Is Art the Future of Jewish Practice?
Aaron Henne, founder and director of Los Angeles' theatre dybbuk, asks: What would our future look like if artistic opportunities were fundamental to our Jewish lives? Arts-based experiences, be they performative, visual or otherwise, are at the center of our engagement with the world and yet, in our Jewish communities and society in general, we often view arts as a secondary means through which we can achieve educational or ritual ends. What would our future look like if artistic opportunities and all the beauty and complexity they offer were part and parcel of our Jewish lives? Aaron Henne is the artistic director of theatre dybbuk, an arts and education organization whose work illuminates universal human experience from a Jewish perspective. In addition to his work with theatre dybbuk, Henne teaches storytelling throughout the country and has presented workshops at Lucasfilm, Pixar and Dreamworks. Henne was an American Jewish University Dream Lab Fellow and the Diane Luboff Scholar at the Cutter Colloquium at HUC-JIR. He has also served as a professional mentor at Otis College of Art and Design, as faculty for the Wexner Heritage Program, and as a consultant and facilitator for a wide variety of organizations including The Jewish Federation of North America's Young Leadership Cabinet and the Western Hillel Organization regional conference. Henne is a Pilot Wexner Field Fellow and the recipient of LA Weekly and SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for playwriting. Part of the Architects of the Jewish Future Series.
New Law for Employers
The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.
The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.
Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.
Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.
- Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
- Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
- Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster
courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP