With New Jersey continuing to make its way back from the pandemic amid improving numbers, a group of community leaders took advantage of of an opportunity to express their gratitude to Governor Phil Murphy for the compassion and sensitivity he displayed towards the Garden State’s Jewish residents over the past year. The Governor was joined by NJ Health Commissioner Judy Perischilli.
The governor’s office had an open door policy in place throughout the pandemic, giving faith based communities an opportunity to share nuanced issues affecting their members during the extended lockdown and beyond. The governor’s office has been extremely responsive, appreciating the difficulties of limiting attendance at houses of worship, funerals and weddings, as well as the importance of timely burials, working hard to find solutions that prioritized safety while still allowing some semblance of normalcy.
Agudath Israel of America New Jersey director Rabbi Avi Schnall, Beth Medrash Govoha president Rabbi Aron Kotler, Lakewood Township committeeman Meir Lichtenstein, Lakewood Chamber of Commerce executive director Menashe Miller, and NJSP chaplain Rabbi Abe Friedman presented a letter of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish community to Governor Murphy during a March 12th visit to Chemed, where COVID vaccines were being administered. Leading the delegation, Rabbi Kotler expressed thanks to the governor for his unfailing efforts on behalf of New Jersey’s faith-based communities which were among the hardest hit in the state.
“As a New Jersey State Police chaplain, I have witnessed how Governor Murphy communicated with us with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity,” said Rabbi Friedman. “Governor Murphy proved himswlf to be a true leader during this difficult period and we will be forever grateful to him for his Herculean efforts.”
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