The news this week that an extended ceasefire was reached between Israel and Hamas is a much welcomed development after more than five weeks of heightened hostilities and the tragic loss of innocent lives. We pray that the ceasefire proves lasting and that future generations will know the reality of a lasting, just and meaningful peace.
After completing six days of work on the heavens and the earth, “and all the host of them,” “God finished His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it; because that in it He rested from all His work which God in creating had made” (Genesis 2:1-3).
This example set by God instructs us as Jews to observe and remember Shabbat - the day of rest - every week. We turn from the routines and responsibilities for our daily lives and spend time with our families, our friends, maybe light candles or attend services. By respecting our rest, we honor our work.
By Linda Williams
Last week, I went car shopping.
Just like most people I need a car to get around, but I also need a car to do my job. As a home care worker, I’m required to run errands for my clients. Sometimes I need to take them to appointments of do their shopping. Doing all that on the bus just isn’t practical for me or my clients. Most of the people I work for can only pay for a set number of hours of assistance and if I spend all that time on the bus, important things don’t get done.
Today, the White House’s summit on Working Families is helping elevate a conversation we have been fostering here at the RAC through our Double Booked initiative. As our deputy director Rachel Laser indicated in her post last week, this series “has lifted up unique and diverse moral voices and personal stories around working families issues – starting a conversation about policy and cultural changes we need in our country that would benefit not only working families, but also workplaces and our broader national community.”
Stay tuned as we share live updates from the Summit, where some 40 moral leaders and advocates are ensuring a strong faith and Jewish presence in this important dialogue.
Last Wednesday, members of Congress, labor unions, civil rights organizations and faith groups participated in the first Witness Wednesday. Witness Wednesday is modeled after Rev. Barber’s Moral Mondays in North Carolina, where weekly he draws attention to draconian changes made to state laws. However, Witness Wednesdays in Washington, D.C. specifically highlights the failure of the House of Representatives to pass an extension of crucial unemployment benefits that expired on the first of this year. Read more…
When Low Wages Just Aren’t Enough
By Kilra Hylton
For a while we’ve all seen fast food workers, airport workers, Wal-Mart employees and even college professors stand up to tell the rest of the world that working hard just isn’t enough to even get by – much less get ahead.
I don’t work at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart or the airport. I make sure that seniors and people with disabilities can stay at home with their families and communities. That’s where they want to be and where their families want them to be. I love what I do. I’m happy I can make other people’s lives better. But a lot of the time my family and I are paying the price.
I always feel caught between a rock and a hard place. With two consumers – people I care for in their homes – I bring home about $842 a month. With rent at $422 a month, plus the cost of gas and utilities, I only manage to feed my kids through the grace of God. I work hard, but my paycheck isn’t enough to cover my bills, take care of my family or pay for our healthcare. If I didn’t work at all, I would qualify for help with all of those things. What would you do?
By Sumer Spika
I’m a working mom in St. Paul. During the day, I care for a young girl who has a genetic disorder and is also deaf. It’s challenging work – but I wouldn’t trade my job for anything.
I love being a caregiver. Providing in-home care allows people to stay at home, with their families, friends, and neighbors, and to live with a sense of independence and dignity. The mother of the little girl I care for can go to work knowing her daughter is safe.
Even though I really like my job and love the little girl I care for, I struggle to support my family with this work. I live paycheck to paycheck. I have no benefits, no sick time, and no vacation.
May Day is thought to have originated in Ireland as the holiday of Beltane, a pagan celebration of the beginning of summer. Most prominent in the festival is dancing around a May Pole, which is rooted in Germanic paganism, but lacks a clear explanation of its existence and use. But beyond this pagan tradition, May Day has come to symbolize much more than the beginning of summer. Read more…