On Shabbat HaGadol, there was a
custom among some Jewish communities of baking an extra large challah called
the "challah of the poor." Everyone would contribute a bit of flour
to prepare the bread. The community would then share the gigantic loaf with
those who were living in poverty to enhance their pre-Pesach Shabbat
celebration. Around our seder tables this coming week, as we break the
middle matzah, we will remember how our ancestors struggled in Egypt and we
will invite all who are hungry to celebrate the holiday with us. We will
envision ourselves coming out of Mitzrayyim and reflect on what that means in
This Passover, our city is on
my mind. In Philadelphia, 25% of people currently live below the poverty line.
Our public schools are in dire need of resources. Many Philadelphians are stuck
in a narrow place of working full-time for wages with which they can't make
ends meet. As we share our bread, I encourage us to also do what we can to
change the big picture.
On May 20th there will be a
ballot referendum to support a living wage and increased benefits for all
workers employed by the city of Philadelphia, including those employed by
companies that subcontract within the city. Our GJC Social Action Committee has
been working to engage voters for the May 20th election in conjunction with
faith communities across the city that are connected to POWER. One way to
get involved is to come out and canvass with fellow GJC members on April 27th
and 30th, to talk to neighbors and city residents about fair wages and the
education funding struggles in Pennsylvania. I look forward to participating on
April 30th. Click here for more information
and to sign up.
Pesach inspire us to come together to expand opportunity in our city and and to
pursue the freedom for all to work, to learn and to live with dignity.