Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Fair Trade Values and Jewish ethics


March 22, 2019

Susan Bernstein (center) with Mayans.

Each year, Susan Bernstein, Jewish Pavilion program director, travels to Guatemala to visit with Mayan women artisans who have been trained to use their skills in weaving, beading, and crocheting to produce beautiful Judaic products that include kippot, tallitot, challah covers, and mezuzah cases.

Fair Trade Values closely match Jewish ethics, making it a logical partnership for Bernstein, who sees her work with the Jewish Pavilion as a way to connect with Jewish residents in the Orlando area while educating and informing non-Jewish seniors, who might choose to attend Jewish Pavilion programs.

One of the Fair-Trade principles states that the artisan must receive a fair price for their product and receive payment in a timely manner. This is directly associated with the Jewish value of Linat Sachar-pay wages on time. In Deuteronomy 24:14-15 it states, "You shall not abuse a needy or destitute laborer, whether countryman or a stranger in one of the communities of your land. You must pay wages on the same day, before the sun sets, for his needs and his life depend on it."

For more information regarding Mayan Judaic products, please visit the following websites: http://www.mayanhands.org and http://www.mayaworks.org.


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