Since 1998, Jews United for Justice (JUFJ) has worked to put “labor” back into Labor Day by engaging our local Jewish communities in a collective conversation about our texts, our historical experiences, and the challenges facing workers today.
The theme of Labor on the Bimah this year is raising the minimum wage. JUFJniks in Maryland began working to raise the wage locally in 2013. In the face of so many injustices in our world today, we chose this campaign because raising the minimum wage leads directly to greater equity and economic stability in our region.
As Rabbi George Driesen wrote in testimony to the Maryland legislature last winter, “Increasing the minimum wage is essential to the fight against poverty and equally important, a step towards redressing the enormous, shameful wealth and income disparity that plagues the United States to a far greater extent than any other country in the industrialized world.” As we explore in the following pages, there is ample evidence that our Jewish tradition holds sacred the value of work and the dignity of working people.
Want to share this message in your congregation? Click the button below to download our packet for congregations.