FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2020
Statement from Rabbi Jonah Pesner on the Need for Equitably Distributed COVID-19 Vaccines
WASHINGTON – Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and wider Reform movement:
As vaccines and treatments continue to become available, we are also mindful of the Jewish imperative for justice in the ongoing face of the pandemic. We urge the public safety professionals and health care providers responsible for the distribution of the vaccine to make decisions and act with empathy to ensure affordable and accessible vaccines and treatments – because development is not enough if they are not equitably distributed.
Systemic racism in our health care system and disparities in access to care have caused marginalized communities to suffer most during this pandemic. Public health and elected officials must also work to build trust within communities through public education and community mobilization. We call on our leaders to develop a comprehensive plan that protects the most vulnerable people and communities who are more susceptible to our current health and economic crisis.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose nearly 850 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.