Governor Paterson Meets With Chabad Leaders On Education

by S. Fridman - New York, NY

May 11, 2009

( At a meeting in the Governor’s office last Thursday, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch Educational and Social Services divisions spent the better part of half an hour speaking with New York State Governor David Paterson about Chabad-Lubavitch educational activities in the State.

“The Governor was keenly interested in the educational activities of Chabad-Lubavitch in his state,” said Rabbi Krinsky of the meeting. Specifically, he said, they discussed Chabad’s recent partnership with ORT in vocational schooling, and possible funding opportunities for Chabad’s educational programs. The Governor said he was familiar with the work of ORT and noted its achievements.

Following the Mumbai terrorist attack of last December, Governor Paterson spoke with Rabbi Mendel Sharfstein at Lubavitch Headquarters several times to express his sorrow and support, and invited the leadership of Chabad-Lubavitch to visit with him in person.

At the meeting, which took place in the Governor’s Manhattan office, he recalled that he had an instinctual reaction when he learned of the Mumbai terror attack, because New York itself was on high alert for terrorist activities in the days preceding the Mumbai attacks.

Rabbi Krinsky noted that Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg was a New York State resident. The Governor said he was deeply moved by this young couple who made “the ultimate sacrifice” for their cause.

He expressed his admiration for Chabad’s resilience, noting the immediate resumption of activities in Mumbai by Chabad’s rabbinical students determined to keep the work of Gabi and Rivki going.

Governor Paterson said he was aware of the scope of Chabad’s activities worldwide, but was surprised to learn that within the state of New York alone, Chabad counts 170 centers, each of which have regional educational and social services divisions, serving New York’s statewide Jewish population of over 1.6 million.

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