Nu? This Week in Jews and Social Justice
- Last night, HIAS Young Leaders hosted a benefit concert in NYC for the immigration-focused organization featuring Regina Spektor, whose family was resettled from Russia to the Bronx in 1989 with help from HIAS. Young Leader Alexis Ortiz (also an AJWS group leader) was interviewed this week about her involvement with HIAS on the Repair the World blog. Asked about her motivation for doing service and advocacy through the organization, she replied: “My own background is Jewish and Puerto Rican. I was born here and because of my family’s resources, we’ve been able to adapt easily. But a lot of people don’t have that option.”
- AVODAH Corps member Ilana Krakowski blogged this week about participating in Washington D.C.’s Point-in-Time Homeless Persons Count. In her piece, she wrote that the hours taking the census brought to life some of the real practical and systemic issues that prevent people from seeking or receiving shelter—which she currently works to address through her AVODAH placement at N Street Village. For another perspective on these kinds of activities in the broader realm of volunteer work, check out Pursuer David Weinreb’s recent account of his experience with a similar count in NYC in which he did not encounter any homeless people.
- Discussion about reforming the U.S. Farm Bill is heating up as the Senate enters an intense debate period this month as part of the bill’s reauthorization process. The New York Times posted a number of perspectives this week on ways to improve the bill in the areas of organics, animals rights, economics, Food Stamps, and more. Click here to read AJWS President Ruth Messinger’s featured piece on how to provide better foreign food aid through significant changes to the Farm Bill—which you help bring about by signing the Jewish Petition for a Just Farm Bill!
- Ethical consumption is at the forefront of Pursue partner Uri L’Tzedek’s change-making work. This week, two articles highlighting the efforts of the organization’s members in this area came out: a piece in the Queens College Knight News about students protesting at Flaum’s kosher food company in Brooklyn, which has not yet provided court-ordered compensation to underpaid and fired workers; and co-founder Ari Hart’s discussion in the Huffington Post about whether his recent purchase of an iPhone could be considered kosher, given the labor conditions under which it was likely produced. What do you think?