Governor Corzine Meets With the OU


corzYesterday, the Orthodox Union hosted a meeting between New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine and Orthodox Jewish leaders representing communities in several counties, including Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth and Passaic. Chief among the concerns raised was government aid to Jewish day schools. While the Governor reiterated that he does not support tax credits or other direct tuition related aid, he stated several areas where he believed he could work with the nonpublic school community. Among these he said is restoring technology grants to nonpublic schools – which were cut under the recent budget – in the lame duck legislative session this year. 

In addition, when representatives from day schools raised the issue of their security costs, the Governor responded that he was supportive of finding funds to assist in safeguarding vulnerable Jewish institutions, including day schools. Given the threats to Jewish institutions, including recent hate crimes in the Edison/Highland Park area and a recent bomb threat on Congregation Brothers of Israel in Long Branch, the needs are all too real and the costs are ever escalating. 

The Governor also promised to look at other areas where he believed funding of nonpublic schools would present no constitutional barrier including special education as well as textbooks, nursing and busing, all of which were raised by participants.

Howie Beigelman, OU Deputy Director of Public Policy stated: “We appreciate the Governor’s time and his candor. While there are areas of disagreement, there are also several areas we can work together with him. With the economy as it is and the geopolitical situation what it is, we are grateful of his commitment to restore technology grants and his willingness to work with us on security funds. As well, his renewed commitment to enacting a charitable donation is a simple, noncontroversial way to help all nonprofits and any would be donors.” 

During the hour long meeting, Governor Corzine repeated his commitment to enacting a charitable donation tax deduction. As New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that does not have such a deduction, particularly in this economic environment, such a donation would assist cash strapped nonprofits of all types (e.g. shuls, day schools, hospitals, museums and universities) to raise needed funds. 

Finally, the Governor was thanked for enacting several pieces of religious liberty legislation in 2008. The laws require accommodation of religious needs of employees, students, and patients. The prime sponsor in the Assembly was Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36, Passaic) who attended the meeting. Governor Corzine stated that these accommodations are “real” and that he was proud to work with Assemblyman Schaer and others on enacting those laws.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. it is an election year he needs votes so why not run around to all the jews for there vote corzine is the same old demecrat the OU can not tell me how to vote OUT WITH THE DEMECRAT IN WITH THE REPBULICAN GOVERNOR

  2. the ou doesnt tell you how to vote. read the disclaimer on the bottom of the release. they als met last month with chris chrsitie (the rpeublican you mention though you probably dfont even know his name. FYI there is also a thirsd candidate an independent who many say is better than both the dem and the rep)