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Rosh Hashana: A New Year's Appeal from the JLC

Wishing you a
Sweet and Good New Year
L'Shana Tova u'Mtukah
Gut Yuntif, Gut Yohr

2018 September Happy New Year.jpg

All of us at the Jewish Labor Committee
wish you, your family, relatives,
co-workers, friends and neighbors
a safe, good and sweet year - a more peaceful,
more just, fairer and better year.

The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, a time for self-examination and renewal, is upon us. For people around the world, this has been a terrifying, saddening, and challenging time. As the season changes, and as we approach a New Year, the world has changed in ways that we never contemplated or even believed possible. The death toll from COVID-19 is staggering. The pandemic has raised the curtain on inequalities and injustices that have always existed but have now been exacerbated: the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on communities of color and those with less means is starkly visible. And the number of people who have lost their jobs is shocking. We are challenged by the health and healthcare crisis, a terrible economic crisis, and, at the same time, an unprecedented political crisis.

But our work continues. This year, the Jewish Labor Committee has organized virtual town halls to help people file for unemployment assistance, to help people understand the importance of protecting voting-by-mail, and reached out to people across the United States to support much-needed federal stimulus bills. We have worked to support health care workers, educators, hospitality workers, farm workers, and gig workers. We've obtained assistance for social service organizations and immigrant organizations, and helped arrange funding and direct payment for excluded workers who were unable to qualify for federal resources - including nail salon workers, agricultural workers and car wash workers. We hosted a memorial for workers who died during the pandemic, and those workers who put their and their families' lives at risk every day. [You can watch it online here.]

This year, we’ve joined in speaking out against police brutality against African Americans.

We reached out to rabbis across the U.S., encouraging them to devote part of a D'var Torah - a sermon - before Labor Day, to the challenges facing working people today, and what Jewish tradition, history and faith have to say. And rabbis have done just that, from California to Massachusetts. We are asking our members and our friends to vote - to vote as if many people's lives depended on it. And we're working to help eligible voters understand how to vote by mail, and to assure that their votes get counted.

We can't do all of this without your support. In this moment of exceptional need, we call on you:

1. If you are a member of the Jewish Labor Committee, be sure your 2020 membership is up-to-date -- you can take care of this online here. And if you’re not a member, you can use the same site to join!

2. Whether or not you are a JLC member, we're asking for your support -- please make a donation now, online here. Whether you donate $360, $180, $100, $72, $36, $18 or another amount, whatever you give will make it possible for us to continue our work into the New Year. You can make a one-time contribution, or arrange for an automatic monthly or quarterly donation, online here.

As we face these crises simultaneously - the virus, economic collapse and racial injustice, the JLC is doing everything we can to help repair a broken world, to learn from the agonies of the past year, and help build a better world for the future.

We approach the new year of 5781 in the Jewish calendar with sadness and uncertainty. And we look to you for strength and solidarity, and to our abiding traditions of social and political activism. While we mourn for the dead, and comfort those wounded in body and spirit, we must fight like hell for the living, and for generations to come.

Please join us.

We wish you a healthy and happy New Year - one that is far better than the year ending now, and which moves us closer to a more just world. L’Shana Tova, Gut Yuntif, Gut Yohr!

Thank you.