senators Lesniak and Kean and Assemblymembers Cruz-Perez, Cryan, O’Scanlon and Webber, as one area he could and would reach across the aisle to work with Democrats.

Participants also raised the energy retrofit grant program the OU and others worked with Representatives Waxman and Markey to include in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which permits faith based (and other) nonprofits to participate equally in the program and asked if the State could similarly open energy efficiency programs to all, to both protect the environment and stimulate the local economy.  Mr. Christie, who mentioned his own “aggressive” alternative energy vision, agreed such programs ought to be “open to all” and would help in establishing New Jersey as a green jobs center.  As well, Mr. Christie stated his experiences as New Jersey’s first “post September 11” US Attorney underscored his understanding of the Jewish community’s security needs and he committed to upgrading the State’s homeland security efforts. 


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1

 Aug 03, 2009 at 07:49 PM cp Says:

This is the delegation we sent to meet with him?! No offence, I'm sure they're all nice guys, but they're all under 40 and no significant positions. This was a chance to stress the importance of school vouchers, since Christie has been on the fence. Where was the director of the OU? Agudah? NCYI? Torah Umesorah? I think we blew it.

2

 Aug 03, 2009 at 08:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
cp Says:

This is the delegation we sent to meet with him?! No offence, I'm sure they're all nice guys, but they're all under 40 and no significant positions. This was a chance to stress the importance of school vouchers, since Christie has been on the fence. Where was the director of the OU? Agudah? NCYI? Torah Umesorah? I think we blew it.

This is a very impressive delegation...the last thing we would want is to send some alte rabbonim from Lakewood who have no real political sophistication and who are narrow issue sound machines (i.e. school vouchers and more welfare money for large families)

3

 Aug 03, 2009 at 09:57 PM Robert Says:

Reply to #1  
cp Says:

This is the delegation we sent to meet with him?! No offence, I'm sure they're all nice guys, but they're all under 40 and no significant positions. This was a chance to stress the importance of school vouchers, since Christie has been on the fence. Where was the director of the OU? Agudah? NCYI? Torah Umesorah? I think we blew it.

we didnt blow it.. the more lobbying the better.
now this your chance CP to get involved.. raise (legally!!) say 15k and make an event for him and detail your thoughts positions etc.. for a better NJ/USA
talk and blogging can be fun, but at least these guys did something!!..
CP, show us what the over 40 crowd can do..

4

 Aug 03, 2009 at 11:45 PM under 40 Says:

Reply to #1  
cp Says:

This is the delegation we sent to meet with him?! No offence, I'm sure they're all nice guys, but they're all under 40 and no significant positions. This was a chance to stress the importance of school vouchers, since Christie has been on the fence. Where was the director of the OU? Agudah? NCYI? Torah Umesorah? I think we blew it.

What is wrong with "under 40"? Rabby Eliezer Zwickler is under 40, but he is the Chief Rabbi in West Orange , one of the largest Jewish communities in NJ

5

 Aug 03, 2009 at 11:35 PM Sam the Libertarian Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

This is a very impressive delegation...the last thing we would want is to send some alte rabbonim from Lakewood who have no real political sophistication and who are narrow issue sound machines (i.e. school vouchers and more welfare money for large families)

#2: In your last statement you lump together vouchers and welfare as if the two issues are similar. Vouchers are generally supported by Conservatives and opposed by Liberals. Welfare programs are generally supported by Liberals and opposed by genuine Conservatives. Big government spenders love welfare but hate vouchers. If you are correct, it means that we frum Jews are a strange hybrid of Conservative and Liberal at the same time. Or it means that we are opportunist siding with whichever side gives us more cash. As a side point: Vouchers are an important constitutional issue. Most blue blooded Americans in the heartland support vouchers. The main opposition is from the teachers' unions who fear for their jobs.

6

 Aug 04, 2009 at 01:43 AM Was There Says:

Reply to #1  
cp Says:

This is the delegation we sent to meet with him?! No offence, I'm sure they're all nice guys, but they're all under 40 and no significant positions. This was a chance to stress the importance of school vouchers, since Christie has been on the fence. Where was the director of the OU? Agudah? NCYI? Torah Umesorah? I think we blew it.

I was at the meeting. It was informative and good for Mr. Christie to see that he has support in our community. Many important isses, including private school funding, were raised. Why does the age of those attending matter?

7

 Aug 04, 2009 at 07:23 AM Anonymous Says:

It is important for the Republicans to see that there are young Jewish voters who may not be Democrats.

8

 Aug 04, 2009 at 10:20 AM NYCESQ Says:

Chris Christie is the former US Attorney who began the case in Deal, and "flipped" Dwek. And of course, now we bend over backwards to meet with him. Great going guys.

9

 Aug 04, 2009 at 04:03 PM Anonymous Says:

This is the Guy Who Started The Whole Dwek flipping to get in the headlines to run for office and guess what now everyone is kissing his hands to meet him what a shame When will we learn not to support people who are looking for power with our own blood on their hands???????

10

 Aug 06, 2009 at 05:55 PM Israel Says:

I also attended the meeting and found it to be very informative and productive. Most people who have not studied the issue of school choice are not aware of the fact that this is not just about education.He who controls education controls the future of our nation, because this comes with a $600 billion annual budget (more than national defense) and a 3.2 million person political army, as well as the opportunity to indoctrinate the nation's children. This is why our government is what it is today. To take back our religious and individual liberty, and our government, we need parental choice in education. Only this will break the monoply of the Left. This will never happen under Corzine. The NJ school voucher pilot program (S1607) will pass under Christie and send a powerful message across the USA.

11

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