Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
News

Rabbis Pass Living Wage Measure

The Conservative movement’s policy body on Jewish law has passed a legal opinion arguing that Jewish employers should pay their workers a living wage and strive to hire union workers.

The opinion, written by Jill Jacobs, a rabbi in residence at Jewish Funds for Justice, was passed by the Rabbinical Assembly’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards with 13 votes, easily surpassing the six votes necessary to gain legal standing. A previous version of the opinion had been rejected in 2006. With the vote, the opinion gains stature as a valid legal opinion, though it is not considered binding.

Labor rights have become a signature issue for the Conservative movement as part of its Hekhsher Tzedek initiative, which would certify kosher products that meet acceptable standards for labor conditions and environmental impact. Jacobs, a former labor activist who has been involved with Hekhsher Tzedek, has pushed for the Conservative movement to take stronger stands on social justice issues.

Jacobs’s legal opinion on the obligations of Jewish employers had sparked debate in the law committee, as some members had argued that its provisions would place an undue burden on Jewish employers and might even cost workers their jobs. Committee chair Rabbi Elliot Dorff told the Forward that the final opinion ultimately gained support because its recommendations were not too stringent and because it also covered a host of other important workers’ rights issues, such as prompt payment for workers.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at [email protected]

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.