Rachel Laser: "We are proud to continue our longstanding leadership on working families issues and to provide a forum for the faith community to lift up the importance of supporting families in the workforce today."
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2014 -- In advance of the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, Rachel Laser, the Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, released the following statement:
In anticipation of the White House Summit on Working Families, we initiated Double Booked: A Conversation on Working Families in the 21st Century. Launched on January 29, 2014, on the five-year anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first post was written by Lilly herself. Double Booked is a forum for women and men of a broad range of faith traditions, ages, careers, backgrounds, and perspectives to share stories, reflections, opinions, and policy and cultural responses that speak to being part of a working family in North America today.
Since Double Booked's launch, over 81 writers have contributed, including 36 faith leaders from a broad range of denominations including Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist rabbis as well as evangelical Christians, Lutherans, African-American Baptist pastors, Catholic sisters, and Muslim leaders. Double Booked has also featured families with parents or children with disabilities, LGBT families, single-parent families, empty nesters, families with young children, advocates, policy experts, members of Congress and the Administration, and many heads of national organizations.
Through our Double Booked initiative and by bringing 40 moral leaders and advocates to the Summit, the Religious Action Center is honored to be convening the faith community around this critical issue. Several religious leaders have underscored the moral imperative of addressing work-life balance in the 21st century.
Isaac Luria of Auburn Theological Seminary wrote in his Double Booked piece: "We also need to take a long hard look at the way we work. Are we creating workplaces that value children and our own humanity not because it makes us turn out better work, but simply because we were created in the image of God?"
Pastor Bankole Akinbinu of Baptist Grove Church in Raleigh, NC wrote in his Double Booked piece: "I believe families have become casualties to our careers! When our families are offered as casualties to the promotion, pedigree, and professional acclaim, we... will one day have to look back and ask ourselves, 'Was it worth it?' The answer will always be, 'No!' It never was and it never will be!" Pastor Akinbinu will be attending the Summit.
Stacy Martin, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America wrote in her Double Booked piece: "Lutherans have a thing or two to say about guilt. Mainly that guilt makes for bad company, so get over yourself and move on so that you can love and serve. Lutherans also have something to say about the fullness of the human experience. In short, Lutherans say that you're more than your profession and certainly more than a perfectly-kept house so, again, get over yourself so that you can love and serve."
We are proud to continue our longstanding leadership on working families issues and to provide a forum for the faith community to lift up the importance of supporting families in the workforce today. The Reform Movement has long been an advocate on a variety of issues affecting working families, from raising the minimum wage, to equal pay for women, to paid sick days, to fair employment practices and many more. The Summit is an important opportunity to demonstrate the intersection between our Jewish values and the policy, societal and cultural changes we can make to better the lives of working families in our country.