October 19, 2023 ONNJ Top Stories

Professors Criticize President of Rutgers Statement on War
Nearly 200 Rutgers professors published an open letter to the University President over statements he released about the ongoing Israel- Hamas war. The professors say the University President didn’t show enough sympathy to the victims of war in Gaza and his words are causing more harm than good. They wrote, “To be blunt: your message further inflamed campus tensions and exacerbated divisions in our RU community. While we cannot know your intentions, it conveyed to our students that you had clearly chosen a “side,” whereas, as educators, we must support all of our students”. The full letter can be found here.
Preschool Expansion
Twenty-six school districts in thirteen counties will get nearly $25 million dollars to establish or expand all-day preschool programs by January. Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way, who is acting governor while Governor Murphy is overseas, made the announcement this week. The funding is part of nearly $110 million dollars Murphy included in the state budget for preschool expansion. The state spent more than $1.1 billion on the universal preschool initiative.
Free Swim Lesson Program Expanded
Free swim lessons that were offered for a single week in August will be expanded. The move was part of a Union County pilot program. It will be held from October 30th to December 21st and run through a partnership between the county and the Gateway Family YMCA. The initiative was designed to cater to 3 to 5 year olds and 6 to12 year olds. Residents can sign up online.
Essex County Students Performed with Lauryn Hill
Singer Lauryn Hill recently invited Essex County students on stage with her during her concert at the Prudential Center in Newark. She shared the spotlight with the Columbia High School marching band and 22 young entrepreneurs from East Orange. Hill was born in East Orange and grew up in South Orange. Students also got the opportunity for a workshop with the concert staff to learn more about careers in concert production.
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