J Street staff unionizes, propelled by coronavirus


(JTA) — The staff of J Street, the liberal Israel lobby, has unionized as Jewish nonprofits face potential budget shortfalls and possible payroll cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic..

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami recognized the decision last week.

Plans for the union had been in the works for months, according to the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, under which the J Street staff organized. But the union said “The uncertainty over COVID-19 has encouraged solidarity to make sure everyone is taken care of if cuts are in the pipeline.”

“This is a tough time for Jewish non-profits and progressive advocacy groups who need our community’s support now more than ever — especially in such a crucial election year,” union member Shifra Sered said in a statement. “We’ve been inspired and encouraged by workers in other Jewish non-profits and progressive groups, and we hope our union announcement can inspire others as well.”

Ben-Ami said in a statement that “We recognize the vital role that unions play in the pursuit of economic justice and the importance of organizing as a vehicle for political change.”

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