JOIN for Justice’s Clergy Organizer Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay recently co-authored an excellent piece on the importance of paid family leave as an equitable policy, “What Do We Need? Paid Family Leave. When Do We Need It? Now!” Read an excerpt below, and read the entire article on the eJewish Philanthropy website:
Beginnings are critical. They set the stage for how relationships will develop. Having the opportunity to bond with a child, or children, embrace a new identity as parents, and create a new and expanded family unit takes time and requires focus. Parents need to be home, and there needs to be food on the table and money to pay for the expenses of supporting a family.
Beginnings are when healthy habits are created. Beginnings are when families can get grounded and bonded. They are when a family can root itself and prepare to take its place as a contributing unit in society. Families can’t do any of these things if the mother loses her job when she gives birth, or has pregnancy complications that she can’t address because her job doesn’t permit her to make adjustments to how and when she works.
Recently, I was asked to help a Jewish communal organization recruit for some positions for which they were hiring. I felt uncomfortable helping recruit for an organization that did not offer its employees a sufficient and just period of paid leave. I shared this reaction with the organization which is actually currently working on this at the board level, and anticipates changing their policy in the near future.
They expressed appreciation for the feedback.
Rabbi Stephanie Ruskay serves as the Clergy Organizer at JOIN for Justice. Trained in organizing through JOIN’s Seminary Leadership Project, Stephanie is particularly focused on helping rabbis develop and use organizing skills to help transform their communities and work more effectively to pursue social justice. Stephanie also serves as the Director of Alumni and Community Engagement at AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps.