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I had the privilege of working in several social work positions for approximately years before 911. The last one was with an agency and under a supervisor who not only allowed me to grow professionally in the manner that I wanted to do; but, who also saw the importance that ethics and moral professional behavior had in how I acted in my professional role. After searching and being budgeted out of several social work position following this particular position, it became clear to me that the frantic search for well paying and professional jobs in this field were getting scarcer all the time. I must say that following 911 the agency I worked for received a contract that allowed me the privilege of counseling residents in the area that my office was located and that I came across many clients who had family members working in security during 911. The stories told of how the clients' were so proud of how these workers handled their tasks both ethically and morally lead me to decide, at that time, that when I retired and could handle a lower salary, I too would go into the security field.

Well, it finally occurred to me that the decision to "retire" came earlier as I found it increasingly difficult to continue to work in the social work field as workers had to become increasingly callous and unaware (?) of just how much ethical and moral behavior needed to be put aside in order to maintain their jobs over others looking to do the same work. I simply could not keep up with that pace; and, so in my mid 50's, just about two years ago, I left the social work field to go into security guard work. Almost everyone I know has repeatedly commented to me how much more relaxed I am because they see that I can present myself both morally and ethically to the world in the way that I need to do so. The challenge is the large salary cut I have incurred with this job change; but, well worth it as I can work in a more ethical and moral way.

But, how did I manage to cope with the budget juggling I did and continue to do now....especially as the cost of everything increases so much and retirement money is flying out the window. ONly with the help of an especially strong synagogue community and friends and family who contiinually offer their encouragement with words and actions that somehow help me to overcome each monthly/daily budget challenge that occurs....

A specific examkple of my synagogue community's assistance. I am particularly connected to this community and its women's Rosh Chodesh group and members. The group schedules an annual Spring retreat which has always been so very important for me to attend; and, which occurred last yearonly a very few weeks after I was hired on my new job and just beginning to truly feel the effects of the lower salary cut. I requested financial assistance from the Rabbi to attend this retreat (which I truly would not have been able to do otherwise at that time without such help); and , with no hesitation it was readily offered. No question(s) in my mind....this is what community is all about; and, while always important, all the moreso during these challenging/economic crisis times.

This is surely the type of ethical and moral actions that I think I had done previously to help others when I could...honestly for myself and I must say because I had hoped to believe that such behavior would come in my direction should the day/s come that I would need it. Those days did and continue to come....and I am so very pleased and grateful to say...what goes around comes around and times....and I am now privileged to see this happening in my own life.

As several of your effects of the current economic crisis program have been emphasizing over the weeks....I have heard several of your speakers elude to the growing emergency of communities, etc. out of need. Overall, I have been privileged to see this coming to fruition in my own life at this time....I don't know how I could be surviving this economic crisis in my life without it and I am eternally grateful.