I hope everyone is enjoying their Chanukah holiday!
Although there has not been much news about it yet, ballot Measure 101 will be voted on in a special election in January. Passage of Measure 101 is critical in helping people served by our community organizations like Cedar Sinai Park and Jewish Family and Child Service and is directly in line with our Jewish values of looking out for the most vulnerable among us.
A “Yes” vote on Measure 101 on the January 23 special election will:
• Ensure 350,000 Oregonians continue to receive Medicaid coverage
• Raise $550 million over two years from temporary assessments on healthcare providers
• Secure an estimated $1.9 billion in federal matching funds for Oregon to ensure healthcare access
To put this context, at Cedar Sinai Park’s Harold Schnitzer Center for Living, half of the residents are on Medicaid. Failure to pass Measure 101 means that there will very likely be draconian cuts to Medicaid, which even today does not fully cover the cost of care for these vulnerable seniors.
To help all Oregonians to have stable healthcare and healthcare premiums, here are some actions you can take:
1. Be sure you are registered to vote. Registration deadline to vote in this election is January 2, 2018. Click here to register.
2. Vote “Yes” on Measure 101 on the January 23 special election ballot.
3. Share your story – if you would like to share a personal story about why you support ensuring all Oregonians, regardless of income, have access to quality healthcare, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. On behalf of Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, he will help get your story told as part of the “Yes for Healthcare” campaign.
4. Here are comments from leaders in our community whose organizations would be most affected:
Measure 101 supports health insurance programs for Oregon’s most vulnerable children, seniors and disabled people. Without these programs hundreds of thousands of Oregonians would lose coverage, which would not only harm the health of our friends, families and neighbors, but also drive up costs for everyone. Every hospital and health care provider in the state can tell you how people who didn’t have coverage before Medicaid expansion were sicker and less likely to seek appropriate care. That is no longer the case. That’s why over 120 organizations of all different stripes –including Oregon Hospitals, the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Oregon Medical Association, the Oregon Primary Care Association, the Oregon Nurses Association – are in support of this measure. It is my hope that the citizens of Oregon will look out for their vulnerable neighbors and family members in January and vote Yes on Measure 101.
Manny Berman, President/Chief Executive Officer
Tuality Healthcare, an OHSU Partner
Medicaid payments to nursing homes currently cover only about 75% of the costs of providing care. Any cuts to our reimbursement at Cedar Sinai Park will impact our ability to provide the highest level of care to our elders.
Cedar Sinai Park
The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland is standing up to preserve healthcare access for all Oregonians, regardless of income, and joining the organized Jewish community and more than 100 community groups across Oregon to urge passage of Measure 101.
Thank you for joining us in the effort to pass this important measure; many lives depend on it. Please make sure you vote.
Mazel tov to Maimonides Jewish Day School (MJDS) for their Chanukah Essay Writing Contest on “What Chanukah Means to Me.” Elementary school students from Portland Jewish Academy (PJA), Raleigh Hills K-8, MJDS, and the International School of Portland all participated. Award-winning children’s author Eric Kimmel endorsed the competition, which resulted in one winner from each grade-level category, 3rd and 4th graders, and 5th and 6th graders.
Congratulations to the winning students -- Yossi Wilhelm, a 3rd grader at MJDS, and Sivan Safran, a 5th grader at PJA. Yossi and Sivan read their selections at the annual Chabad public menorah lighting in Director Park earlier this week.
Also, congratulations to Oregon Hillel in Eugene for being honored at this year's Hillel International Global Assembly with the prestigious Campus Partnership Award for its Manzil/Midrash - Jewish/Muslim Learning Initiative. Manzil/Midrash, now entering its fourth year, was developed through a collaboration and partnership with the Muslim Student Association and the Arab Student Union at the University of Oregon. Mazel tov to all of the student leaders and staff who, over the years, helped to create this award-winning experience, which will continue this winter & spring term.
On a sad note, we note the passing on Monday of Vera Katz (z”l), former mayor of Portland, at the age of 84. Although I never met Mayor Katz, she was a pioneering female politician, a bold and endearing Portland mayor and a trailblazer for progressive causes such as gender equality, gay rights and education reform.
Mayor Katz was the fifth Jewish mayor in Portland’s history and was always supportive of the Jewish community. Her family escaped Nazi Germany when she was a child and she was a tremendous supporter of establishing the Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park. May her memory be for a blessing.
Enjoy the remainder of the Chanukah holiday and Shabbat shalom.