In the words of the president of our Union of American Hebrew Congregations, "The Jewish tradition affirms the crucial importance of work as central to the dignity of the human being." Our biblical, rabbinic, and contemporary Jewish traditions are replete with admonitions exalting the virtues of work as a way to honor man and God.
Unemployment in American life now reaches catastrophic proportions, particularly among the youth of our inner cities. In some communities, 50 percent to 80 percent of Black and Hispanic youth are out of work. Yet joblessness is not just a Black/Hispanic agenda. It is an American, a human, a Jewish agenda.
WE, THEREFORE, support such legislative initiatives as the Humphrey-Hawkins Equal Opportunity and Full Employment Act and urge serious consideration of other measures that would, through federal programs and support, stimulate private sector jobs so desperately needed, especially for young people.
Possibilities of direct government employment should not be neglected, particularly while longer-term private sector programs are put in place.
We urge that legislation and action be expedited to provide all citizens with a right we consider of cardinal importance-the human right to a job.