During a lull in a local kosher restaurant’s schedule one day last year, Rabbi Ari Weiss, a frequent customer, approached the owner. Rabbi Weiss, executive director of the Uri L’Tzedek Orthodox social justice organization, suggested that the owner join Uri L’Tzedek’s Tav HaYosher “ethical seal” program.
In its biggest victory so far, Uri L’Tzedek helps kosher food company’s former employees get back pay.
Ben Sales/ JTA
For more than a year, Ari Hart had struggled in his protest against unfair labor practices.
Seeking justice for immigrant workers allegedly fired by a Brooklyn kosher food distributor, Hart had held signs, made phone calls, organized protest events and persuaded grocery stores and companies to boycott the distributor.
But nothing had worked. Flaum Appetizing Corp., which allegedly fired 16 workers in 2007 after they demanded the legal minimum overtime pay, would not give in to the former employees’ demands.
Two years ago, during my freshman year at Queens College, I found my passion for Jewish social justice when I started a Challah for Hunger chapter on campus, an organization that raises money and awareness for hunger and disaster relief through the production and sale of challah bread.
Weekly, a group of students gather to knead and braid dough and discuss social justice issues. The next day, the fresh bread is sold to Jews and non-Jews alike to benefit both Darfur relief efforts and local hunger initiatives.