Coffee, French pastries and Jewish political advocacy were on the menu at Croustille Café last week. 

Nearly 40 community members gathered on Wednesday morning to chart a future of bold activism, in
pursuit of increased state support for day schools and yeshivas in Maryland. Yanky Statman, Ari Gross,
Jerry Wolasky and Yehuda Neuberger hosted the parlor meeting to introduce the Orthodox Union’s
Teach MD project.  
The OU operates day school advocacy offices in states across the country and will be ramping up the
operation in Maryland, working in tandem with the successful Jewish advocacy groups who steward
many crucial state programs and policies. As explained and as demonstrated by Teach Coalition’s
successes in other states, more activists and more efforts allow for even greater returns. 
After Yanky Statman welcomed the group, Rabbi Hauer, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union
shared words of chizuk as the community charges forward, working together across communities and
organizations to do our part for the safety and sustainability of all our Torah institutions. Maury Litwack,
OU Managing Director of Public Affairs and founder of Teach Coalition explained advocacy
accomplishments in other Teach Coalition states. Jaws dropped with surprise and with envy of tuition-
paying families in states like Florida and Pennsylvania, where tax credit programs provide scholarships
for over 50% of students. He explained what needs to happen in a state like Maryland: that more
community members need to learn about education issues, build meaningful relationships with their
legislators, vote in every single election, and truly make their voices heard to demand adoption of
transformative education funding policies. Sam Melamed of Silver Spring announced a commitment to
work with his community to do their part, and Ari Gross closed the event with a strong and urgent
request for community participation if we want to see change for our families and schools. 
Attendees left energized. Not only caffeinated…but eager to dive in to do the work of investing in the
OU’s Teach MD effort and becoming active in advocacy, to support day schools and yeshivas. In fact, the
event was so well received that a second meeting is being scheduled for later this summer. If you are
interested in attending the next meeting or to otherwise learn more and get involved,
contact or visit

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