The UFT Jewish Heritage Committee's goal is to enhance the understanding among all educators of the role of the Jewish community in New York City.
We pursue this objective through various cultural activities, workshops and interactions with the Jewish community. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a bridge linking the labor movement and the organized Jewish community in our effort to develop and strengthen a society based on economic and social justice for all.
The committee is a proud affiliate of the Jewish Labor Committee; in fact, the UFT’s Jewish Heritage Committee functions as the Jewish Labor Committee’s educators’ chapter. Together, we enable the Jewish community and the trade union movement to work together for economic and social justice.
The Hebrew phrase “tikkun olam” means "world repair." In modern Jewish circles, tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice. With the increase of violence and anti-Semitism around the world, Jews and allies of the Jewish people must stand together. Our heritage is not only about supporting Jewish people; it includes support for all people. We care about immigrant rights, racial, gender and economic equality, LGBTQ rights and worker’s rights.
Our signature event is our Labor Seder, held each year around Passover. We intertwine the struggle of the labor movement with the story of Passover. We host happy hours, a Purim party and political and educational forums. While some of our events are connected with the Jewish religion and holidays, many of our events are cultural and non-secular in nature. All our events are open to all our colleagues no matter their faith, culture, or ethnicity.
The UFT was founded, in large part, by Jewish educators who believed in labor and the power of collective bargaining to make positive changes in people’s lives. We continue that tradition through our support of our great union, the UFT, which has made an enormous difference in the lives of its members as well as in the lives of the millions of students who have attended NYC’s public schools.