Agudath Israel of America’s Government Affairs Staff Retreat was held Wednesday, July 13 in New York City. The purpose of the retreat was to discuss ways to improve on the successful 2016 legislative session which saw more than $100 million generated for Jewish day school students across the country and religious freedoms protected thanks to the effort of Agudath Israel’s government affairs staff and their coalition and legislative partners.
In the group photo above are (L to R): Seated: Rabbi Yitzchok Ehrman, Chief Operating Officer, Agudath Israel of Illinois; Rabbi Labish Becker, Executive Director, Agudath Israel of America; Rabbi Yosef Chaim Golding, Chief Operating Officer; Rabbi Abba Cohen, Vice President for Federal Affairs and Washington Director; Rabbi AD Motzen, National Director of State Relations. Standing: Rabbi Yitz Frank, Ohio; Rabbi Avi Schnall, New Jersey; Avrohom Weinstock, Associate Director, Education Affairs; Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, Mid-Atlantic Region; Rabbi Moshe Matz, Florida; Rabbi Shai Markowitz, Lefkowitz Leadership Initiative; Rabbi Shlomo Soroka, Government Affairs, Agudath Israel of Illinois.
The session pictured features Shlomo Werdiger, Agudath Israel’s chairman of the Board of Trustees, addressing the group.
The participants included those in the group photo, as well as Rabbi Shmuel Lefkowitz, Vice President, Community Affairs; Hashi Herzka, member, Board of Trustees; Mrs. Leah Steinberg, Director, Project LEARN/AIA Special Education Affairs; Mrs. Deborah Zachai, Director, Yeshiva Services Division; and Leah Zagelbaum, director of Communications.
Mrs. Zachai and Mr. Weinstock presented on ‘Yeshiva Services: Strengthening the Relationship Between the National and State Offices’, while Rabbi Sadwin and Rabbi Soroka spoke about ‘Get Out the Vote: Sharing Ideas.’ Yitzchok Saftlas, President of Bottom Line Marketing Group led a spirited discussion on Harnessing the Power of Social Media. Rabbi Avi Shafran, Agudath Israel’s director of Public Affairs, discussed the types of issues which Agudath Israel confronts. The directors also discussed the efforts and accomplishments in their school choice and legislative initiatives.
The organization’s executive vice president, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, was effusive in his praise of the efforts of each member of the group and the regional directors overall.