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Groups launch ethical travel pledge

A consortium of Jewish groups is urging Jewish travelers to consider the faith’s ethics while on the road.

The Progressive Jewish Alliance, Jewish Funds for Justice and the National Jewish Labor Committee have joined to launch the “Just Journeys” campaign, which asks Jews to sign an online pledge to help hotel workers.

Noting that most hotel workers are immigrants and women of color who are paid an average of $8.50 an hour and have no health insurance, the pledge asks signators to avoid hotels engaged in labor disputes; keep their rooms reasonably clean to spare housekeepers unnecessary physical strain; leave tips; and fill out comment cards, which can lead to bonuses.

“These workers engage daily in the mitzvah of ‘hakhnasat or’chim’ (hospitality to guests) by cleaning rooms, making beds, and otherwise ensuring that I am as comfortable as possible,” the pledge reads in part. “Their invisibility has contributed to these workers being among the worst paid and most overworked members of the service industry.”

Information on the Just Journeys pledge is available at http://ga6.org/campaign/ethical_travel.

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