N.Y. Board of Rabbis Urges Jewish Support for Grape Boycott

The New York Board of Rabbis has urged the Jewish community to join the nation-wide boycott of California table grapes in support of the farm workers’ union seeking fair wages and working conditions for migratory laborers. In a resolution adopted by the Board, the rabbis said that in consonance with Jewish law, Jews who purchased grapes harvested in California were guilty of “oshek,” the oppression of hired labor.

The grape boycott is directed by the union under the leadership of Cesar Chavez. Most grape growers have refused to recognize the union or negotiate with it. The Board of Rabbis stated, because “California growers have resisted all efforts to adhere to the principles of justice in the recognition of the rights of their workers, the farm workers are forced to bring their cause to the American public. We deplore the injustice inherent in the deprivation of farm workers as a group from coverage by Federal labor and minimum wage laws.”

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