Jews ponder the gubernatorial contest

Jews ponder the gubernatorial contest

Asking the hard questions

According to Roy Tanzman, president of the N.J. State Association of Jewish Federations, the group has approached the two candidates, urging them to address issues of concern to the Jewish community.

Tanzman outlined the issues in a piece circulated to Jewish newspapers, below.

Aging-in-place programs: The focus of services for seniors is concentrated on services to minority and Medicaid-eligible populations. However, a significant percentage of New Jersey’s seniors are aging in the suburbs, many with fixed or moderate incomes, but wanting to stay in their own homes.

How can New Jersey direct resources towards supporting underserved seniors so that they may age in place, including funding support for our surviving victims of the Holocaust?

Building capacity of non-profits: Non-profit organizations, such as our federations and affiliated agencies, are an essential part of maintaining a strong quality of life and a valuable component of the state’s economic engine. Non-profit organizations are facing extraordinary challenges stemming from the economic downturn and strict regulation.

How could the state ensure that non-profits have the resources and infrastructure needed to pursue their mission, such as legislation permitting participation in the state purchasing contract and approving tax incentives for charitable giving to non-profits, charities, and our non-public schools?

Senior transportation: Among the greatest needs for our elderly, transportation services remain at the top of the list so that they can access the programming, health care, socialization, and nutrition services that our elderly care agencies provide. However, the need has quickly outpaced our community revenue resources.

What strategies would the candidates suggest for additional accessible transportation services targeting suburban seniors?

Health-care reform: For the Jewish community, funding long-term services and support is vital. Medicaid reimbursement for medical services and nursing home care represents a large percentage of funding of services for the most vulnerable in our community.

How would the candidates propose that we reform health care nationally and statewide to best serve the vulnerable and to ensure that citizens have access to long-term health care support?

Homeland security: As residents of New Jersey, we are concerned with security concerns at our Jewish institutions and N.J. seaports, trains, airports, and chemical plants.

What steps would the candidates take to ensure that our state’s most vulnerable business and community centers are protected?

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