Major American Jewish Organizations Urge Biden to Send More COVID Vaccines to India Before Third Wave
The Algemeiner noted B'nai B'rith International as one of the major American Jewish organizations urging the U.S. administration (in a letter sent by the Conference of Presidents) to immediately provide surplus vaccine doses to India ahead of a third wave.
The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations transmitted an open letter to the White House on Tuesday calling on the Biden administration to immediately provide surplus vaccine doses to India.
The letter, sent to White House chief of staff Ron Klain and Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, was signed by 22 Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, and the Zionist Organization of America.
Citing the devastation India has recently experienced due to the “Delta variant” of COVID-19, the letter asserted, “As India emerges from this latest wave, there is a crucial window of time available. It is imperative that India be given the opportunity to vaccinate as much of its population as possible in order to avoid future and further catastrophe.”
The letter noted that the US has a stockpile of the Astra Zeneca vaccine that will likely not be distributed and could easily be transferred to India.
“We urge the administration to rapidly allocate an additional and greatly increased share of doses of COVID-19 vaccine to India,” the signatories said. “It is essential that the world’s largest democracy be provided the opportunity to stave off another disaster.”
“The Indian government came to the aid of the United States in its time of need during the first wave of Spring 2020 and has been a stalwart ally and friend,” the letter pointed out. “So too, the four million strong Indian expatriate community plays an integral role through United States society.”
“We believe that an enhanced US allocation of valuable COVID-19 vaccines to India would be an enormous boon to a democracy that has been ravaged by disease and is in danger of facing another wave,” it concluded.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered our donation of meals – together with members of our Fort Worth Isadore Garsek Lodge – to paramedics and EMTs in Fort Worth, thanking them for their service during the Texas winter storm.
Paramedics and EMTs with MedStar in Fort Worth got a special dinner Wednesday from Jewish service organization B’nai B’rith, the group’s way of showing their thanks.
“They worked through this pandemic and most recently through the winter storms and we wanted to show our thanks for that,” said Dan Sturman, vice president of the local B’nai B’rith chapter.
MedStar is the fourth group of frontline workers to receive this thanks since last year. Before COVID-19 found its way to Texas, B’nai B’rith served food to the firefighters at Fire Station 26 on Hulen Street and to the police at south division. Since COVID hit, the group delivered food to COVID ICU nurses and, now, MedStar.
This time, the service group brought meals for 70 paramedics, EMTs, dispatchers and other MedStar employees. Each meal came in a bag with a Jason’s Deli box lunch and a frozen chicken dinner, homemade with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and asparagus., for later.
Paramedic George Webster said the recognition was special to him because a lot of times it seems that MedStar’s work goes unnoticed.
“Of course we don’t do this for recognition, but it is nice to see and to know that our work makes a difference,” Webster said.
Alex Nason, president of the local B’nai B’rith chapter, said he got the idea to bring food to MedStar when they responded to a call from his house.
Nason’s wife, Sophia Nason, was feeling unwell but didn’t want to go to the hospital. When Alex Nason called MedStar, they came and sat with Sophia Nason, monitoring her condition, until she was feeling better.
But Nason said they deserved the recognition for all the work they’ve done in the past year, and that’s one of the things his organization exists for.
“We are a bunch of people who want to make a difference in the community,” Nason said. “Sometimes that’s in the Jewish community and sometimes that’s just in the community as a whole.”
The event was also attended by Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes and City Councilmember Brian Byrd.
The Memphis Hebrew Watchman covered our donation, together with members of the Sam Schloss Lodge, of COVID-19 relief kits to local organizations in the Memphis area.
Centennial Woman Spearheads Donation Of B’nai B’rith Covid-19 Relief Kits To Denver-Area Organizations
My Prime Time News covered our donation of Covid-19 relief kits to two local Denver-area organizations in coordination with our Senior Vice President Rebecca Saltzman and B'nai B'rith Colorado.
A donation of COVID-19 relief kits will help two local organizations combat coronavirus. Rebecca Saltzman, senior vice president and chair of the B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Committee, presented Morgridge Academy and Kavod Senior Life in Denver with COVID-19 relief kits, each with a cloth face mask and travel-sized hand sanitizer and imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
These kits will help ensure students, residents and staff stay safe during the pandemic.
“B’nai B’rith International and B’nai B’rith Colorado look forward to continuing our support with local organizations in need during this difficult time and in the future,” Saltzman said.
Saltzman, a Colorado native and B’nai B’rith Colorado member, has worked with Morgridge Academy in the past and re-established B’nai B’rith’s relationship with the school for this donation and future volunteer opportunities.
B’nai B’rith will also continue to work with Kavod Senior Life to donate personal protective equipment and other supplies on its donation wish list such as laundry detergent and food items.
Morgridge Academy is a free, Colorado Department of Education-approved school located on the campus of National Jewish Health for students in kindergarten through eighth grade who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness.
Kavod Senior Life is a non-profit, non-sectarian organization that provides housing and services to seniors in the greater Denver area, while reflecting the values of Jewish tradition.
This donation is one of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits to communities around the United States. B’nai B’rith community coordinators around the country are donating kits on behalf of B’nai B’rith to local agencies dedicated to serving their community.
“Every community in America is facing the challenge of responding to the needs of vulnerable populations. We want to be part of the solution and help make sure everyone stays safe,” Saltzman said.
As the U.S. experiences a high level of transmission of the virus, this project will help people follow the CDC recommendation for the “consistent and correct” use of face masks, as well as guidance to use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available.
Since it began in March 2020, the B’nai B’rith COVID-19 relief campaign has supported projects around the world to help keep people safe and alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
The B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund has responded to man-made and natural disasters around the world since 1865.
The Texas Jewish Post covered our donation of COVID-19 relief kits to local organizations in the Texarkoma Region of the United States.
A donation of COVID-19 relief kits will help local organizations combat coronavirus. Alex Nason, B’nai B’rith community coordinator and president of B’nai B’rith in the Texarkoma Region, presented local organizations with COVID-19 relief kits provided by B’nai B’rith International.
Jewish Family Services of Tarrant County, the Tarrant County Molly and Max Barnett B’nai B’rith Apartments, and Strengthening After-School Programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration (SPARC) received kits containing a cloth face mask and travel-sized hand sanitizer, both imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
These kits, made possible by B’nai B’rith International, will help ensure that recipients stay safe during the pandemic.
Jewish Family Services of Tarrant County, a program that provides transportation for seniors to bring them together for activities and meals, received 25 kits. Hedy Collins, senior program director, accepted the kits from Nason.
The Tarrant County Molly and Max Barnett B’nai B’rith Apartments house 95 low-income seniors. Each resident received a COVID kit, accepted on behalf of the residents by Board President Dan Sturman and Property Manager Tiffany Bell.
SPARC provides after-school programming and training to serve all Fort Worth schools. Tobi Jackson, executive director of SPARC and first vice president of the Fort Worth Independent School District board of trustees, accepted the kits.
“Seeing the appreciation from the kit recipients who are familiar with B’nai B’rith International was very nice,” Nason said. “And hearing how surprised and appreciative people were who didn’t know about B’nai B’rith International and its disaster relief doings was priceless. It made me very proud to be a part of B’nai B’rith.”
These donations are some of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits to communities around the United States. B’nai B’rith community coordinators around the country are donating kits on behalf of B’nai B’rith to local agencies dedicated to serving their community.
“Every community in America is facing the challenge of responding to the needs of vulnerable populations. We want to be part of the solution and help make sure everyone stays safe,” said Rebecca Saltzman, senior vice president and chair of the B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Committee.
As the U.S. experiences a high level of transmission of the virus, this project will help people follow the CDC recommendation for the “consistent and correct” use of face masks, as well as guidance to use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. Since it began in March 2020, the B’nai B’rith COVID-19 relief campaign has supported projects around the world to help keep people safe and alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
The B’nai B’rith Disaster and Emergency Relief Fund has responded to man-made and natural disasters around the world since 1865.
The Jewish Exponent covered our donation of COVID-19 relief kits to communities struggling with the effects of the pandemic in the Philadelphia area.
COVID-19 Relief Kits Donated
B’nai B’rith Community Coordinator Samuel Domsky of Huntingdon Valley presented Rabbi Sandy Berliner, chaplain and service coordinator for Federation Housing locations in the Philadelphia area, with 150 COVID-19 relief kits provided by B’nai B’rith.
Residents and staff of the Arthur and Estelle Sidewater House in Philadelphia and Florence E. Green House in Trevose received kits containing a cloth facemask and travel-sized hand sanitizer, both imprinted with the B’nai B’rith logo.
These kits will help ensure residents and staff stay safe during the pandemic.
The donation is one of many made as part of B’nai B’rith’s project to provide 3,000 COVID-19 relief kits around the U.S. Individual B’nai B’rith community coordinators will donate kits on behalf of B’nai B’rith to local agencies dedicated to serving the community.
The B’nai B’rith COVID-19 relief campaign has supported projects around the world since it began in March.
The B’nai B’rith Disaster Relief Fund has responded to manmade and natural disasters worldwide since 1865.
JNS mentioned our statement on the COVID-19 relief package deal reached by Congress.
(December 22, 2020 / JNS) Jewish and pro-Israel groups expressed appreciation to Congress for passing a 5,593-page spending package on Monday night that includes $1.4 trillion to fund the government, in addition to annual U.S. assistance to Israel, and as much as $900 billion in relief for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill now goes to U.S. President Donald Trump to sign it into law.
Relief includes $600 stimulus checks per adult and child. Single people earning up to $75,000 will receive $600, while married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200. Checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income for those above those thresholds. Single people who earn more than $87,000 or married couples who earn more than $174,000 will not receive money.
The relief also allocates $300 per week in enhanced unemployment insurance for 11 weeks, more funds for vaccine distribution and COVID-19 testing.
It also consists of $319 billion for small businesses, including $284 billion in loans for the Paycheck Protection Program from the Small Business Administration (SBA). This included $20 billion through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program and $15 billion for theaters, live venues and museums.
The bill allocates $82 billion in education funding, including $2.75 billion to support Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools.
The spending bill includes $180 million in funding for security for nonprofit institutions.
In a statement applauding the legislation ahead of it being passed, the Jewish Federations of North America said—citing a record number of anti-Semitic attacks in the United States in 2019— that “this bolstered funding will help to secure thousands of synagogues, Jewish community agencies and organizations, as well as other faith and communal groups who have too frequently been the victims of deadly attacks.”
The bill also includes the seventh year of funding for Holocaust survivors and older adults with a history of trauma and their families. JFNA said that its “Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care, which benefits from federal funding, will be able to continue to its work.”
In a statement ahead of the legislative package being passed, B’nai B’rith International expressed gratitude for the economic relief and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program, though said it was “disappointed that there were no provisions made for low-income senior housing in this stimulus bill.”
“As the largest national Jewish sponsor of low-income, nonsectarian housing for seniors in the country, we are focused on the urgent needs of this population,” continued the organization. “We would have appreciated funds for more supplies, staffing, service coordinators and Wi-Fi accessibility for subsidized housing for seniors.”
Ahead of it being passed, the Orthodox Union also applauded the government spending and relief package, especially for K-12 schools.
In the American Jewish community, almost 1,000 Jewish day schools educate approximately 300,000 students and employ many thousands of teachers and other staff. As with so many other institutions, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis has been terribly disruptive and costly to these schools, it explained.
“That is why it is essential for this latest federal relief package to include a great amount of support for these schools and, among them, America’s Jewish, Catholic and other nonpublic schools,” said OU executive director for public policy Nathan Diament. “We are all in this together. We cannot beat back the pandemic, much less educate children, in some schools but not others. Thus, we are very thankful that congressional leaders set aside $2.75 billion to help our schools in this emergency.”
‘Ensuring critical support for Israel’s security’
Moreover, the bill includes legislation protecting victims of terrorism and restoring Sudan’s immunity from terror-related lawsuits in the aftermath of the Northeast African nation recently agreeing to normalize ties with Israel.
The legislative package includes the annual $3.8 billion in assistance to Israel in accordance with the 2016 10-year $38 billion memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the United States and Israel. It consisted of $3.3 billion in security assistance and $500 million for U.S.-Israel missile defense cooperation authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which passed earlier this month.
The bill also allocates $47.5 million in anti-tunnel technology and $25 million for counter-unmanned aerial systems, two burgeoning areas of cooperation in addressing threats from tunnel attacks and drones.
Additionally, the legislation includes $2 million to fund a new U.S.-Israel cooperative initiative on COVID-related and health technologies research; $2 million to fund a new Israel-U.S. Agency for International Development international development cooperative program to support local solutions to address sustainability challenges; $4 million for the U.S.-Israel Center of Excellence in Energy and Water; $2 million for the Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation supporting U.S.-Israel energy cooperative programs; and $2 million for U.S.-Israel cooperative efforts related to border security, maritime security, biometrics, cybersecurity and video analytics.
Finally, the bill allocates $2 million to fund a new strategic dialogue of the Eastern Mediterranean Partnership among the United States, Israel, Greece and Cyprus; and $50 million to fund and authorize the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Fund aimed at investing in economic and people-to-people partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians, named for Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who is retiring and has been known as a stalwart ally of the Jewish state in Congress.
Following the legislation’s passage, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee heralded Congress “for ensuring critical support for Israel’s security and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
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