JSL honors our hard working and devoted staff on Labor Day and every day. On Monday, September 4, we acknowledge 300 employees whose work continues to support the residents and staff of Jewish Senior Life. As a nation, we have been commemorating Labor Day since 1894, when President Grover Cleveland pronounced Labor Day as a federal holiday after attempts to end a railroad strike. This 129-year history reminds us of the importance of labor rights, not just the importance of work. The first Monday of September, Labor Day is “A Shabbat for Us All,” said Sarah Greenberg the former assistant legislative director at the Religious Action Center of reform Judaism.
Greenberg went on to write, “The Torah emphasizes the importance of fairness to workers. As Jews we have an obligation not only to assist the downtrodden but also to help those in need become self-sufficient. On Labor Day, may we honor work, honor workers across the United States, and remember this national Shabbat as a day of rest and of deeper connection to the importance of work as a key to the American Dream, alongside the necessity of balance and rest.”
Rabbi Ben Richards of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies wrote, “fair treatment of hired laborers is not only righteous but required of us.” https://www.aju.edu/ziegler-school-rabbinic-studies/our-torah/back-issues/labor-day-unexpected-jewish-holiday
From the U.S. Department of Labor on the history of Labor Day, “Always observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength prosperity and well-being. American labor has raised the nation’s standard of living and contributed to the greatest production the world has ever known and the labor movement has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.”
Penny Schwartz, author at Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) and is often published in the Boston Globe and The Times of Israel. She wrote about the Executive Director of the New England Jewish Labor Committee, Ari Fertig, when he sounded an alarm to the Jewish community to support worker’s rights. “Rosh Hashanah is an “auspicious day, an opportunity for Jews to speak out for workers’ issues and on income inequality, he said. “There’s an opportunity to match our values with action.” Read more here: Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah: The Perfect Combination | August | 2021 | The Jewish Experience | Brandeis University
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Labor Day.