The following statement was released by the Satmar kehillah of Rav Aharon Teitelbaum: After several years of intensive efforts led by the leaders of the leading Satmar Yeshiva’s in Kiryas Joel and Brooklyn, Agudath Israel of America and the esteemed Mayor of Kiryas Joel Mr. Abe Wieder together with the help of dedicated politicians from the State Assembly and State Senate headed by Assemblyman Dov Hikind 48th Assembly District and in the State Senate headed by its leader the Hon. Dean Skelos and State Senator Daniel Squadron 25th Senate District, needy rabbinical college students in New York State will, for the first time ever, be eligible to receive Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) grants.
We thank Governor Cuomo who promised back in his campaign trail October, 2010 when he visited in Brooklyn at the house of Grand Rabbi of Satmar Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum that he will help in the passage of this crucial TAP program http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOX8EjvVakk
Until now, needy rabbinical college students in undergraduate institutions were eligible for federal Pell Grants to help defer the cost of tuition, but not for New York State Tuition Assistance Grants. Now, these students will be eligible for TAP grants.
The new budget bill allocates approximately $3.2 million for TAP grants to students attending such schools for the second semester of school year 2011-2012 enough for 600 maximum grants, the initial amount is modest because it is meant to cover a small part of the year, following an implementation period, the change requires drafting of new regulations and institutions will need time to apply for participation.
Gershon Schlesinger, Board Chairman of UJCare released the following comment: The allocation of the TAP grant in the budget sets an example of our community leader’s potential to achieve critical funding through focused and determined advocacy.