West Orange, NJ - Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Meets With Orthodox Jewish Leadership
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 nationâ€™s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization. Held at AABJ&D in West Orange, one of the OUâ€™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.
Rabbi Eliezer Zwickler, senior rabbi of host congregation AABJ&D stated:
â€śOrthodox 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.â€ť
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, Oâ€™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 â€śaggressiveâ€ť alternative energy vision, agreed such programs ought to be â€śopen to allâ€ť and would help in establishing New Jersey as a green jobs center. As well, Mr. Christie stated his experiences as New Jerseyâ€™s first â€śpost September 11â€ť US Attorney underscored his understanding of the Jewish communityâ€™s security needs and he committed to upgrading the Stateâ€™s homeland security efforts.
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