Membership That Pays, By Josh Pruzansky

josh christie 2_wmWe have seen the devastation that the closing of a Yeshiva has on our families. Parents are under enormous stress finding a new school to educate their children. Rebbeim, Teachers and Staff are left without jobs and the other Mosdos in the community with already overstuffed classrooms are asked to accept more students.

Today we have seen that one such problem was averted by the opening of a new school. That was a piece of great news and we wish the new Yeshiva much Hatzlocha.

However, will this end of the problem of not having enough funding for our Mosdos? After three schools closed in 6 months can we guarantee it won’t happen again? Are the parents of Yeshiva children prepared to increase their tuition payments as costs continue to rise?

Now is the time to do something about it and I am asking you for your help!

Agudath Israel has been working very hard during the past 8 months to create a way to assist our families. Teaming up with others groups who are in the same boat, like the Catholic Conference and Educational Excellence for Everyone (E3), and some Legislators who understand the issue, we have helped produce a piece of Legislation called the Opportunity Scholarship Act. The OSA is a five year Pilot Program and is intended for children living in School Districts with Failing Public School (like Lakewood). OSA if passed into law will provide Corporate Tax Scholarships that will be issued to students from needy families and allow them to attend the school of their choice.

One of the provisions in the OSA is that parents who have already made the sacrifice to send their child to a Non-Public School should have the same ability to receive an OSA scholarship. To that end, children from Lakewood stand to receive upwards of 25 Million dollars worth of OSA scholarships over the five year Pilot Program.

OSA is not a voucher, is State funded, and is revenue neutral which means it will not cost the Lakewood tax payers one cent to fund this program.

So how can we make it happen?

Agudath Israel of New Jersey is a grassroots organization that represents the Frum community in Trenton. In order for us to maximize our effectiveness we need a membership base of constituents. The main opponent to receiving State Funding for our Mosdos and helping our families is the Teachers Union known in New Jersey as the NJEA. Their strength is their membership. They claim to have 200,000 members and that holds a lot of sway over the votes of Legislators.

What do we counter with? We need members too!

Right now we are starting a Membership Campaign in Lakewood to recruit as many members as possible. If we succeed we show our numbers to other groups and ask them to do the same thereby creating a formidable coalition of tax payers who send or want to send their children to the Schools of their choice.

Why now?

Because we only have 3 months to pass the OSA. After that the members of the Legislature begin their election campaigns. When that happens they will not consider a piece of legislation like the OSA until November 2011.

We now have a Governor in office who is ready to sign OSA into law. We have to push the Legislature to post this Bill now for votes.

How much will it cost?

You can become a member of Agudath Israel of New Jersey for $54. If you are in Kollel there is a discounted rate of $36.

But in reality it won’t cost you anything. There are vendors in Lakewood that understand the importance of this mission and for a limited time offering coupons that will end up saving you far more than it will cost you to become a member.

And these coupons aren’t for items you wouldn’t ordinarily purchase. Simply shopping for food at Kosher West, Bagel Nosh, Pizza Plus, Shloimy’s Kosher World, or for eyeglasses at EyeWear Plus, a hat, suit or shoes at Hat Box, or Seforim at Judaica Plaza, and many more coupons, will provide savings that will make becoming a member of Agudath Israel of New Jersey an investment that will earn you money.

At the same time your membership will allow us to continue our Avodas Hakodesh on your behalf, help our Mosdos survive, and families afford Yeshiva education.

Act now as Membership Brochures are delivered to your door, calls are made to your home or simply click here to become a member TODAY!

Thank you.

Yehoshua “Josh’ Pruzansky


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There are 14 Comments to "Membership That Pays, By Josh Pruzansky"

  • soon to be member says:

    I Will be watching my mail box..

  • Torah Truth says:

    Interesting… A couple of questions for Mr. Pruzansky… How is this “revenue neutral”? Where are these dollars coming from if not tax revenue? What will be cut on the State side to keep it “revenue (tax) neutral”? How will these dollars be distributed? It sounds to me that these will be used to offset the people who are not paying tuition today but will do little to nothing to bring down the staggering cost of tuition for those in the middle who are struggling to pay full tuition. It is a nice idea for the Yeshiva’s to get additional funding but yet again the hard working middle class gets it on the chin. When will we see a serious program by Agudath Israel to help reduce the cost of tuition for those who pay?

  • no link says:

    where is the link to click on?

  • anonymous says:

    If you want to have loads of members quickly just don’t charge any membership you’ll see how many members that will bring in!

  • charging? says:

    if your really interested in getting members , dont charge .

  • Anonymous says:

    the link is an advertisement on your left

  • doesn't cost says:

    the coupons pay for itself!!
    its only a small donation in trying to help bring relief to so many !!

  • hello says:

    if you get the money from the state it is tax money

  • Anonymous says:

    Non-paying members bring no clout nor power, as they ahven’t shown that they care enough to spend money. It is much more impressive when you can say we have so & so due paying mambers. Remember, the Teacher’s union are all due paying.

  • hi says:

    how come the middle class is always left out of this? they are the ones who pay tuition, medical insurance, etc. Its like they make it look as if being poor is more worth it than working to make a living.

  • Lakewooder says:

    I do appreciate Agudath Israel’s efforts. If they need members just sign us up. Agudath Israel job is to help the Klall, not the other way around. We dont appreciate the way this is being done. We have our own people and Agudath can advise what to do.

  • lakewood yungerman says:

    While we appreciate Mr. Josh Pruzansky work on behalf of the Lakewood Klall, there are a few points that Agudah fails to realize.

    Who is the face of the Agudah in 2010? Are the struggles of these asknim the same as we have here in Lakewood? Are the speakers at the conventions Lakewood’s talented individuals that can express Lakewood’s (unique) concerns?

    I would argue that that they don’t. Agudah has to come to the twenty first century, and realize that times have changed. We are no more battling, the issues of the seventy’s and eighty’s. There are new issues and concerns, and Torah Jewry has a new look. In order for Agudah to be relevant, they need to look inward and conform to these realities.

    That being said, Lakewood and Agudah need each other, and there would be a lot to gain on both sides if changes would be made.

  • Anonymous says:

    YOU Are all so ungrateful!!!!!!!!!!! e/o complains about tuition prices being to steep and all our tax dollars going to public schools etc. etc. and when s/o (agudath israel) tries to rectify this and assist you all you do is look for the catch. It’s absolutely disgusting!!

  • lakewood yungerman has p'shat says:

    lakewood yungerman, you are 10000% correct!

    The truth is there probably would of been much more feedback (many more posts) however i believe being that Tiny Tots saga stole the thunder.

    regardless, Agudah, please understand we, the Lakewood constituency do NOT feel 1 bit represented by Aguda. there is a major disconnect which must be addressed.

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