Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Happy Passover—Chag Pesach Sameach!

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

The AFL-CIO, representing 12.5 million workers in 60 national and international unions, extends our heartfelt greeting to our Jewish members, their families and the Jewish community as a whole. The beginning of Passover, which is celebrated all over the world, occurs this year from April 5 to April 13. With the start of spring, a time of renewal and hope, Passover retells the ancient Jewish story of liberation. The story of the exodus, which led the Jews out of bondage in ancient Egypt, has been a central theme of Jewish life and an inspiration for all who struggle for freedom and dignity.

For working people, both Jews and non-Jews alike, Passover has a special meaning because it commemorates the ancient Israelites’ escape from forced labor. Many of the rituals of Passover, from the words in the Haggadah to the bitter herbs that are served as part of the holiday meal, emphasize the pain of slavery and injustice at work that were imposed millennia ago on the ancient Israelite slaves. 

These memories resonate with us today—not only within our own labor movement, but also wherever people labor—because the struggle for human freedom and for justice at work is worldwide and unceasing.

This year, when Passover is celebrated within the state of Israel, the holiday will have a special meaning, with its arrival soon after the massive strike of Israeli working men and women, called for by our sister labor federation, the Histadrut, in defense of democracy and judicial independence in that country—essential pillars of any struggle for workers’ rights.

Passover, wherever, however and by whomever it is observed, is a powerful reminder of the deep connections between the Jewish community and the labor movement as well as our shared values, which span centuries.

We wish the entire Jewish community, both near and far, a happy Passover. Chag Pesach Sameach!