Rep. Don Bacon Praises Rabbi Moshe Margaretten on House Floor for Rescuing Afghanis

moshe margaretten
Rabbi Moshe Margaretten in the Hamodia office. (Reuvain Borchardt/Hamodia/File)

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) praised Tzedek Association and its president, Rabbi Moshe Margaretten, for their ongoing work in rescuing Afghanis in peril following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, in a speech Tuesday on the House floor.

“Recently, though they are of a completely different faith, and though this is really outside the purview of what they normally do, Tzedek has dedicated itself to saving the people from Afghanistan,” said Bacon, noting that in addition saving the last remaining Jew in Afghanistan, Zebulun Simentov, Tzedek has saved many others, including other religious minorities. “To accomplish all this, Tzedek has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, all of which have come from the Jewish community. It is awe-inspiring, and a lesson to us in Washington, [and] to all those across the world, that we must come together more often for the greater good. Despite our differences, we must unite as creations of an Al-mighty G-d, and do what we can together to make this world a better place.”

Margaretten is a noted prison-reform activist, and was one of the leading figures behind the successful passage of the First Step Act in 2018.

Following the Taliban takeover last summer, the New York-based Margaretten was asked to use his political and other connections to help rescue Simentov. Once he had became involved and established connections for rescue operations in that country, Margaretten started saving others as well, including former judges and prosecutors, female soccer players, orphans, journalists, translators and others who had worked with the American and British forces, and other individuals at risk under a Taliban regime. His work began in the final weeks before American forces left Kabul, and is ongoing. Margaretten estimates he has helped several hundred people leave Afghanistan already, by land and air. And he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, mostly from the Jewish philanthropist Jeff Aeder of Chicago.

“I haven’t had a normal night’s sleep in months,” a weary-sounding Margaretten told Hamodia by phone on Wednesday. “Every day I tell myself I can’t do this for much longer. But when people reach out to me desperately, and their lives depend on me, how can I say no?”

Bacon told Hamodia on Wednesday, “The best of America is being demonstrated by these efforts, and I thank Rabbi Margaretten from the bottom of my heart. This is the Golden Rule personified.”

Margaretten has a relationship with Bacon from their work on prison-reform legislation, and said he was “touched by the Congressman’s kind words.”

“I just want to be able to save as many people as I can,” Margaretten said, before apologetically cutting the interview short to take an urgent international call.

 See video of Rep Bacon’s remarks below:

rborchardt@hamodia.com


Updated Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 9:41 pm .