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Since 1998, 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 via our Labor on the Bimah program. This year, we have created materials that you can bring to your own congregation to talk about some exciting expansions in paid family and medical leave in both DC and Maryland. We are also participating in several actions and events around worker rights throughout the month of September, and we invite you to join us in this month of bringing together Jewish values and labor justice! See details below.

Host your own Labor on the Bimah for Paid Family & Medical Leave

JUFJers across DC and Maryland have been working to pass and implement strong Paid Family and Medical Leave laws in both jurisdictions for many years. In the face of so many injustices in our world today, we chose these campaigns because providing workers with paid leave when they are welcoming a new child, caring for an injured or sick family member, or caring for themselves is critical. Paid leave prevents working families from having to choose between putting food on the table and taking care of a loved one. Our Jewish tradition holds sacred both the value of work and the need to take time away from that work to care for ourselves and our families.

Over the past year, our campaigns as part of the Time To Care Coalition (Maryland) and the DC Paid Family Leave Coalition have achieved tremendous victories with the passage of Maryland’s first ever paid family and medical leave law and the dramatic expansion of benefits in DC. Click a button below to access a one-page document about these victories that you can bring to your congregation to spread the word and help people get involved with the next steps in these ongoing campaigns.

Actions and Events

JUFJ organizer Hannah Garelick will speak at Shabbat services at Sixth & I, alongside partners in the campaign to pass a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in DC. Services begin at 7:00, in person or virtual.

Join Temple Sinai in DC for guest speaker Lynn Rhinehart, a senior counselor in the Office of the Secretary in the U.S. Department of Labor and the former general counsel of the AFL-CIO. Among other things, Lynn works closely with Secretary Marty Walsh on the White House Task Force on Organizing and Empowerment. The program begins at 6:30, in person or virtual (click here to livestream).

Join Oseh Shalom in Laurel for special guest Elise Bryant of the Labor Heritage Foundation. Elise will share music and discuss African Americans and Jews’ common pursuit of labor justice. The service begins at 7:30, in person or virtual (click here to join via Zoom).

Naomi Wallace will discuss the victorious passage of paid family and medical leave in Maryland during her Bat Mitzvah service at B’nai Israel Congregation in Rockville. Community members are welcome to join the Saturday morning service in person or virtually – click here for details!

Join DC Jobs with Justice on Monday, September 5 between 4:00 and 8:00 PM at Coolidge High School & Takoma Community Center (300 Van Buren St. NW) for a Back To School event they are hosting with Long Live GoGo. They’ll be putting out good vibes, great music, art, and culture plus giveaways AND workers rights information! Fill out the form below to volunteer to share worker rights information.

Join the Time to Care Coalition at 5:00 PM at Busboys and Poets in Columbia as we celebrate the passage of legislation that establishes a paid leave program for Maryland workers. Once implemented, workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to welcome a new child, deal with a military deployment or care for a loved one.

With the start of the new year, JUFJ is launching our Maryland statewide work! Join JUFJers from across Maryland to schmooze, celebrate Sukkot, and build community. At this event, you’ll meet other JUFJers in your state district and beyond, and discuss what a more just Maryland could look like. Whether you’re just joining JUFJ’s statewide work, or you’ve been involved for years, everyone is welcome! This event will be held in person at 1:00 PM at Columbia Jewish Congregation (5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045).

Join us on Zoom at 7:30 PM as we kick off our work in this new Maryland legislative session! At this event, you’ll learn about the issue areas that JUFJ organizes around and our legislative priorities for the year. We’ll strategize and discuss what we anticipate session looking like this year and ways for JUFJers to take action. We are looking forward to this being our most people-powered session yet, and it all starts with an agenda for action!

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