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Washington - Rabbi Zwiebel Addressed White House Summit On Faith Based Schools

Published on: April 29, 2008 09:35 AM
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Washington - Making good on a promise he made in this State of the Union speech in January, President George W. Bush convened a summit on faith-based schooling at the Reagan Center near the White House on April 24.

At the gathering, officially called the “White House Summit on Inner-City Children and Faith-Based Schools,” thoughts and analyses were offered by community leaders representing a broad swath of America, including Agudath Israel of America’s executive vice president for government and public affairs, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel. Agudath Israel’s Rabbi Zwiebel echoed the President’s assessment of faith-based schools as a “critical national asset” and added that they are a “critical familial asset” no less – that they represent a singular opportunity for parents who judge their children in need of an environment that differs from that of the typical public school.  In fact, two earlier speakers had recounted how, while one or more of their children had attended successful public schools, they felt that only a religious school would be an educationally appropriate choice for another of their children.


Rabbi Zwiebel also picked up the President’s theme of support for the “Pell Grants for Children” idea, although he challenged the assumption that support should be limited to parents of children already enrolled in failing public schools.  Agudath Israel has long been at the forefront of defending, in both courtrooms and the arena of public discourse, the idea of “school choice,” the provision of educational vouchers, tuition tax relief and other forms of tangible assistance for all parents of school-age children.  The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that properly constructed educational choice programs are constitutional, and several such programs are functioning in various localities.

The main focus of the Agudath Israel representative’s remarks, though, was on harnessing private sector support for religious schools.

That is certainly true in the Orthodox Jewish community, he explained, the segment of American Jewry “most heavily invested in Jewish day schools, as Orthodox Jews tend to have a higher than average number of children per family and relatively low family income compared to other segments of the Jewish population.  These demographic realities, he asserted, combined with the “dual curriculum” of religious and general studies programming at Jewish day schools, “make it necessary for most schools to set up generous scholarship funds for needy parents.”

Aside from creative fundraising projects that schools themselves have developed, Rabbi Zwiebel highlighted a number of broader initiatives in the Jewish community.  Among the examples he cited were programs directed at grassroots donors, like the Kehilla Jewish Education Fund in Chicago, which encourages every member of the community to contribute regularly to the fund and divides the contributions among the city’s nine local Orthodox day schools on a per capita basis; and the “Five Percent Mandate” brainchild of George Hanus in that same community, which encourages Jews to leave five percent of their estates to an endowment fund of a local day school of their choice.

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Read Comments (10)  —  Post Yours »


 Apr 30, 2008 at 01:41 AM Anonymous Says:

Now who's the idiot?

Check your other definitions.

Enrichment does not only refer to one's financial wealth, but the enhancement or improvement of anything.

Improving or enriching one's quality of life or one's community is certainly commendable. Nothing inappropriate or to be ashamed of.


 Apr 30, 2008 at 12:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Why was "UJcare's" Rabbi Glanz chosen to represent the orthodox jewry from out of so many countless other organization's??


 Apr 29, 2008 at 06:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Let's make it clear that Satmar and Agudah were there for very different reasons. Agudah was there in order to better provide assistance for ALL mosdos. Agudah has a special office with a large staff available to help ANY mosod with the myriad of goverment pograms. Satmar was there for the benefit of Satmar only.

By the way, UJcare's logo is Advocacy, Relations and "Enrichment". Who are they enriching? Do these idiots realize inappropriate the word "Enrichment" is for a social services agency. Enrichment in the dictionary is - "a gift that significantly increases the recipient's wealth". we don't have enough problems with the goyim that we have to advertize that the Jews have organizations to Enrich themselves?


 Apr 29, 2008 at 05:51 PM Anonymous Says:

To 12:40
BTW what are their other projects and deas anyone know what HE said at the conference?


 Apr 29, 2008 at 02:53 PM Anonymous Says:

Re: 1:39 "In Isreal the Satmars don't work together with the Agudah so why in America is Satmar and Agudah working hand in hand ? "

I can't believe this question - It's SICK - If there is any question (and there souldn't be) It is why CAN'T Satmar & Agudah work together in Israel ?????
Why can't we just ALL get along.
Even if we can't at least don't have taynas if finally some are getting along - PLEASE.


 Apr 29, 2008 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

To anon 1:39:
Your question should be: Why don't Satmar and Agudah work hand in hand in Israel?
It's not a chiddush that orthodox organizations work together towards a mutual goal. The chiddush - and heartache - is when they don't!


 Apr 29, 2008 at 01:39 PM Anonymous Says:

In Isreal the Satmars don't work together with the Agudah, why in America is Satmar and Agudah working hand in hand (Rabbi Zwiebel and Rabbi Glanz)??


 Apr 29, 2008 at 12:40 PM Anonymous Says:

UJcare is a Statewide organization serving the orthodox populations of Williamsburg, Borough Park, Flatbush, Bayswater, Far Rockaway, Monsey, Kiryas Joel, it has many projects for example the now well known Project "SABAINU" which distributed over 400 tons of food before pesach as was reported here on this blog.


 Apr 29, 2008 at 11:29 AM Anonymous Says:

Who is UJcare


 Apr 29, 2008 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

The only other Orthodox Jewish leader present at the White House Summit was the well known Askan Rabbi Arye Leib Glanz of UJcare.


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