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Washington - A Jewish Worker Affected By The Shutdown Wonders: How Will I Pay My Bills?

Published on: January 10, 2019 08:34 PM
By: JTA
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Union workers demonstrate against the government shutdown in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2019. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)Union workers demonstrate against the government shutdown in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2019. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Washington - Ben, a Jewish federal employee based in the greater Washington, D.C., area, is worried about how he will pay for his day-to-day expenses.

A financial specialist at the Transportation Security Administration, he hasn’t been working since Dec. 22, when the government shut down.

Ben worries about “even the most basic things,” he told JTA on Thursday.

Where you’re gonna get money to pay for food, to pay for your bills, things that most people would never think of how to even pay for, medicine you need?” he wondered.

He is among some 800,000 federal employees affected by the government closure that started after President Donald Trump said he would not sign a budget deal unless it included his request for $5.7 billion to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The shutdown is in its 20th day.

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Ben, who asked not to have his last name used in this article, has been furloughed since the closure began. Some other federal staffers are working without pay.

“I’ve just been taking it day by day,” said Ben, who is single. “I think it’s just a matter of being able to plan because the way things are going, I don’t anticipate that we’re going to be back open anytime soon. It’s kind of like one of your greater fears coming true in a sense.”

He hopes that some of his fears will be allayed soon. Ben has been approved for a loan by the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington and is waiting for the money to be disbursed.

“It’s a good feeling. Certainly it helps ease the stress,” he said.

Last week, the association approved an emergency program to provide loans of up to $2,000 per household to affected Jews living in the Greater Washington area. It has allocated some $30,000 to the program and is reaching out to local synagogues and Jewish organizations to help in case the demand extends beyond that threshold.

Ben said hearing about the program made him “feel really proud to be a Jew.”

“I thought it’s a good reflection of our community as a whole, and the fact that Jews have been always willing to stand out at the forefront at any places and have been willing to help each other out,” he said.

David Farber, the president of the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington, told JTA on Wednesday that his organization “was happy to step up and respond to what we see as an emerging need and hopefully one that will end soon to fill the gap.”

Founded in 1909, the agency provides interest-free loans to members of the Jewish community to help with needs such as medical and emergency bills, credit card debts and student loans.

Hebrew Free Loan organizations in San Francisco and Austin, Texas, also are providing loans to those affected by the shutdown, the Forward and J. weekly reported.



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 10, 2019 at 09:31 PM Qzack Says:

Why are Jews anymore special than goyim?

2

 Jan 10, 2019 at 09:32 PM Anonymous Says:

People need to call Cryin Chuck and tell uim to end the Schumer Shutdown.

3

 Jan 10, 2019 at 10:47 PM Anonymous Says:

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington approved an emergency program last week to provide loans of up to $2,000 per household to affected Jews living in the Washington, D.C., area.

4

 Jan 10, 2019 at 10:56 PM Educated Archy Says:

Ben, also call your credit card companies/ mortgage companies and ask them for an extension due to the shut down . They have offered me graces for much more silly reasons, It would be terrible pr for them if they didn't have pity and offer you that grace. I have no doubt that they'd offer it to you.
Look it at it this way,Yes it's a head
ache but you'll get every penny in back pay. Meanwhile try to relax and enjoy the free time that so many of us crave for.

5

 Jan 11, 2019 at 08:37 AM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #4  
Educated Archy Says:

Ben, also call your credit card companies/ mortgage companies and ask them for an extension due to the shut down . They have offered me graces for much more silly reasons, It would be terrible pr for them if they didn't have pity and offer you that grace. I have no doubt that they'd offer it to you.
Look it at it this way,Yes it's a head
ache but you'll get every penny in back pay. Meanwhile try to relax and enjoy the free time that so many of us crave for.

"Free time that so many us crave for" You are sure not one of them. You must have all day FREE time to post so much. Question? Now that Manafort lawyers admitted colluding with Russian Intelligence why are you still defending him? The rest of pro-Trumpists here dont really defend him at all just spew hatred around. You are the only one with some education and common sense who still protects him. Why? Do you really want Russia to influence the future of the USA? The next they might support could be AOC or similar. You are right that todays Russia is not the same it was under Stalin/Khruschev but in no way its like we are in the USA. Yiden in the USA doing better in the last 50 years than anytime in History. In Russia they barely survive, many emigrate. We Yiden have nothing to gain from Russia Collusion what now its a fact. So what is Your real reason?

6

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:06 AM shimonyehuda Says:

Ben needs to leave Government work and become a teacher in a Yeshiva.

7

 Jan 11, 2019 at 09:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Qzack Says:

Why are Jews anymore special than goyim?

Study the Torah to find out why.

8

 Jan 11, 2019 at 10:02 AM md2205 Says:

We should change the law that when the government shuts down the congress and senators don't get paid - not the common worker. Then they'll work out something for a change instead of the idiocy we see. We elect the stupidest people we can find and the smart ones with integrity wouldn't even bother to run. The common person isn't making money and nothing is done while the rich get more arrogant by the day. So frustrating.

9

 Jan 11, 2019 at 10:06 AM Phineas Says:

Reply to #4  
Educated Archy Says:

Ben, also call your credit card companies/ mortgage companies and ask them for an extension due to the shut down . They have offered me graces for much more silly reasons, It would be terrible pr for them if they didn't have pity and offer you that grace. I have no doubt that they'd offer it to you.
Look it at it this way,Yes it's a head
ache but you'll get every penny in back pay. Meanwhile try to relax and enjoy the free time that so many of us crave for.

You are completely out of touch with what these people are going through. Marie Antoinette couldn't be more unsympathetic.

10

 Jan 11, 2019 at 10:43 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #5  
ayinglefunadorf Says:

"Free time that so many us crave for" You are sure not one of them. You must have all day FREE time to post so much. Question? Now that Manafort lawyers admitted colluding with Russian Intelligence why are you still defending him? The rest of pro-Trumpists here dont really defend him at all just spew hatred around. You are the only one with some education and common sense who still protects him. Why? Do you really want Russia to influence the future of the USA? The next they might support could be AOC or similar. You are right that todays Russia is not the same it was under Stalin/Khruschev but in no way its like we are in the USA. Yiden in the USA doing better in the last 50 years than anytime in History. In Russia they barely survive, many emigrate. We Yiden have nothing to gain from Russia Collusion what now its a fact. So what is Your real reason?

Part 1
This is not really relevant to the discussion on hand about the shut down but I'll answer your question anyhow.

1) I don't see Russia as bad people. In my mind it's no different than England . Or than Clinton mingling in israels election to eleclt ehud barak so they can sign the failed wye accords that cost yiddisha blit.

Re frum Jews in Russia their religious freedoms are just as good if not better than tne USA. They are fleeing for economic opportunity. Russia is a third world country.

11

 Jan 11, 2019 at 10:45 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #5  
ayinglefunadorf Says:

"Free time that so many us crave for" You are sure not one of them. You must have all day FREE time to post so much. Question? Now that Manafort lawyers admitted colluding with Russian Intelligence why are you still defending him? The rest of pro-Trumpists here dont really defend him at all just spew hatred around. You are the only one with some education and common sense who still protects him. Why? Do you really want Russia to influence the future of the USA? The next they might support could be AOC or similar. You are right that todays Russia is not the same it was under Stalin/Khruschev but in no way its like we are in the USA. Yiden in the USA doing better in the last 50 years than anytime in History. In Russia they barely survive, many emigrate. We Yiden have nothing to gain from Russia Collusion what now its a fact. So what is Your real reason?

Part 2
Re America is the best for Torah Jews in 50 years. I totally disagree with you. It may be better than 50 years ago but not better than 15 years ago. It's spiraling downward as the democrates push their leftist agendas. More frum Jews are become victims of this new mishigas of prosecutors looking to gain fame and going after white collar criminals like KGB thugs use to all so that they can advance careers. White collar thugs are treated worse than rapists. And it primarily got worse over the years as the internet became a tool to make noise thereby advancing careers. Frum Jews nebach are victims of this overzealous white collar prosecutors. Thanks to Jared it's been somewhat lessened.

There is also an overzealous push to protect tenants who don't pay rent and do whatever they want to landlords which affects many frum yidden as well.

Education, Bris Mila, LGBT rights being forced upon us etc.. are all new issues as well. ( Deblassio is the one exception)

12

 Jan 11, 2019 at 10:47 AM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #5  
ayinglefunadorf Says:

"Free time that so many us crave for" You are sure not one of them. You must have all day FREE time to post so much. Question? Now that Manafort lawyers admitted colluding with Russian Intelligence why are you still defending him? The rest of pro-Trumpists here dont really defend him at all just spew hatred around. You are the only one with some education and common sense who still protects him. Why? Do you really want Russia to influence the future of the USA? The next they might support could be AOC or similar. You are right that todays Russia is not the same it was under Stalin/Khruschev but in no way its like we are in the USA. Yiden in the USA doing better in the last 50 years than anytime in History. In Russia they barely survive, many emigrate. We Yiden have nothing to gain from Russia Collusion what now its a fact. So what is Your real reason?

Part 3

Trump never had this grand collusion plan. It was a sloppy spur of the moment campaign. So he was told there is some dirt on Hillary and why not take it. There wasn't this deep pre meditation
Lastly, I'll be the first to admit that trump is a drei kup, crooked etc.. He is full of shtick. But we need that to shake up Washington that was broken for too long. We need someone who will rip apart all their silly naive nonsense and perceived fake honesty. Only a crooked guy could do that. He was up against a well oiled machine that was rigged (no straight out rigging but there was a sense of entitlement for her to be president in the air. The whole atmosphere from news auto politicians were geared towards that) And I don't worry about who next can do the same shtick. That's like saying don't elect Obama bec who can come next. You do what's good for Torah Jews right now.

13

 Jan 11, 2019 at 11:25 AM shimonyehuda Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Study the Torah to find out why.

I think the statement refers to this specific case

14

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:18 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #9  
Phineas Says:

You are completely out of touch with what these people are going through. Marie Antoinette couldn't be more unsympathetic.

Trust me I'd love their job

15

 Jan 11, 2019 at 12:33 PM Educated Archy Says:

Reply to #13  
shimonyehuda Says:

I think the statement refers to this specific case

Ok this specific case,

If you have any only one dollar to give to charity and there is a poor Jew or poor goy you give it to a Jew. In fact the only reason to ever car's about a goy is for darkai shalom purposes. Thus when it's not in our hands like a shut down and darkai shalom is not relevant we only care about a goy

16

 Jan 15, 2019 at 01:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
Anonymous Says:

Study the Torah to find out why.

Sorry, nice try, but that's not an answer.

commenter is right, why is this Federal worker any more deserving that a non-Jewish worker?

17

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