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Jewish Coalition For Long-Term Care Letter To Congress

July 18, 2001

Dear Senator/Representative:

The Jewish Coalition for Long Term Care is an ad hoc partnership of national Jewish leadership organizations that has recently convened to work cooperatively on issues in support of long term care and supportive services for the frail and elderly. The agencies involved share a vision and mission to safeguard the quality of life of our frail and elderly community based upon common religious precepts and time-honored traditions to care for our parents in old age.

Today, one in five American Jews is 65 or older, including a significant component of our refugee population. This percentage is nearly double the national average, which is not expected to reach this benchmark for another 30 years. Consequently, we have a special and immediate interest in an array of necessary health and social services for the elderly that make up the continuum of care provided by institutions or in home and community-based settings. The goal of the coalition is to work in concert to secure the financial and human resources necessary to achieve this common cause. While each of our organizations may not work on all of the following issues, they are high among the long term care objectives we want to achieve as Congress looks towards securing and improving the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security systems and other services for the aged:

  • Ensuring federal funding streams to maintain and expand the range of options and availability of safe, secure, and affordable housing for the elderly and the related essential supportive services;
  • Creating a universal Medicare prescription drug benefit, so that seniors don't have to choose between obtaining drug therapies and other essentials to daily living;
  • Advancing wellness programs, such as preventative medicine and parity in mental illness treatment, so that our seniors not only live longer, but live better; and
  • Finding solutions to the chronic staffing shortages affecting health care providers, including those aimed at recruitment and retention and raising the level of regard for the front-line workers who care for our seniors.

Each of the agencies that make up this partnership has proven experience and expertise in a variety of discrete areas, which, coupled together, comprise a broad range of knowledge and understanding of the pertinent issues facing the continuum of care spectrum. We believe that in coalition, we can contribute meaningfully to solving many of the current and emerging challenges facing America's long-term care delivery system.

Agudath Israel of America
Association of Jewish Aging Services
Association of Jewish Family & Children's Agencies
B'nai Brith International
Brookdale Institute of Gerontology and Human Development
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Haddasah, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
International Association of Jewish Vocational Services
Jewish Community Centers Association of North America
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago
Jewish Labor Committee
Jewish Women International
National Council of Jewish Women
Orthodox Union of America
Rabbinical Assembly
Rabbinical Council of America
UJC Federation of Jewish
Philanthropies of New York
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
United Jewish Communities
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Women of Reform Judaism

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