Nu? This Week in Jews and Social Justice
- The Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) this week expressed its support for the week-long strike of Hyatt Hotel workers in Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and San Francisco that ended yesterday. The workers walked out with the backing of their union, UNITE HERE, to protest the unsavory conditions that many Hyatt housekeepers face, such as the replacement of their positions with minimum-wage temporary workers and suffering the highest rate of on-the-job injuries among comparable hotel chains. JLC especially encourages rabbis to join its Justice at Hyatt campaign and call on the company to embrace fair labor practices.
- Earlier this week, PJA & JFSJ hosted a conference call for progressive Jews around the country with David Kamin, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and Danielle Borrin, White House Jewish liaison, about the American Jobs Act, President Obama’s recently proposed legislation. In a post on JSpot.org, Simon Greer reported that callers were relieved to hear that the plan does not intend to make any cuts to social programs like Medicaid and Medicare, but there is still concern that opposition to tax increases for high income earners would scuttle its passage.
- The Jew and the Carrot profiled the Jewish participants in FoodCorps, a new yearlong service program that provides placements working with children to promote healthy eating, farming, and gardening. These participants, all women in their 20s, will be working in diverse settings around the country, but they nevertheless feel a common thread drawing them to the program: “Their ardent belief in doing tikkun olam by connecting a passion for social justice with environmental and food activism… has led them to serve in this capacity.”
- A delegation of current and soon-to-be rabbis from Rabbis for Human Rights-North America traveled to Immokalee, Florida this week to learn with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) about their struggles to improve conditions in the area’s tomato fields. Among their many activities, the rabbis held a pray-in at the local Publix supermarket, a chain that has refused to sign on to the CIW’s Fair Food principles. Check out highlights from their visit on the CIW’s website or follow the up-to-the-minute stream at Twitter hashtag #tomatorabbis.