225 Jewish Leaders Stand with Workers from B&H

On Tuesday, June 14th, 225 Jewish leaders released a letter calling on B&H Photo and Video owners and management to sign a good contract with the union on behalf of the workers and end retaliation against them for organizing. The Laundry Workers Center (LWC) and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) stood with workers and community supporters to deliver the letter to B&H management. Community supporters believe that firings and ongoing retaliation by B&H management are in violation of the right of workers to organize under the National Labor Relations Act. JREJ will continue to monitor the situation at B&H to ensure workers’ rights are respected by B&H management.

To get involved and for ongoing updates, contact amanda@jfrej.org.

(Images above from press conference in front of B&H Photo and Video demanding end to retaliation)


 

To the owners and management of B&H Photo Video

We write in support of New York City B&H warehouses workers in their struggle to create a safe working environment in which they are treated as human beings. As Jewish leaders of congregations, universities, schools and institutions from across the country, we strongly affirm the legal right of B&H warehouse workers to unionize and improve their standard of living. We call on you to negotiate a fair contract with workers that reflects their demands for a safe, equitable workplace. In standing up for their rights, B&H warehouse workers continue in the legacy of organized labor to create a more dignified and humane economy.

For years, B&H warehouse workers have endured conditions that are an affront to the Torah’s charges “You shall not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers, or one of the strangers” (Deuteronomy 24:14). These conditions include:

-Verbal abuse and rampant discrimination against  workers of color, including threats of deportation and being forced to sign forms in English releasing the company from medical claims.

-Hazardous working conditions, including being told to unload or carry extremely heavy loads, without sufficient help or safety training. Workers have suffered serious occupational related illnesses & injuries. It has also been alleged that some workers have been intimidated from pursuing their Worker Compensation claims.

-Likely exposure to dusts including fiberglass, benzene particulate matter, and asbestos, possibly leading to chronic nosebleeds and skin rashes.

-Lack of access to water leading to workers developing kidney stones.

-Being required to work 13-16 hour shifts with only one 45 minute lunch break.

-Being prevented from leaving the warehouse for 30 minutes when a fire broke out next door.

-Being illegally retaliated against for organizing.

On November 4th, 2015, 200 of 288 workers voted to form a union. We are counting on B&H owners and management to bargain in good faith and sign a good contract with warehouse workers that brings an end to these working conditions. Jewish tradition teaches us that good employment practices are integral to upholding the sacredness of human life. The Talmud warns that “he who withholds an employee’s wages is as though he deprived him of his life” (Baba Metzia 112a). Improving working conditions at B&H warehouses upholds the sacredness of the lives of workers and their right to work with dignity.

Sincerely,

Leora Abelson, Rabbinical Candidate, Hebrew College Rabbinical School – Boston, MA

Rabbi Susan Abramson, Temple Shalom Emeth – Burlington, MA

Rabbi Benjamin Adler, Adath Israel Congregation – Lawrenceville, NJ

Rabbi Aaron Alexander, Adas Israel Congregation – Washington, DC

Rabbi Daniel S. Alexander, Congregation Beth Israel – Charlottesville, VA

Rabbi Angela Allen, Community Organizer for Jewish Community Action, St. Paul, MN

Rabbi Katy Z. Allen, Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope – Wayland, MA

Rabbi Adam Allenberg, Assistant Director of Recruitment & Admissions for Hebrew

Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion – New York, NY

Rabbi Alana Alpert, Detroit Jews for Justice – Detroit MI

Rabbi Doug Alpert, Congregation Kol Ami – Kansas City, MO

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Nelly Altenburger, Congregation B’nai Israel – Danbury, CT

Rabbi Camille Shira Angel, Congregation Sha’ar Zahav – San Francisco, CA

Trisha Arlin, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Melanie Aron, Congregation Shir Hadash – Los Gatos, CA

Rabbi Guy Austrian, Fort Tryon Jewish Center – New York, NY

Rabbi Susan Averbach, Society for Humanistic Judaism and Middle Way Society

Rabbi Andy Bachman, Director of Jewish Content and Community Ritual for 92Y – New York, NY

Rabbi Justus Baird, Auburn Theological Seminary – New York, NY

Rabbi Adam Baldachin – Suffern, NY

Hazzan Barbara Barnett, Congregation Beth Am — Buffalo Grove, IL

Rabbi Benjamin Barnett, Beit Am Jewish Community – Corvallis, OR

Rabbi Lewis M. Barth, Professor Emeritus and former Dean, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Eliot J Baskin, DMin, Jewish Family Service of Colorado – Denver, CO

Rabbi David Dunn Bauer, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah – New York, NY

Rabbi Renee Bauer, Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin – Madison, WI

Rabbi Philip Bazeley, R.J.E.

Rabbi Lisa Sari Bellows, Congregation Beth Am – Buffalo Grove, IL

Rabbi Nehama Benmosche, Machar –  Washington D.C

Rabbi Jim Bennett, Congregation Shaare Emeth – St. Louis, MO

Rabbi Allan Berkowitz – San Jose, CA

Rabbi Phyllis Berman, Former Executive Director, Riverside Language Program – New York, NY

Cantor Suzanne Bernstein, PTBAS – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Binyamin Biber – Humanist Chaplain at American University – Washington, DC

Rabbi Steven Blane, Sim Shalom Online Jewish Universalist Community

Jerry Blum, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Robyn Fryer Bodzin, Israel Center of Conservative Judaism – Queens, NY

Alex Braver, Rabbinical Candidate, The Jewish Theological Seminary – New York, NY

Rabbi Caryn Broitman, Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center – Vineyard Haven, MA

Geoff Brown, Rabbinical Candidate, Ohev Sholom Congregation – York, PA

Rabbi Don Cashman, B’nai Sholom Reform Congregation – Albany, NY

Rabbi Carie Carter, Park Slope Jewish Center – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Adam Chalom, Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation – Lincolnshire, IL

Rabbi Aryeh Cohen PhD, American Jewish University – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Ayelet Cohen, The Center for Jewish Living at JCC-Manhattan – New York, NY

Rabbi Michael M. Cohen, Rabbi Emeritus, Israel Congregation – Manchester Center, Vermont

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses, Kehilat Romemu – New York, NY

Rabbi David J. Cooper, Kehilla Community Synagogue – Piedmont, CA

Stosh Cotler, Chief Executive Director of Bend the Arc

Rabbi Meryl Crean, Chaplain for Martins Run Senior Living Community – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Menachem Creditor, Congregation Netivot Shalom – Berkeley, CA

Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan, Pleasantville Community Synagogue – Pleasantville, NY

Rabbi Jo David, Adjunct Professor at Berkeley College – New York, NY

Sheila Decter, Executive Director for JALSA, the Jewish Alliance for Law & Social Action – Boston, MA

Ira Dounn, Director of Jewish Enrichment at BBYO – Washington, DC

Rabbi Malka Drucker, HaMakom: The Place for Passionate and Progressive Judaism – Santa Fe, NM

Rabbi Anne Ebersman, Abraham Joshua Heschel School – New York, NY

Dr. Rabbi Barat Ellman – Brooklyn, NY

Rachel English, Community Organizer for Jewish Community Action – St. Paul, MN

Rabbi Rachel Esserman – Endicott, NY

Rabbi Susan Falk, Congregation Kehilat Shalom – Belle Mead, NJ

Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition – New York, NY

Rabbi Ted Feldman, B’nai Israel Jewish Center – Petaluma, CA

Rabbi Brian Fink, JCC Manhattan – New York, NY

Rabbi Adam D. Fisher, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Isaiah – Stony Brook, NY

Rita Freedman, Acting Executive Director for Jewish Labor Committee – New York, NY

Rabbi Lee Friedlander – Plandome, NY

Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman, Temple Sinai – Brookline, MA

Rabbi Zack Friedman, The New Shul – New York, NY

Dasi Fruchter, Yeshivat Maharat and Program Director for ImmerseNYC – New York, NY

Rabbi Jeffrey Gale, Hebrew Tabernacle -New York, NY

Wren Ganin-Pinto, Educator for Kehilla Synagogue – Oakland, CA

Rabbi Jonah Geffen, Congregation Shaare Zedek – New York, NY

Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek – Chester, CT

Rabbi Megan Goldman,Columbia/Barnard Hillel – New York, NY

Rabbi Barbara Goldman-Wartel, Temple Concord – Binghamton, NY

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Congregation Shaare Emeth – St. Louis, MO

Rabbi Lisa Goldstein, Institute for Jewish Spirituality – New York, NY

Mónica Gomery, Rabbinical Candidate, Hebrew College Rabbinical School – Boston, MA

Daniel Goodman, Rabbinical Candidate, Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School – New York, NY

Rabbi James Stone Goodman, Congregation Neve Shalom – Creve Coeur, MO

Rabbi Stephen Goodman – Garden City, NY

Eric A. Gordon, Ph.D., Secular vegvayzer/madrikh/leader for SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Shomeret Shalom Rabbinic School & Learning Center – Berkeley, CA

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, Society for the Advancement of Judaism – New York, NY

Rabbi Roberto D. Graetz, Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Isaiah – Lafayette, CA

Robert Green, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Jason Greenberg, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Meredith Greenberg, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Steve Greenberg, CLAL – Boston, MA

Rabbi Nicki Greninger, Temple Isaiah – Lafayette, CA

Rabbi Eytan Hammerman, Jewish Community Center of Harrison – Harrison NY

Hershl Hartman, Secular vegvayzer/madrikh/Leader for SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Jill Hausman, The Actors’ Temple – New York, NY

Rabbi Abraham Havivi, American Jewish University – Los Angeles, CA

Rabbi Eliezer Havivi, Beth David Synagogue – Greensboro, NC

Rabbi Jo Hirschmann, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion – New York, NY

Cantor Sandy Horowitz, Congregation Adas Emuno – Leonia, NJ

Rabbi David Ingber, Founder and Spiritual Director, Romemu – New York, NY

Rabbi Jill Jacobs, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Burt Jacobson, Kehilla Community Synagogue – Piedmont, CA

Ruth Judkowitz, Secular vegvayzer/madrikha/Leader for  for SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle – Chatsworth, CA

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Director of Programs, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Cassi Kail, Temple Emanu-El – Utica, NY

Rabbi Mark Kaiserman, The Reform Temple of Forest Hills – Forest Hills, NY

Rabbi David Kalb – New York, NY

Rabbi Steve Kane, Congregation Sons of Israel – Briarcliff Manor, NY

Nora Kassner, Formerly of Jewish Community Action – St. Paul, MN

Evette Katlin, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Alan J. Katz, Temple Sinai – Rochester, NY

Aurora Katz, Rabbinical Candidate, Jewish Theological Seminary – New York, NY

Rabbi Joshua Katzan, Congregation Habonim – New York, NY

Dove Kent, Executive Director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice – New York, NY

Aaron Kershenbaum, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum, Congregation B’nai Harim – Pocono Pines, PA

Rabbi Avi Killip, Mechon Hadar – New York, NY

Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director for Bend The Arc Jewish Action

Rabbi Edward J. Klein, Queens Community for Cultural Judaism – Queens, NY

Rabbi Jason Klein, Center for Jewish Life – New York, NY

Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein, Congregation Kneseth Israel – Elgin, IL

Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah – New York, NY

Marian Kleinman, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, Kehillat Lev Shalem – Woodstock, NY

Rabbi Cherie Koller-Fox, President NewCAJE, Newton, MA

Rabbi Claudia Kreiman, Temple Beth Zion – Brookline, MA

Rabbi Irwin Kula, President of Clal — The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Rabbi Noa Kushner, The Kitchen – San Francisco, CA

Rabbi Enid C. Lader, President of Association of Rabbis and Cantors and Beth Israel – The West Temple – Cleveland, OH

Hazzan Marcia Lane, United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, CT

Rabbi Benay Lappe, SVARA – Chicago, IL

Rabbi Michael Latz, Shir Tikvah – Wayland, MA

Arieh Lebowitz, Associate Director for Jewish Labor Committee – New York, NY

Rabbi David Leipziger Teva, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life University Jewish Chaplain, Wesleyan University – Middletown, CT

Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor for Tikkun Magazine www.tikkun.org

Rabbi Chai Levy, Congregation Kol Shofar- Tiburon, CA

Rabbi Benjamin Levy, Congregation Etz Chaim – Monroe Twp, NJ.

Rabbi Sheldon Lewis, member of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice

Rabbi Mordechai Liebling, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann, Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Janet B. Liss, North Country Reform Temple – Glen Cove, NY

Rabbi Richard Litvak, Temple Beth El – Aptos, CA

Rabbi Sara Luria, ImmerseNYC – New York, NY

Cantor Abbe Lyons, Gilat Rina – Ithaca, NY

Rabbi Natan Margalit, OrganicTorah Institute – Newton, MA

Aaron Marsh, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon, B’nai Jeshurun – New York, NY

Rachel McCullough of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice – New York, NY

Rabbi Lev Meirowitz Nelson, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rabbi Michael Mellen – New York, NY

Rabbi Jessica Kate Meyer, Assistant Rabbi, Romemu – New York, NY

Mimi Micner, Rabbinical Candidate, Hebrew College Rabbinical School – Boston, MA

Rabbi Avram Mlotek, Base co-founder and Rabbi of Base: DWTN – New York, NY

Larry Moskowitz, Social Justice Director for The Workmen’s Circle – New York, NY

Rabbi Dr. Steven Moss, B’nai Israel – Oakdale, NY

Rabbi Linda Motzkin, Temple Sinai – Saratoga Springs, NY

Rabbi George Nudell – Scotch Plains, NJ

Rabbi Jesse Olitzky, Congregation Beth El – South Orange, NJ

Salem Pearce, Rabbinical Candidate, Hebrew College Rabbinical School – Boston, MA

Rabbi Barbara Penzner, Temple Hillel B’nai Torah – Boston, MA

Peter Pepper, President for The Workmen’s Circle – New York, NY

Rabbi William Plevan – New York, NY

Rabbi Andrea Goldstein, Congregation Shaare Emeth – St. Louis, MO

Rabbi Victor Reinstein, Nehar Shalom Community Synagogue –  Jamaica Plain, MA

Mackenzie Reynolds, Rabbinic Intern, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice – New York, NY

Rabbi Ariella Rosen, Temple Adath Israel- Merion Station, PA

Rabbi Dina Rosenberg, Bay Ridge Jewish Center – Brooklyn, NY

Jessica Rosenberg, Rabbinical Candidate, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College – Philadelphia, PA

Vic Rosenthal, Executive Director for Jewish Community Action – St. Paul, MN

Rabbi Michael Rothbaum, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, co-chair, Bay Area Region

Rabbi Jonathan Rubenstein, Temple Sinai – Saratoga Springs, NY

Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay, Associate Dean for JTS Rabbinical School – New York, NY

Lisa Sacks, Cantoral candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Shamu Sadeh, Director of Adamah for Hazon

Rabbi Jared H. Saks, Congregation Bet Ha’am – South Portland, ME

Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, Ways of Peace – Brooklyn, NY

Audrey Sasson, Board Chairperson of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice – New York, NY

Nigel S. Savage

Rabbi Jen Schlosberg, , Glen Rock Jewish Center – Glen Rock, NJ

Rabbi Chaim Leib Schneider – Aptos, CA

Rabbi Amanda Schwartz  – New York, NY

Rabbi Sid Schwarz, Director, Rene Cassin Fellowship Program

Rabbi Peter Schweitzer, The City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism – New York, NY

Diana Scott, Chairmentsh, Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring Branch #1054 – Northern California

Cantor Lisa B. Segal, Kolot Chayeinu/Voices of Our Lives – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Judith Seid, Tri-Valley Cultural Jews, Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations – Pleasanton, CA

Rabbi Judy Shanks, Temple Isaiah – Lafayette, CA

Rabbi Linda Shriner-Cahn, Congregation Tehillah – Bronx, NY

Rabbi David B. Siff, Ph.D

Rabbi Becky Silverstein

Yoshi Silverstein, Director of JOFEE Fellowship for Hazon

Rabbi Rebecca W. Sirbu,  Director of Rabbis Without Borders for CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Institute for Jewish Spirituality – New York, NY

Rabbi Felicia L. Sol, B’nai Jeshurun – New York, NY

Rabbi Eric Solomon, Beth Meyer Synagogue – Raleigh, NC

Rabbi Toba Spitzer, Congregation Dorshei Tzedek – Newton, MA

David J. Steiner, Ed.D., Rabbinic candidate, International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism,

Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, Adas Israel Congregation – Washington, DC

Rabbi Joshua Strom, Congregation B’nai Yisrael – Armonk, NY

Rabbi Leah Sudran

Rabbi Alana Suskin, Director of Strategic Communications for Americans for Peace Now – Washington, DC

Rabbi Susan Talve, Central Reform Congregation – St. Louis, MO

Rabbi Frank Tamburello, Westchester Community for Humanistic Judasim – White Plains, NY

Rabbi Andrew H. Terkel, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim – Charleston, SC

Rabbi David Teutsch, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Rachel Timoner, Congregation Beth Elohim –  Brooklyn, NY

Ann Toback, Executive Director for The Workmen’s Circle – New York, NY

Rabbi Brian Walt – West Tisbury, MA

Joanna Ware, Boston Regional Director, Keshet

Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Director for Shalom Center – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Sue Ann Wasserman, Temple Beth David – Canton, MA

Rabbi Seth Wax, Congregation Mount Sinai – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Sam Weintraub, Kane Street Synagogue – Brooklyn, NY

Rabbi Scott B. Weiner, Senior Rabbi Temple Israel of New Rochelle – New Rochelle, NY

Rabbi Simkha Weintraub, LMSW – New York, NY

Micah Geurin Weiss, Rabbinical Candidate, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College – Philadelphia, PA

Rabbi Rachel Weiss, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah – New York, NY

Rabbi Dr. Raysh Weiss

Alex Weissman, Rabbinical Candidate, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Wyncote, PA

Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, HUC-JIR – New York City, NY

Marge Wise, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Sam Yolen, Rabbinical Candidate, Academy for Jewish Religion – Yonkers, NY

Sara Zebovitz, National Director of Habonim Dror North America

Rabbi Irwin Zeplowitz – Port Washington, NY

Rabbi Lina Zerbarini, Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center – East Hills, NY

Rabbi Jonathan D. Zimet, Member of the Association of Rabbis and Cantors – New York, NY
Institutions listed for identification purposes only