Economic Justice

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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