While many people in the United States find themselves unemployed during these challenging economic times, there are many more who work full-time but still living in poverty. The federal hourly minimum wage is $7.25, but even working 40 hours a week this hourly wage cannot raise even a family of two above the poverty line. According to the Census Bureau, “[poverty thresholds] are intended for use as a statistical yardstick, not as a complete description of what people and families need to live.” Families need much more than a $7.25 hourly wage to make ends meet and are often forced to rely on government assistance in lieu of living wages. Read more…
Rachel Laser: “We commend ExxonMobil for joining the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies that already extend benefits to the spouses of employees in same-sex marriages.”
ExxonMobil Corp recently announced that it will extend benefits to the spouses of its same-sex married employees, a reversal of its shareholders’ vote in June that opposed updating the company’s non-discrimination policy to include protection for LGBT workers. In response to ExxonMobil’s decision, Rachel Laser, the Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement: Read more…
On Rosh Hashanah, we dip apples in honey. During Chanukah, we indulge in donuts and latkes. On Passover, we relish a good bowl of matzah ball soup. Food is undeniably an essential aspect of our Jewish traditions. This month is Mar Cheshvan, the Hebrew month of no holidays. What excuse do we have to come together over food?! Well, Food Day, of course!
Food Day on October 24th is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the policies and actions we can take to provide and produce healthy, affordable and sustainable food to those who are most in need. Here are the Food Day priorities: Read more…
On Tuesday, September 17, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on the wage gap between men and women in the United States from 2012. American women are on average, making 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, unchanged from last year. These stats have not budged over the past ten years!
The numbers are frustrating on their own. But this inequity goes beyond the numbers and has real and serious effects on women and families and basic costs of living: food, housing, education and retirement. Reform Jews in North America have been active on the issue of women’s economic justice for thirty years, but there is still so much more work to be done.
This article was originally posted on September 1st on RebJeff.com.
Tomorrow is Labor Day in the United States, the first Monday in September. Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 as a direct result of the Pullman Strike, which pitted the American Railway Union against most of the American railway industry and, eventually, the police powers of the federal government.
Thirty people were killed in the massive strike and boycott. It was the conflict that set the tone for relations between labor unions, employers and government in the United States for the century that followed.
Today the five Eisendrath Legislative Assistants say goodbye after an amazing year representing the Union for Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. We have worked on nearly 70 different legislative issues, represented the RAC in countless coalitions, seen some bills signed into law and others tragically defeated, said goodbye to one Congress and welcomed the next. All in all it has been an incredible year.