Letters to the Editor: Aug. 17, 2016

Raising the minimum wage 

In the daily work of Jewish social service agencies, we serve many people who struggle with poverty, hunger and lack of opportunity. The policy statement on increasing the minimum wage that was adopted by the Jewish Community Relations Council and published in the Jewish Light represents an important step forward. This applies no less to those who work in our agencies. Jewish Family & Children’s Service fully supports this policy statement and has increased its pay scale, retroactive to January 2016, to an agency minimum wage of $12/hour. Our board felt that as lay leaders our actions were a matter of both economic and social justice.  This step can help us move towards a livable wage and strengthen the community as a whole.  

Karen Suroff, President

L. Louis Albert, Executive Director

Jewish Family & Children’s Service 

Value of volunteering

I am one of seven siblings from a Jewish family originally from Baltimore, and my entire family has discovered the value of being a volunteer for the many organizations we’ve worked with over the past 50 years. 

My mother was a foster mother during and after the war (1945-1960). My daughter has been a social worker for the past 20 years.  

When we moved to St. Louis, I sold my business after 30 years. Wanting to put my education and experience to work, I responded to an article in the Jewish Light that the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry was asking for volunteers.  I met with their volunteer coordinator and a few days later I began working at the pantry. I am still there after these many years.  

I have personally benefitted many times over for being a volunteer, whether it be for the food pantry or the Red Cross, where I volunteer in their disaster program, or for the International Institute, where we assist refugees from many countries  to become an American. 

My wife and I also volunteer through Temple Emanuel with the  Jewish Community Relations  Council. We have truly benefited from all of our associations.

I consider myself to have a master’s degree in experience working for the Jewish Food Pantry.  

Tis better to give than to receive.

Lenny Baer, O Fallon,  Mo.