[“The Jewish Labor Committee is standing to say, there is no
place in the United States for Anti-Semitism, racism, and
Islamophobia,” Stuart Appelbum, President of the JLC said, adding,
“America must remain a place of refuge.” ] [https://portside.org/]


 PORTSIDE LABOR 

 JLC HEAD: ‘NO PLACE IN THE U.S. FOR ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM AND
ISLAMOPHOBIA’   [https://portside.org/node/18871] 

 

 Silver Krieger 
 December 12, 2018
LABORPRESS 

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 _ “The Jewish Labor Committee is standing to say, there is no place
in the United States for Anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia,”
Stuart Appelbum, President of the JLC said, adding, “America must
remain a place of refuge.” _ 

 , 

 

New York, NY – The Jewish Labor Committee recently held its
47th Human Rights Awards Dinner at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown
Manhattan.

Elissa McBride, Henry Garrido and Stuart Appelbaum.

The honorees were the Service Employees International Union, accepted
by SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Henry A. Garrido, executive
director, District Council 37, AFSCME, and HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant
Aid Society), accepted by HIAS President and CEO Mark
Hetfield  (Hetfield was unable to attend – Roger Aronson of HIAS
accepted on his behalf). The Jewish Labor Council was founded in 1934,
with the mission to mobilize unions, Jewish organizations and mutual
aid societies across North America to help fight Nazism in Germany.

Arieh Liebowitz, executive director of the JLC, introduced Stuart
Appelbaum, president of the JLC, who told the crowd of hundreds, “It
is good to come together during this time,” and made special mention
of the dispossessed, including children “being ripped away” from
their parents at the southern border. He noted that the JLC was formed
in the 1930’s “as a direct response” to Kristallnacht, a pogrom
in Germany that was the start of the Holocaust, “to make sure it
never happens again.”

“The JLC is standing to say, there is no place in the United States
for Anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia,” Appelbum said, adding,
“America must remain a place of refuge.”

_AMERICA MUST REMAIN A PLACE OF REFUGE.– STUART APPELBAUM,
PRESIDENT, JLC_

Governor Andrew Cuomo then addressed the crowd. Cuomo spoke of an
“underlying dynamic,” “an anger” that has been exploited by
the current administration to be turned against “people that are
different – people with a different religion, a different sexual
orientation, a different color.”

“We now have taken our greatest strength and made it our greatest
weakness,” the governor said.

Cuomo also said it is the peoples’ obligation to oppose the discord
and address it, saying, “It’s the Labor Movement that’s going to
protect the men and women.”

Henry then accepted her award, saying that the crucially important
raise of the minimum wage to $15 an hour would not have happened
without Governor Cuomo.

“When the wealthy and the powerful in this nation and world say it
is not possible to make things better I say, come to New York
State,” Henry said. “We are going to figure out how to organize
millions more.”

Elissa McBride, secretary-treasurer of AFSCME, then presented the
award to Henry Garrido. She lauded Garrido’s “intellectual
heft,” “commitment and accountability,” and efforts in
“growing our members.”

“I stand before you as a living testament to the plight of
immigrants in this country,” the DC37 leader said. Garrido, himself,
came to the U.S. at 11-years-old. His mother worked in factories where
she was often let go as a result of ICE, though she was a legal
worker, and always turned to the union for help. As a result, unions
became for Garrido, “a place where you found justice,” while the
workplace remained places where workers were “stripped of their
dignity.”

“I am extremely honored to be here today,” Garrido said, adding,
“You don’t have to be Jewish to stand up against Anti-Semitism.”

Lastly, Tefere Gebre, executive vice-president, AFL-CIO, presented the
award for HIAS. Proclaiming himself a proud refugee, from Ethiopia,
Gebre said, “People coming into our country need to be met with
hope, not with tear gas.”

Decrying the present state of affairs in the U.S., Gebre called it
“a betrayal of what America stands for.” Yet, he said,
“Elections come and go, but movements are built for the long run. We
must build a movement…we must stand up and say, all of us or none of
us!”

Aronson accepted the award on behalf of HIAS. He spoke about how HIAS
assisted the founder of the JLC in his own coming to America, as well
as the JLC’s influence on Jewish thought and Jewish life in America.

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