5th Grade/Hey Class Shule Protest

Every year, our Shule Sunday School 5th grade "Hey" students learn about our people's history as immigrants, workers, and organizers, as they organize their own sweatshop protest in solidarity with a local union. Yesterday our 5th graders delivered a banner and message of solidarity to the Dining Hall workers at Tufts University who are fighting for fair wages and affordable health care. See their work in action!

In their own words:

"We are the 5th grade class at the Boston Workmen’s Circle Sunday School. The Boston Workmen’s Circle is a cultural Jewish organization working for social justice. We have been studying the history of Jews’ immigrating to America and their involvement in the labor movement. We learned about how Jewish immigrants in the early 1900’s faced poor working conditions, long hours, little pay, and anti-Semitism, and how they organized large protests and movements to advocate for themselves and others who were facing similar challenges.

We have been learning about some of the challenges Tufts dining hall workers face as well. We have heard and read about their long hours, low wages, and how hard they work. We have heard about how some workers are called “temporary” workers, even after they have worked at Tufts for a long time. These workers get paid less than other workers, don’t receive benefits, and don’t have job security from year to year. We learned that Tufts wants their dining hall workers to pay extremely high prices for healthcare. We know that access to affordable healthcare is a human right. We want the administration at Tufts to listen to the workers’ demands. We stand with Tufts workers in the process of negotiating a fair contract.

We have learned about the word “solidarity.” It means standing with people, even if their struggles are different from yours. We believe it’s important to listen to workers, to believe in them and stand by them. We stand with the Tufts dining hall workers and all workers who face hard working conditions, low wages, and lack of affordable healthcare. Our history teaches us that people must come together and speak out against oppression. We are following our Jewish tradition by doing just that.

 

Sincerely,

5th graders at Boston Workmen’s Circle Shule"