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Archive for : Labor

Supporting Workers’ Rights on the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

100 years ago today, a fire struck New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Company building. The fire, which was likely caused by an accidental cigarette tossed into a waste bin, spread quickly – trapping hundreds of garment workers (mostly women) inside, and killing over 150 people.

The Forward (then called The Forverts) founder, Abraham Cahan, wrote a stark editorial two days after the fire which read: “The entire neighborhood is sitting shiva. Every heart is torn in mourning. The human heart is drowning in tears. What a catastrophe! What a dark misfortune!”
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Monday Link Roundup

Happy day after daylight savings – you must be tired. To help wake you up, here are some inspiring and powerful stories of service from around the web.

  • The situation in Japan post-last week’s earthquake and tsunami is still very grim, but help is starting to trickle in. On the Jewish aid front, JDC is continuing to collect emergency relief funds, and JTA reported that the Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAid dispatched a civilian search and rescue team to Japan.
  • Meanwhile, is helping to mobilize young volunteers to make and/or photograph 100,000 origami cranes as a symbol of “relief and healing to all who affected by this tragic natural disaster.”
  • The New York Jewish Week shared a story about young Jewish and Muslim leaders in New York City joining together in support of immigrant rights. In light of the recent tragic events in the West Bank, the need for glimpses of hope and cooperation like this become all the more important.
  • Rabbi Jill Jacobs published a compelling and personal essay on the Huffington Post about tomatoes, Trader Joe’s, and farm labor rights.
  • A profile published on GOOD introduces us to Josh Evans, an inspiring college student and member of the Yale Sustainable Food Project.

Weekly Torah: Parshat Pekudei 5771

This post is part of a weekly series of Torah commentaries presented by the American Jewish World Service. It was contributed by Dani Passow.

The Israelites’ first building project—the Mishkan—is about to be completed. We can recognize similarities between its construction and the building of our own communal structures: raising the funds, enlisting a contractor and choosing design elements. And yet, though modern communal leaders often ceremonially lay the cornerstone—complete with the entertaining and tellingly odd juxtaposition of dress clothes, shovel and hard hat—they rarely actively participate in the physical construction.
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Repair Interview: Shoshana Wineburg and the Yahel Social Change Program

Yahel is a new and exciting addition to the world of Jewish service (and also a Repair the World grantee). Founded in 2009 by Dana Talmi, the organization is already making huge strides in promoting service in Israel. Their programs work to create a society where “people work side by side in order to bring about personal and social change.”

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