Gainesville synagogue rallies around unpaid TSA workers with donations


    As the partial government shutdown continues, TSA workers at Gainesville Regional Airport are among the 800,000 thousand federal workers who have missed a paycheck.

    TSA employee Alfredo Benejam says working without a paycheck has been hard on him and his coworkers.

    “A lot of these newer officers are a one paycheck family and paycheck to paycheck family on top of that, and so far we have missed two pay periods,” Benejam said.

    Today, a Gainesville synagogue rallied around the unpaid workers by providing Publix gift cards.

    Rabbi David Kaiman said the congregation at B’nai Israel in Gainesville wanted to help.

    “We are delighted to be able to be here today to be able to recognize the members of the TSA who work tirelessly in our community and communities throughout the United States to provide safety and security,” Kaiman said.

    Not knowing when the shutdown will end, Benejam said he worries how much longer they will be without pay, but one thing he does know, is what he’s going to be buying at Publix.

    “Hah, probably a sub,” Benejam said.

    Benejam said they are staying strong throughout this time.

    “Morale is pretty high and there is a lot of things going on in the government that we can’t control, we can’t control the outcome of congress, we can not control what is going on in the country but our morale here is very high,” Benejam said.

    Kaiman said the congregation will continue to raise money.

    “As long as we know there are people in our community who are being forced to go without," Kaiman said.

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