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Economic Justice

QUICK ACTION: The Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582/S. 150)

The federal minimum wage has not been adjusted since 2009. Rapid inflation has turned this issue into a crisis as millions of people who are living off the minimum wage can not afford basic necessities. This bill will incrementally increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 per hour over the course of 6 years. This bill was recently passed in the House of Representatives and is on its way to a Senate hearing.  To take action to raise the minimum wage and help millions in poverty, contact your senators following 3 simple steps:

  1. Find your Senator! 
  2. Check if your Senator is cosponsoring S. 150!
  3. Contact your Senator! If s/he is already cosponsoring the bill, thank them for their support. If s/he has not yet cosponsored S. 150, urge them to add their name to the bill. We have provided a sample script, however feel free to speak from your heart and on your own personal experience:

Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m calling on behalf of the Jewish Center for Justice, a distinguished education, leadership development, and advocacy organization with a progressive Jewish platform. I’m calling today to urge Senator [your senator’s name] to cosponsor S. 150, the Raise the Wage Act. This bill would provide minimum wage workers with the income stability they need to be able to afford universal necessities such as shelter, food, and electricity. My tradition calls on me to speak up, judge righteously, and champion the poor and the needy, and so I urge the Senator to sponsor and support this bill. Thank you for your time.

In the book of Proverbs, Jews are commanded to “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” With 45 million Americans living below poverty, rising levels of food insecurity, and the gap between the rich and the poor growing rapidly, the Jewish Center for Justice is committed to acting on our moral tradition to ensure that our community takes active steps to provide for those in need.

 

  • 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger — that’s 41.2 million people, including 12.9 million children and 4.9 million seniors. (Source: MAZON.)
  • The majority of food assistance in this country comes from government programs. Only 5% comes from private charitable donations. (Source: MAZON.)

Connections: Jewish Sources

We care for non-Jewish poor along with Jewish poor. — Talmud Bavli Gittin 61A

For there will never cease to be needy ones from the midst of the land, which is why I command you: open your hand to your fellows, your poor and your needy in your land. — Deuteronomy 15:11

You are commanded to provide the needy with whatever they lack. If they lack clothing, you must clothe them. If they lack household goods, you must provide them… — Rambam Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts for the Poor 7:3

One who withholds an employee’s wages is as though he has deprived him of his life. — Baba Metzia 112a

You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow Israelite or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay out the wages due on the same day, before the sun sets, for the worker is needy and urgently depends on it; else a cry to the Eternal will be issued against you and you will incur guilt. — Deuteronomy 24:14‑15.

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