Colors: Blue Color

New York State lawmakers completed voting on the 2019 budget early Monday morning, which includes both victories and disappointments for the Orthodox Jewish community. There were headline developments of general interest: agreement to an MTA overhaul; the introduction of congestion pricing in Manhattan, the first in the nation; and a 2020 plastic bag ban.

HAFTR High School students and their chaperones, Rabbi Yonoson Hirtz and Mrs. Goldy Walfish, had the privilege of attending the AIPAC 2019 policy conference in Washington DC, which culminated with a lobbying session where students went to Capitol Hill to meet with our Rep. Kathleen Rice. Students also had the unique opportunity to meet and speak with former HAFTR parent, Ambassador David Friedman, US Ambassador to Israel. Love of the Jewish state and promotion of a strong US-Israel relationship is central to HAFTR’s mission.

On Tuesday, March 12, the New York branch of the Teach Coalition, Teach NYS, held its annual Mission to Albany to lobby the New York State Senate and Assembly. Hundreds of students, faculty, and volunteers from yeshivos, day schools, and neighborhoods across the state traveled to the Capitol to meet with legislators. This past week, those lobbying efforts paid off with increased funding from the state for non-public schools to be reimbursed for their STEM teachers, security costs, Comprehensive Attendance Policy, and Mandated Services.

Bnos Malka Academy will be paying tribute to Elliott and Nechama Strauss at their 23rd Annual Dinner & Journal on Sunday, May 19. The Strausses have been deeply involved in the school for over 15 years. Rabbi Michael Weichselbaum, Menahel at Bnos Malka, is delighted to be recognizing them as the Guests of Honor. “The annual dinner is always a great opportunity to celebrate with parents and friends the accomplishments of the school and the girls. This year, it is especially gratifying that we can pay tribute to Elliott and Nechama. Their impact on the school has been extraordinary. Elliott has dedicated himself and given so freely of his time as an active Board member. Nechama, as the Events coordinator in the school and the PA co-president, has left her indelible mark in creating our legendary culture of excellence with warmth and caring.”