New York, NY – Councilmembers: Eliminating Child Care Unfair to Orthodox Jews


    New York, NY – Fifteen New York City Councilmembers – including members of the Council’s Jewish Caucus and others representing Jewish communities – sent a letter to Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs to protest the unfair treatment of Orthodox children and families in the City’s plan to eliminate child care services, and demand a restoration of this essential funding.

    The letter was organized by Councilmember Brad Lander, who represents part of Borough Park, chairs the Jewish Caucus.  Other signers of the letter include Lew Fidler, Leticia James, Oliver Koppell, Margaret Chin, Karen Koslowitz, Dan Halloran, Gale Brewer, Sara Gonzalez, David Weprin, Matheiu Eugene, and Jumaane Williams.

    While the Orthodox Jewish population comprises less than 4% of all New Yorkers, they represent 15% of the child care cuts proposed by the Bloomberg Administration.

    When last year’s elimination of Priority 7 is factored in, Orthodox families account for a staggering 26% of the child care cuts made or proposed by the Bloomberg Administration in the past year. proposed by the Bloomberg Administration in the past year. In addition, Deputy Mayor Gibbs’ proposal to offer families who are slated to lost their child care voucher an slot in one of the City’s Out-of-School Time (OST) programs is particularly poorly suited for Orthodox communities, as there are insufficient OST providers in Jewish neighborhoods to provide even a fraction of the necessary services.

    “The Borough Park community has the highest unmet need for subsidized child care services of any neighborhood in the city (over 10,000 families), yet is slated for the largest cut in services (23%).  This is unfair, and unacceptable,” Councilmember Brad Lander said.

    “The administration is intentionally disregarding the child care needs of the Jewish community,” said Councilman David Greenfield. “Thousands of Jewish children will be left without any child care options under Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs’ child care plan. Despite our repeated protests, sadly, not a single person in this administration has stepped forward with an alternative that would protect the single person in this administration has stepped forward with an alternative that would protect the Jewish community from being singled out by these devastating cuts.”

    “Severe hardships would ensue to so many vulnerable families as a result of these cuts,” said Councilmember Michael Nelson, chair of the Council’s Jewish Caucus. “These hardships are hardly worth any potential gain.”

    “The Mayor’s plan to further reduce childcare options in the city will disproportionately impact the Councilmember Steve Levin. “ OST is not childcare and it is simply not an option for Orthodox families. I call on Mayor Bloomberg to fully restore childcare funding and to provide all New York City children with culturally-appropriate, affordable, quality daycare.”

    Despite repeated requests on the part of the Councilmembers, the Bloomberg Administration has provided no plan to address the obvious inequity for Orthodox families. In today’s letter, the Councilmembers called on the Bloomberg Administration to fully restore the child care funding proposed for elimination.

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    1. If government needs to cut programs to cut spending, then it only makes sense to cut programs that are used more, not the ones uses less. If you cut lesser used programs then you don’t save as much money as you do by cutting heavily used ones.

      As for what to cut, any program that disproportionally funds a specific subset of the tax-base is an unfair burden on taxpayers. If 26% of child care cuts impact 4% of the NY population, then those programs have to seriously be considered a contender for cutting. Like it or not, when the state is out of money, these are the decisions that need to be made. Programs used across all sectors of the community will be cut less than those used by a minority. After all, the latter provides greater savings while impacting the fewest taxpayers.

      The bigger issue here is the dependence on handouts and entitlements in the first place. If 4% of the population is using 15% of the child care $s facing cuts, and 26% including the previous cuts, then that 4% of the population has been taking far more than their fair share to date. And so, yes, the right thing for the State to do is to cut or scale back those programs. That’s fiscally responsibility.

      • Apparently you have reading comprehension issues.

        It says that the programs that are most suited to the orthodox programs got 26% of the cuts, while they were only 4% of the population. Not that the orthodox were receiving 26% of the programs or child care dollars. Who needs enemies, with friends like you.

        • Actually, you’re the one with comprehension issues … if cutting a specific program has a disproportionate effect on a small segment of the population, then that program has obviously been disproportionaly benefiting that same small segment of the population. You can’t have it both ways. If you are willing to accept disproportionate assistance, then you can’t complain that the cuts are disproportionate when that assistance dries up.

      • 15% of child care for only 4% of the population? – – This is a game of numbers. Factor in the 0% public school users, 1% emergency response usage, and it evens out nicely. – – p.s. there is another program spending 15% of their resources on only 4% of the population: Ticket Agents. Cut this first.

    2. OST is a very viable option and these councilmen should be seeking to increase the number of OST providers in the heimeshe neighborhoods. They were elected to help restore fiscal sanity to our City government and stop spending money we don’t have. The City and State are broke. Take your hands out of our pockets and stop “demanding’ more money for subsidies and handouts. Yidden should be able to support their own families and not have to seek government money to pay their bills.

    3. I’m an orthodoz jew who pays tazes on my earnings and am not eligible for child care. Why is it fair for me to have to pay for others’ child care?

      • Agree…most yidden are responsible and pay their own bills. It is unfortuantely a small number of irresponsible families in willy, BP and the other neighborhoods represented by these Councilmen who don’t seem to have any sense of obligation to take care of their own oversized families and expect you and I to pay their bills.

      • Charlie…with all due respect, don’t the frum families bear some obligation to pay for their own needs for food, housing and day care either by earning additional income or limiting their family size to what they can afford? At what point do you draw the line on the role of government to take care of people who make deliberate lifestyle decisions that contribute to, and perpetuate their own situation of need? I understand the importance of maintain a “safety net” for critical needs, but these are ongoing and predictable outcomes.

      • Great, so let’s squeeze the less than half of the population who pay taxes to pay even more taxes. Charlie, so when does this vicious cycle end? When is enough, enough? How much can you squeeze out of the same people?

        I know you are a fan of re-distribution of wealth, but come on. I think they need to implement the flat tax this way everyone will know what it feels like to pay some sort of tax. Then maybe the taxpayers will agree to get rid of all the unnecessary programs to lower their taxes.

      • Why? Give me a good reason why- you had your children, you committed to too much and now you cannot afford it. Taxes are high enough already. If they increase any more I think I may have to start accepting handouts and I am morally opposed to taking when I should not need it. if we were talking about goyim in Harlem needing this program, would you still feel the same way? Or would you say that they should have budgetted better??

    4. I think do not push it too much since if they investigate they will uncover many cases of fraud.

      as they say bears make money bulls make money but pigs get slaughtered

    5. How are these vouchers being used by families? To pay tuition? To pay for childcare because their going to work? Politics, politics, politics…. people should learn to be honest and taker personal responsibility for themselves….

    6. the issue though is simple cuts should be made proportionally across the board with every group getting cuts personally time to cut out all programs the city state and country is broke

    7. Come on!
      There are layers and layers of wasteful government spending. How many “managers” within government can we find who collect hefty salaries and do nothing?! That’s just one example of your tax money going down the drain. But of course kids and families get their needs slashed first. Someone needs to step up to the plate and put priorities back where they belong.

    8. My cousin lives in BP and her husband has been a student for eleven years now and doesn’t work. My cousin works to support their eleven children and she is entitled to get child care which will be cut. Better her husband should get a real job to help feed and take care of my nieces and nephews.

      • Umein v’umein. If only ALL the yeshivish population in BP would be like your cousin and decide to go out and get “real jobs” to support their families and not rely upon government handouts. B’yh, they will be sucessful and have much hatzlacha in their efforts to become self-reliant.

    9. FOR #5 , charlie -“there you go again” as Reagan OBM used to tell carter-spending working people’s money on the parasites of society. Isn’t there something wrong with you or your type of thinking ???

    10. I am with CityMom. How is this money being used? Is it for school or for child care so the parents can work? I think we need to work on issues within our own community like trying to pay for yeshiva tuition and seeing how we can get some of that tax payer money paid into our schools.

    11. I think many of you dont realize that this is talking about day care, not vouchers, Daycare from ACS is proportionate to what you make so youo can pay anywhere from 5- 150 per week depending on you income. I was on it for a short period and I can tell you that its fabulous for those of us that are starting out and are making low wages. As our wages increase the price increases, essessially weaning parents of it. It only pays for children 1-5 and then a small amount for after school program. If any of you haters would ever go to any of the offices you would see that 99.9999999% of the people there are not jewish, and that those of us that need the programs actually do need it. Yes there may be fraud out there, but that is nothing compared to the fraud which is the Public School system, there graduation levels are much lower then ours yet their cost per child is double. Why not start with that. Then go after the people taht are trying to make an honest living, and without this program would resort to being out of work. which means unemployment and welfare.

    12. I haven’t seen any comments putting this issue into the following perspective:

      Religious families are denied equal access to public funding. Why are we being denied a free and appropriate education?

      We have no choice but the foot the bill and pay school taxes and then tuitions for all our wonderful children (which we should never be criticized for having!).

      Our children become productive citizens and assets to society!

      Why are we being inhibited from
      our right to give our children a religious education?!

      This is unconstitutional–and we should be fighting with this cause!

      This is assistance we as a community deserve and have earned!

      Please contact me to promote this cause.

    13. The whole system is a lie, and a BIG one.
      If NYC and state where to institute ‘The 7 Noahide Laws’ crime rates would plummet drastically.
      We could lay-off 3/4 of the police in less than a month, saving a fortune.
      But they won’t do it.
      There’s too much money in crime.
      The government benefits from it.
      The police dept and unions will complain.
      The ‘bosses’ will fear losing their jobs even if it means very safe streets. Even if it means the virtual elimination of violent crime.
      The gun makers, bullet makers, etc. will all complain.
      Buy sneakers so you can run faster than the rapists, muggers and burglars…you can bet the government won’t ‘chase’ them.
      (Did you know that ‘The 7 Noahide Laws’ is US Law 102-14 supported by Pres. Ronald Regan and Bush Senior?)


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