Tag Archives: Working Families
front door of the RAC, our year in blogs

2014 at the RAC: Our Year in Blogs  

The (secular) New Year brings new opportunities and new challenges in the world of Jewish social justice. The 114th Congress will convene on January 3, 2015 at noon. As we look towards what 2015 will bring, let’s take a moment to look back at 2014 through 14 RACBlog highlights.

This list is a mix of our most popular blogs or the blogs that represent landmark moments in our programming or observances. Don’t see your favorite blog here? Let us know in the comments! Read more…

Uncategorized
Rabbi Neil Hirsch

This Election Day, Vote on Question 4

(This piece originally appeared in the Western Massachusetts Jewish Ledger)

By Rabbi Neil Hirsch
Carol, a congregant at my synagogue, is a 5th grade teacher in the Framingham public schools who has recently gotten into the habit of glancing at her watch at 11:30 AM. That’s when the requests to go to the nurse begin. Why 11:30? Why like clockwork? That’s when the Tylenol wears off for her students who come to school sick. Their parents, who cannot afford to take a day off to care for their children, gave them Tylenol in hopes of keeping their child’s symptoms at bay. So, Carol sends the children to the nurse, hoping that they’ll spend the day there instead of being sent back to the classroom to be with everyone else because the nurse’s office is at full capacity.

The school cannot send the students home because their caregivers are off at work. Because many parents do not earn sick leave, our school systems are taxed and our workspaces are exposed to illness. Simply put, the fact that many workers here in Massachusetts cannot earn hours of paid sick leave is holding us back as a community.

Read more…

Uncategorized
Yes on Question 4 in Massachusetts; earned sick time now

Double Booked: In Massachusetts, Ballot Question 4 Brings Us Home

By Rabbi Matthew Soffer

When I read the language Question 4 (a ballot question to ensure earned sick time in the Commonwealth), and I contemplate how Jewish values relate, I’m drawn particularly to that fundamental paradigm of home vs. exile, which is so central to Judaism. Obviously, the emergence of the State of Israel gave physical, geographical shape to that exile/home binary, but fundamentally we know that exile vs. home is a metaphysical issue. That our tradition demands that we recognize exile when we see it, that we mourn over it, and that we fight to come home.

From the literal exiles of 586 BCE to 70CE, and in the Rabbinic Period when the bayit (the home), the dinner table to be more specific, according to one Talmudic voice, replaced the altar in the Temple: fighting to come home, in our tradition, is “how we roll.”
Read more…

Uncategorized
Yes on Question 4 in Massachusetts; earned sick time now

Double Booked: No One Should Have to Choose Between A Healthy Family and A Job

In this season of renewal, Jews reflect on the year past and look forward to a 5775, a year that brings new opportunity. Since the launch of Double Booked this past January, we have identified some of the challenges that working families face today and discussed a wide variety of cultural, social, and policy solutions. The Jewish new year seems a fitting time to reveal the next phase of our Double Booked initiative, which will focus on working with our interfaith partners to lift up good internal employment policies as well as to engage our denominations and houses of worship in federal, state, and local initiatives to pass much-needed policies to support the modern American family.

One such policy is ensuring paid sick days. We are proud to report that the Union for Reform Judaism (which the RAC is part of) offers its employees a generous paid sick days policy. The Union demonstrated its strong support again for these policies in a new resolution that was passed at our 2013 Biennial.

Read more…

Uncategorized
We are working families; we are people of faith; #WEmatter; pictures of Double Booked writers

Double Booked: Working Families Matter, #WEmatter

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment took effect, granting suffrage to millions of American women to demonstrate that their voices – through their votes – mattered in our democracy. It would take many decades after 1920 to ensure full voting rights for all United States citizens, an effort we are sadly still working on today.

Read more…

Uncategorized

Double Booked: Continuing the Fight to Support our Working Families

Since the White House Summit on Working Families a little over a month ago, advocates from an exceptionally broad range of organizations, backgrounds, and for us, faith traditions, have been inspired and energized to deeply engage in the necessary work to support the modern American working families.

Read more…

Uncategorized

Double Booked: Inspired by White House summit, Rabbi Sernovitz calls for change

As an attendee, thanks to the RAC, of the White House Summit on Working Families, I was honored to be interviewed by our local Jewish newspaper, the Jewish Voice of South Jersey. The article presents the opportunity we have to influence the powers to be in our individual committees to  think differently about  the way families function today. I hope that by reading this article, you too are inspired to make a difference in your own community. L’Shalom, Rabbi Larry Sernovitz.

This piece originally appeared on July 9, 2014 at Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey.

By Jane Jacova Field

For Temple Emanuel Rabbi Larry Sernovitz, nearly every day is a balancing act between taking care of his congregants’ needs and carving out time with his wife and two young children.

And as hard as that is, he knows that countless American workers with children do not have the same flexibility he has to make it home for family dinners most nights and even to sing the nighttime Shema with five year old Sammy by telephone when work prevents him from being at his son’s bedside.

Outspoken in his support for family-friendly workplace policies, Sernovitz’s participation in the recent White House Summit on Working Families was both inspiring and challenging.

While sobered by the not surprising news that America is dead last among developed nations in terms of familyfriendly policies, he left empowered to work to make the change that needs to happen, he said.

Read more…

Uncategorized

Double Booked: Low Wages Just Aren’t Ok

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.

Read more…

Uncategorized
<