Agudath Israel’s Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee of New York City Religious and Independent School Officials, representing private schools (Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and others) all across New York City, sent a sharply worded letter to NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi over the just-announced mandate requiring private school employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Rabbi Zwiebel wrote that although the Committee generally supports and encourages Covid-19 vaccinations, “government should be using its bully pulpit to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce.”
“The practical impact of the city imposing an immunization mandate could be devastating to our schools and the children they serve. The reality is that the small percentage of school employees who have chosen not to vaccinate have made a personal choice based on their individual circumstances and personal values,” the letter states.
“Surely at least some of them will continue to resist vaccination even if the city imposes a vaccination mandate – whereupon, pursuant to the terms of the mandate, they will be terminated from their jobs. As a result, the school will have to hire new qualified teachers and other staff to fill the newly created vacancies,” the letter continues. “In an era when finding high quality teachers and staff is so difficult even at the beginning of the school year finding high quality replacement staff in the middle of the school year may be impossible. Some schools may even be forced to close because of the severe shortage of teachers.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)