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Quote - Rabbi's web of charities under investigation

Sunday, December 15, 2013
Ezra Friedlander's quote on the investigation of Shiya Ostreicher in the New York Post
‘The Jewish District’

Among Ostreicher’s controversial accomplishments was helping enact a law that extends the state Tuition Assistance Program to rabbinical students — a benefit estimated at $18 million a year. Critics said taxpayers should not pay for religious schooling.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind praised the effort led by Ostreicher and his allies at Agudath Israel of America, a key Orthodox charity. Ostreicher has been registered as a lobbyist for the group since 2011, although he has worked with them for much longer.

“People told us it would be impossible to pass this legislation,” Hikind said in March 2011, when the measure passed, noting Ostreicher worked with him for 10 years to get it done.

Ostreicher also was among the leaders behind the creation of the state Senate’s “super Jewish district” in Brooklyn in Orthodox Midwood and Borough Park. The area had been split among six senators but lines were redrawn in 2012 to create the district with Skelos’ backing.

Simcha Felder, a Democrat and Ostreicher pal, won the seat in 2012.

Ostreicher belongs to the Belz Hasidic sect and lives in Borough Park with his wife and children.

“He’s an altruistic individual who cares deeply about the community,” said Ezra Friedlander, head of a Manhattan-based political p.r. firm that has worked with Agudath Israel.

Read article

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