Living the Legacy


Jews and the Labor Movement - Lessons

Labor - Unit 1 - Jews and Labor

  • Garment workers rehearse a chorus for ILGWU's own theater, Labor Stage
    Unit 1, Lesson 1 - Bread and Roses - Defining Basic Needs

    Explore the concept of “Bread and Roses” and ideas about work and dignity, with specific cases on education and culture, hats and clothing, poetry and song, as well as traditional Jewish texts about labor.

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  • Photo of a Small Garment Factory
    Unit 1, Lesson 2 - From Suffering to Action, From the Individual to the Collective

    Investigate the workplace conditions that led immigrant women to strike in the “Uprising of the 20,000” in 1909-1910, and the tragedy of the Triangle fire that led to lasting labor reform.

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  • The Return from Toil
    Unit 1, Lesson 3 - Identity, Independence, and Becoming American Jews

    Examine inter-generational relationships among Jewish immigrants, and the role of work and workers’ youth culture in the Americanization process. Use art and writing to explore your own identity formation.

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  • Seal of the National Women's Trade Union League
    Unit 1, Lesson 4 - Workers and Their Allies, Then and Now

    Through the history of mutual aid societies, unions, and settlement houses, as well as contemporary organizations working for labor rights, consider the ways Jews have supported one another and also worked in solidarity with others to repair the world.

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  • "Women Resume Riots Against Meat Shops" New York Times
    Unit 1, Lesson 5 - Housewives and Consumer Organizing

    Consider the impact of consumer organizing by analyzing the day-to-day actions of the key players in the 1902 kosher meat boycott.

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  • Federation of Jewish Farmers of America Convention Booklet
    Unit 1, Lesson 6 - Jews and Agricultural Labor

    Discover the little-known history of American Jewish farming and explore the contemporary resurgent Jewish interest in food justice. Analyze traditional and modern texts about Jewish values and food production and consumption, and design your own vision for how society should produce, distribute, and consume food.

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  • Don't Patronize Reds!
    Unit 1, Lesson 7 - Jewish Radicalism and the Red Scare

    Examine the rich tradition of Jewish radical politics and its repression in the McCarthy era, focusing on the history of Jewish radicalism in the entertainment industry and the Hollywood blacklists of the 1940s and 1950s.

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  • Boston Workmen's Circle Demonstration at Trader Joe's
    Unit 1, Lesson 8 - Contemporary Jewish Labor Campaigns: The Labor Movement Begins at Home

    Explore contemporary Jewish labor campaigns on issues such as the living wage and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and analyze how and why Jewish organizations are advocating in solidarity with oppressed workers.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jews and the Labor Movement - Lessons." (Viewed on April 17, 2014) <>.