By Duvi Honig, Founder and Director of Parnassah Network
As I follow the reports that have been dominating the news as of late, I feel it incumbent upon myself to share the experiences that I – as well as countless other members of New Jersey’s Jewish communities – have had over the years with members of Governor Chris Christie’s administration, and, in particular, with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno.
While media outlets obsess over unproven sensational allegations, I will talk about real actions and events that have made a substantive positive impact upon real people.
Ever since assuming office in 2009, the Christie administration has been enormously responsive, on various levels, to the needs of my home community of Lakewood, among New Jersey’s other diverse communities. Governor Christie has personally visited the School for Children with Hidden Intelligence (SCHI), Yeshiva Toras Aaron and other local institutions, and offered his support for school choice and other initiatives that would help our communities’ families.
The administration has been particularly helpful to Parnassah Network and our efforts to help members of communities – in New Jersey, and throughout the nation and the world – find success in their business and career endeavors. Lieutenant Governor Guadagno and staff were especially helpful in helping make our 2013 Parnassah Expo the success that it was for thousands of families.
Ms. Guadagno personally involved herself prior to the expo to ensure that all the logistics will run smoothly. I personally had many conversations with her at all hours of the day and night. She also personally attended the expo and delivered a well-received keynote address, where she invited all participants to call her direct cell phone number if she can be of help to them in starting or operating a New Jersey business. There are few, if any, high profile elected officials who offer everyday citizens such dedication and personal access.
I can vouch with absolute certainty that the Lieutenant Governor and other members of the administration were promised no campaign contributions, electoral support, or even media coverage, for their efforts on behalf of Parnassah Network and the families we help. Everything was done solely from the goodness of heart and dedication to public interest.
As we work to make the upcoming 2014 Parnassah Expo as successful as it can be, Ms. Guadagno and others in the administration have once again been extremely helpful – with no fanfare.
I have shared these experiences in the spirit of the timeless Jewish principles of emes (truth) and hakaras hatov (appreciation of the good), and would like to once again offer a heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone who has helped us over the years. I urge others who have benefitted from the care and dedication of the Christie administration to come forth and share their experiences as well.
On a final note, I’d like to offer Governor Christie and Lieutenant Governor Guadagno my sincerest best wishes as they embark on a new term in office. With G-d’s help, New Jerseyans will see the best four years we’ve ever had.