Published on July 14, 2016, by in RJV.

RJV Advocates Gather for our 2016 Advocacy Day


A few weeks after the end of the 2016 legislative session, Governor Andrew Cuomo has only recently finished signing the bills that passed during the final moments Assembly Members and Senators spent in Albany. As we look back on the session, though, we have important victories to celebrate on some of RJV’s priority issues for this year. (more…)

Published on June 17, 2016, by in RJV.

Victory in East Ramapo

Contact: Max Rosenblum or Jacob Kraus
202.387.2800 |

Albany, N.Y., June 17, 2016 – In response to the passage of A.10723/S.8131, a bill in the New York State legislature that will bring much-needed funding and oversight to the East Ramapo School District, Barbara Zaron and Richard C. Laskey, co-chairs of Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, issued the following statement: (more…)

Published on May 26, 2016, by in RJV.

RJV Advocacy Day AttendeesOn Monday, May 9, Reform Jewish social justice advocates from around New York State gathered in Albany for RJV’s annual Advocacy Day. These powerful leaders in their communities came together to articulate a vision for tzedek in the Empire State and to share that vision with their Assembly Members and Senators as the legislature sets its priorities for the waning days of the 2016 session. Check out photos from the day on RJV’s Facebook page. (more…)

Published on March 30, 2016, by in RJV.

AAD16 Lobby Photo

On March 6th & 7th, 45 Jewish teens representing over 20 URJ congregations from the NY Area went to Albany to lobby our state legislators on social justice issues that matter to us as NFTYites. After spending Sunday learning about four different issues – Gun Violence Prevention, Economic Justice, Transgender Rights and Education – we prepared lobby speeches and met with our State Assembly Members and Senators. After the event, we asked a few of our peers to reflect on their experience in Albany.
Published on February 5, 2016, by in RJV.

Barbara Zaron and Richard Laskey advocating for oversight in East Ramapo


When I last wrote about the ongoing situation in the East Ramapo school district, the future of legislation to ensure strong oversight over the district’s finances remained uncertain. Since then, the three-person monitor team led by Dennis Walcott has released their report on the district, which reiterates a call for legislation to create a fiscal monitor with the power to veto decisions made by the school board. Currently, the majority of the elected school board members are Orthodox Haredi, even though most Haredi children in this school district attend private yeshivas. (more…)

Published on January 26, 2016, by in RJV.


The New York State Capitol BuildingGovernor Cuomo presented his State of the State and Executive Budget proposals on January 13, 2016, outlining his legislative agenda and $145 billion budget plan for 2016. With such an expansive set of initiatives, there is certainly a lot for us all to look through and begin to understand as lawmakers begin negotiating a final budget deal and sending legislation to the Governor’s desk. Outlined here are the summaries of some of the issues that are of particular interest and concern to RJV; a review of the specifics and details will follow shortly. The full budget proposal can be accessed here.

This post will focus on four major areas of the Governor’s proposals: Economic Justice, the Environment, Criminal Justice and Ethics. Stay tuned for another post discussing the Governor’s education initiatives. (more…)