Government Shutdown 2019


There are times in the life of a Jewish community when we feel, most profoundly, our responsibility for one another.

Whether we are delivering meals to a family dealing with chronic illness or making sure an elderly congregant gets to a medical appointment on time, the family that is Temple Rodef Shalom takes to heart our pledge to encourage and support, cherish and sustain each other.

In the face of a government shutdown that in its 25th day, there are members of our Temple family who are concerned about the future and rightly so. For many in our community, the government shutdown has resulted in a temporary cessation of income. For some that income will be restored; but, for many, especially government contractors, back pay may not be provided.

Now is the time when these families need to be lifted up by their Temple community.

Temple Rodef Shalom will be opening our doors each Tuesday and Thursday for furloughed workers and affected contractors to gather for camaraderie, sharing, and entertainment. Beginning next Tuesday, January 22, from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, the Temple will provide space, beverages, and snacks. These programs are open only to TRS members and TRSNS parents. If you have questions about these programs, please contact Nathan Smuckler, Engagement Associate.

In addition, the Temple is creating an online chatspace for any furloughed Temple members (as well as Nursery School parents) to connect, compare notes, or share offers of financial or in-kind assistance and/or temporary employment. If you are interested in joining that group, please request access through our form. If you have any difficulty, be in touch with Nathan Smuckler, Engagement Associate.

Temple Rodef Shalom is also partnering with the Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington (HFLAGW) which is offering small loans ($500 to $2000) to current Federal employees adversely affected by the shutdown. If you find that you are not eligible for HFLAGW loans, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cookie Mandell, Director of Membership Engagement.

What can you, as a Temple member, do to help our fellow members?

  • Consider inviting an impacted family to Shabbat dinner
  • If you are in a position to do so, offer temporary paid employment for a few hours a week
  • Contact your elected representatives and express your concerns about the shutdown
  • Donate to the Temple’s Tzedakah Fund

Know that we are here for you, providing spiritual, emotional and even financial help during times of uncertainty and crisis. May the shutdown end soon, and everyone get back to work!

Financial Resources

Financial resources may vary based on eligibility. In addition to the options listed below, you may consult with your bank, lender, or retirement program to see what options are available to you as a worker impacted during the government shutdown.

Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington

The Hebrew Free Loan Association of Greater Washington is committed to assisting our community members in need.

We recognize that our area is disproportionately affected by Federal Government shutdowns, and that the DC Metropolitan Community is in need of additional help.

The HFLAGW has made available emergency loans ranging from $500 to $2000 to current Jewish Federal employees adversely affected by the shutdown. PLEASE NOTE: The loan will become due within two weeks upon resumption of Federal pay.

More Information Here

Thrift Savings Plan

For more information about the what options are available to participants of the Thrift Savings Plan, please review the information provided.

More Information Here

Local Government Resources

Additional resources may be available through your local government on a by request basis.

These resources may include:

  • Free or reduced school lunch program
  • No late fees or deferral of certain payments for taxes, utilities, & services
  • Free or reduced fair public transportation options w/ ID
  • Special activities or programs hosted by the county

Fairfax County

County has resources available to county residents complied here. They also list ways you can help.

More Information Here

Arlington County

Arlington County has resources available to county residents complied here. They also list ways you can help your neighbors.

More Information Here

Additional Resources