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Vaccine Team

The great sage and doctor Maimonides listed health care first on his list of the ten most important communal services a city must offer its residents. Find a vaccination site in your community: www.vaccines.gov.

Under the leadership of Rabbi Matthew Soffer of Judea Reform Congregation in Durham and Rabbi Eric Solomon of Beth Meyer Synagogue in Raleigh, the Jewish Community and Vaccine Ambassadors is stepping up to help local community groups and mobile vaccination clinics reach under-resourced populations in Central North Carolina.

A call to action from Rabbi Matthew Soffer, on April 16, 2021, following a meeting with NC Jewish Leaders and the NC Department of Health and Human Resources:

Leaders in communities of color are carrying a much, much heavier burden to DRIVE DEMAND for vaccinations, and they are trying to do so with significantly less resources than communities of privilege have. Accordingly, we pushed our conversation toward the question: what can communities that are more highly-vaccinated do to leverage our people-power to DRIVE DEMAND for vaccinations, especially in Black and Brown communities whose vaccination rates are disproportionately low.”

There are, as we know, plenty of resources online [the NCDHHS and The White House COVID Response Team have both created vaccination tool kits] urging us all to promote vaccinations among everyone around us, across economic racial lines.  This warrants our constant push.  However, the primary actionable takeaway from the standpoint of organizational leaders may be this:  We are learning in our racial justice work that [when working with communities of color how important it is to respect and understand their leadership, their well-honed organizational structures, and their knowledge and trust of their own communities. We can support their effort by providing help that they expressly need and want, and bearing witness to their work and systemic obstacles.    

Here is a list of ways the Jewish Vaccine Team is exploring and taking action on addressing urgent global issue in our own communities:
Connecting with other Jewish organizations, friends’ churches or community-based organizations;  and volunteering to help on the back-end to help under-resourced communities, with basic tasks like stuffing envelopes, printing flyers, packaging PPE or materials for mobile clinics; advocacy and funding and policy resources; volunteer to help at pop-up and mobile clinics; support fundraising efforts. There are a range of needs that can activate ourselves to support.

Rabbi Matthew Soffer
Sr. Rabbi, Judea Reform Congregation

We welcome volunteers to help in a variety of ways that support and empower the leadership of our community-based partners who are actively organizing on the ground and bringing mobile vaccine clinics, to reach vulnerable people in communities in Durham, Wake, Orange and surrounding counties in NC.  

We are grateful for the opportunity to build community, assist, and work side-by-side with Iglesia La Semilla, W.A.R.4Life, UNC Health, Latin19, Durham CAN, NC NAACP, NC Department of Health and Human Services, The White House COVID Response Team, America Votes NC and Vaccine Ambassadors.   

We welcome volunteers from the Jewish Community! If you are interested please complete this volunteer form with specific information about your general availability, skills, interests, and resources you could bring to this critical effort. 

Once you complete the Jewish Vaccine Team form, a lay leader from Judea Reform or Beth Meyer will be in touch to email you a link to a Sign-up Genius form so that you can sign up to volunteer for specific dates and vaccination events.

Leadership team at a Mobile Vaccine Clinic in Durham on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Pictured Front L to R: Pastor Edgar Vergara of Iglesia La Semilla; Jason Williams Founder and Director of W.A.R.4Life; Roberta Blumberg, R.N. of Beth Meyer; Sarah Fuerst, Advocate and Volunteer Organizer, of Beth Meyer; Ivette and Wendy, Rapid Response Community Healthcare Workers of La Semilla; Pictured Back Row L to R: Marian Abernathy, MPH of Judea Reform Congregation; Lloyd Comstock, MD, of Judea Reform; Angel, Translator and Rapid Response team member of La Semilla. Not pictured: Brandon Teal, Community Health Worker at UNC Health; Janice Woychik, Jackie Kaufman and Juliet Jensen, of Judea Reform; Harlan Shays, Volunteer of Judea Reform; Rabbi Matt Soffer, Judea Reform Congregation; Rabbi Eric Solomon, Beth Meyer Synagogue.

 

For more information, please email socialaction@judeareform.org and check out the following resources:

Tue, November 30 2021 26 Kislev 5782