Angered by the recent unjust vaccine mandate that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has imposed on all private schools including Yeshivos, Agudath Israel’s Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel penned a scathing letter addressed to NYC Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi.
As the 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, Rabbi Zwiebel condemned the vaccine mandate that requires all private school staff to be inoculated by force.
Saying that getting the vaccine was a good idea, but objecting to the persuasion, the rabbi wrote, “the government should be using its bully pulpit to persuade, not its regulatory arm to coerce.”
The letter reads, “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.”