Labor Day parade, Union Square, New York, 1882.
Jewish Labor Committee
Long-standing Jewish commitment to labor issues flourishes.
-- Rosalind Spigel
From its earliest days, the U.S. Labor Movement has had deep roots in America's Jewish communities, large and small, from coast to coast. Many prominent leaders of the U.S. labor movement came to this country as immigrants. For instance, David Dubinsky was among the Jewish trade union leaders and activists who formed the Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) in 1934, in response to the rise of
Nazism in Europe. Dubinsky escaped a Siberian labor camp, where he was sent for union activism, and found a home in New York. He rose rapidly through the ranks of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union [ILGWU] and served as president from 1932 until his retirement in 1966.
The Jewish Labor Committee represents the overlap of the organized Jewish community and the organized labor movement. Throughout the JLC's seventy-two year history, it has been actively involved in addressing important issues of the day. In recent years, the JLC has initiated educational programs in public schools on the Holocaust and Jewish resistance to the Nazis, and has educated American labor on some of the many challenges confronting Israel, a nation founded by organized labor and sustained by it for many decades.
This spring, the Philadelphia Jewish Labor Committee decided to join the inclusionary housing coalition (a
campaign to compel developers of market rate or luxury housing to include a percentage of affordable units), and to pursue a labor friendship agreement between Philadelphia AFL-CIO and our Sister City, Tel Aviv. Every year, PJLC coordinates
Labor on the Bimah to bring the voice of working people into synagogues and focus on the shared values of Judaism and the labor movement. This year, the focus was on immigration reform. Although this activity is timed to coincide with Labor Day, speakers are available to address congregations throughout the year.
Interested? Visit the Jewish Labor Committee's
national website or contact the area director for more information about the group or about participating in their activities.
Contact information: Rosalind Spigel, Area Director, Jewish Labor Committee,
1816 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-587-6822, firstname.lastname@example.org
Past Networking Central Groups of the Month
In this section, we highlight a new local group each month in order to encourage networking.