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January 24, 2019 4:23 pm

Jewish Groups Across US Offer Interest-Free Loans to Federal Workers Affected by Government Shutdown

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Federal workers left unpaid or furloughed by the extended partial government shutdown stand in line for fresh food and coffee at the World Central Kitchen, a volunteer emergency kitchen run by Chef Jose Andres, in Washington, DC, Jan. 16, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Jonathan Ernst.

A group of affiliated Jewish organizations are stepping in to aid federal workers facing financial problems due to the ongoing shutdown of the US government.

Hebrew Free Loan Association chapters in various states are reaching out to furloughed workers and others who have not received their regular paychecks as the shutdown continues.

The chapters included in the loan drive are San Francisco, Austin and Philadelphia, among others. Jewish Community Services of South Florida and Jewish Family & Children’s Service of St. Louis are also involved in aiding unpaid federal employees.

Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, which is working with a Hebrew Free Loan chapter on the issue, said in a statement, “Today, it’s clear that federal workers in our area are in financial distress because of the shutdown. We hope this loan program will alleviate some of the stress and worry for these individuals and their families.”

Rabbi David Rosenn, executive director of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, said, “Few families can afford to miss even one paycheck before they start to suffer financial challenges. We felt the community should respond, and interest-free loans are the perfect tool for making sure people have what they need to make ends meet.”

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