Prior to the president announcing a deal to end the partial government shut down today, Temple Beth El began a fund drive in Springfield.
22News met Temple Beth El Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz as she arrived at the Bradley International Airport on Friday.
She told 22News that members of her congregation supported a fund drive to purchase gift cards for the 300 federal employees who work at the airport.
“I want to do something to help these people pay their bills,” Rabbi Katz explained. “The Torah makes it very clear workers are supposed to be paid. What would it mean to go a month without a paycheck, and how would people pay their bills and put food on the table? I want to help them.”
When notified about the Rabbi’s fund drive on behalf of the federal workers, passengers applauded the initiative.
Enfield resident Pamela Mills, who was about to board her own flight, said that she was planning a gift card giveaway of her own.
“I think that’s a wonderful idea,” Mills said. “In fact, we were thinking of getting Dunkin Donuts cards to pass out to the TSA workers and anyone we met along the way.”
Rabbi Katz wants the gift cards from her fund drive to tide the employees over until they receive their back pay.
She’s planning to distribute the first of the gift cards on Monday to federal employees at Bradley International Airport.
If you wish to contribute to the effort, you can make checks payable to: Temple Beth El – Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund and mail them to Temple Beth El, 979 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA 01108.