On Wednesday, March 4th, a delegation of Orthodox Jewish community activists from across the state converged on Annapolis to engage in advocacy efforts on behalf of the greater Jewish community. Their activities coincided with the annual legislative reception for the BOAST (Building Opportunities for All Students and Teachers) Maryland Educational Tax Credit.
Each year, students, teachers, and parents from religious and nonpublic schools across the state head to Annapolis to demonstrate their support of the BOAST legislation, a bill that seeks to provide financial relief to nonpublic schools through corporate tax credits. At the lunch reception, Agudath Israel’s Maryland director, Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, was acknowledged for his leading role in promoting the legislation and helping craft the legislative strategy.
The Agudath Israel delegation, led by Rabbi Sadwin, held meetings with Maryland’s Senate President, Mike Miller, Speaker of the House, Michael Busch, and a host of other senators and delegates. Discussion centered on the BOAST bill, as well as two separate religious freedom bills currently up for consideration in the Maryland General Assembly. The two bills address religious accommodations in multi-family dwellings and in the workplace. In the Senate and House committee hearings of these bills Rabbi Sadwin testified in support of the legislation. Rabbi Sadwin’s testimony highlighted an unfortunate dichotomy, that while in this country people of every religion and culture have been given the freedom and opportunity to prosper, the governmental system has yet to enable people of faith to reasonably live up to their religious standards in all areas of life. Mr. Howie Beigelman, Deputy Director of Public Policy for the Orthodox Union, also testified in support of these vital legislative measures.
Rabbi Ariel Sadwin commented, “Agudath Israel is committed to supporting the education and religious freedom issues that affect our communities. We look forward to a favorable committee response to these crucial bills and are hopeful for their eventual passage during this legislative session.”
(YWN Desk – NYC)