Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, Chaim V’Chessed has worked hand in hand with Amudim, headed by the unparalleled Rabbi Zvi Gluck. Rabbi Gluck is a long time leader on issues related to international travel.
A particular area of concern has been the difficulty of US citizens in Israel to obtain or renew US passports, or Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. This difficulty is related to a worldwide slowdown in the issuance of US passports. It is further complicated by Corona restrictions which severely limit the number of citizens allowed into the Embassy.
Amudim and Chaim V’Chessed continue to explore solutions to these challenges, and several potential resolutions are being considered.
At the same time, troubling information has come to our attention. Unscrupulous persons are applying for appointments at the US Embassy using a variety of fraudulent methods. Others are ‘selling’ appointments. Embassy staff is keenly aware of these efforts. Besides creating a chilul Hashem, this causes fewer appointments to be available for those who legitimately request them. More disturbingly, it forces Embassy staff to deeply investigate every medical request, thus causing delays in approving legitimate medical emergencies.
Therefore, Amudim and Chaim V’Chessed have released an unusual statement addressing this topic, see below. It is hoped that adherence to the points made in the statement, along with the proposals we have made for improved conditions, will indeed alleviate the current difficulties.