Reflections on Liberation & Passover

Dear Friend,
 
This week our tradition calls us to gather around seder tables and reflect on our individual and collective liberation. I've been engaged in this reflection throughout this year. I've been asking myself questions like: What does it mean to be free? What's the difference between freedom and liberation? How do we liberate ourselves and heal from our ancestral and lived trauma so that we can be whole in our work of fighting for justice and liberation of all people? 
 
I'm so aware, especially in our current political climate, of our individual and collective broken heart. In some ways it seems like an audacious time to be talking about liberation, and in some ways it is exactly the time and place that we need to be laser focused on it.
 
Yesterday, we marked the 50th yortsayt of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and as people around the world celebrate his life and remember his death, we are called to recommit to our work against racism, violence and yes, capitalism. As an organization that grew out of the socialist movement, let's take this opportunity to ask ourselves what does collective liberation really mean? If we have resources, how are we redistributing them? If we have time, how are we using it? 
 
We tell and retell the Passover story to ensure that history does not repeat itself; to remember that we are not free until everyone is free.And yet, as we speak, history repeats itself. This week we mourn the unlawful killing of 17 Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli soldiers, of Stephon Clark, killed by police in Sacramento, California, and of Saheed Vassell, killed yesterday by police in Brooklyn. We mourn, we protest, and somehow we have to locate ourselves in these realities. We have to locate our rage, our fear, our sadness, our guilt, our complacency, our passion, our drive to work for an end of oppression and bondage not only for Jews, but for everyone.
 
This year, I am making a practice of actually envisioning our end goal as we work to fight systems of oppression. As I work for racial justice, my goal is not just to educate people so that more people understand and invest in working against racism, and it's not just to make policies that help to eradicate structural racism. These things are vital, but our end goal must be to dismantle white supremacy. This year, I am making a practice of envisioning the day when we succeed at that goal, because if we don't, the world we are working towards will always be in the future.
 
So this Passover, I invite you to envision collective liberation, not as something that could happen in some far off time, but as something that we are working towards right now. What will it feel like? What will it taste like? What will it look like? What is your role in making it happen?
 
With love and liberation,
Jen Kiok
Executive Director
 
Featured Events & Programs: Please Join Us! shabes
Festival Art-Build
Sunday, April 8th, 12:30 - 3:00 PM @ BWC
Join us this Sunday to build sets and make puppets and costumes for the BWC Anniversary Festival on May 20th. All ages and artistic abilities welcome! We'll order pizza. Please RSVP so we know how much to order! 
 
Merlin & Polina Shepherd Concert
Wednesday, April 11th, 7:30 PM @ BWC
Join us for a rare US appearance of UK-based Merlin and Polina Shepherd performing Yiddish, klezmer, and music of co-territorial cultures with a unique approach of improvisation, freedom, and spontaneity. Learn more
 
In the Bones of Our Ancestors Workshop 
Sunday, April 15th, 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Jamaica Plain 

Jen Kiok is offering a day-long workshop and havdalah potluck supper for white Jews to explore our dual roles in the systems of white supremacy, racism and anti-semitism. The day will be grounded in heart space and guided by the understanding that we must heal from these systems as we work to dismantle them. Learn more.
 
"Aging With Wisdom" Book Discussion With Author
Sunday, April 22nd, 10:30 AM, Runkle School 50 Druce St. Brookline
Join the BWC Aging in Community Committee for an engaging presentation and discussion about the book "Aging with Wisdom" with author Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle. Following her presentation, Olivia will lead a Q&A, and will have copies of her books available. Learn more
 
1for3 Walk for Water 5k for Palestinian Refugees
Saturday, April 28th, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM, South Plaza @ Kendall Square


Join or donate to the BWC Team for 1for3's Third Annual Walk for Water 5K in support of Palestinian Refugees! Enjoy the gorgeous scenery of the Charles River with your family and friend, and support an organization working to promote health, education, and the environment for Palestinian refugees. Learn more.
 
Circle Book Group: "The Women in the Castle: A Novel" by Jessica Shattuck
Sunday, April 29th, 10:15 @ member's home in Cambridge 
Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined-an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel. Learn more
 
Ongoing Meetings, Classes, Events
Yiddish Reading Group
Friday, April 6th, 11:00 AM @ BWC
A Yiddish reading group that meets at Boston Workmen's Circle is inviting new members! We have just started reading I.L.Peretz' delightful "Pictures from a Provincial Journey" ("Bilder fun a Provints Rayze"), a series of short vignettes describing his ethnographic travels in eastern Poland in 1890.
 
Boston Workmen's Circle Yiddish vinkls, or conversation groups, meet twice a month in different member homes. Whatever your level of Yiddish, this is an opportunity to sharpen your Yiddish skills in a comfortable and informal setting. Drop in anytime! All generations welcome. Learn more.
Acting for Racial & Economic Justice Meeting
Wednesday, March 28th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM @ BWC
Acting for Racial and Economic Justice (AFREJ) works for racial and economic justice in the BWC community, the Jewish community, and the Boston community at-large. Join us for our monthly meeting to get involved! Learn more.
Enrollling
Roots, Resistance, Resilience
On Sunday, May 20, BWC is hosting a festival and concert fundraiser "Roots, Resistance, Resilience" honoring Jenny Silverman, Dove Kent, and Sherry Mayrent and celebrating significant organizational milestones.
There are 3 ways for you to support this special event: 
1. Join the Host Committee  - This includes tickets to the event, your name listed on event materials, and a greeting in our program book. There is no time commitment, and we offer 5 different giving tiers. 
 
2. Take out a greeting in our program book  - You can take out greetings in our keepsake 8.5x11" print program book, ranging from 1/8 page to a full page! This is a great way to celebrate our honorees, anniversaries, or promote your business.  
 
The deadline to submit your program book greetings is 
Monday, April 16th


 

Looking Ahead - Save the Dates for May 2018
Around the Circle - Useful BWC Community Information
A Sheynem Dank - Thank You!
Have some gratitude for your BWC community? 
Email Michelle 
to post it to the newsletter!
 
Community Passover Seder
We had a beautiful Community Passover Seder last weekend. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who made it possible. Thank you to our Ritual Committee Linda Gritz, Norm Berman, and Maya Baca; our song leaders Pauli Katz and Bob Follansbee; the Shule Band Oz Raisler-CohnAnne Slater, and Scott HelmanLogistics coordinator Jenny Hochstadt and her support team Maya Baca, Mindy Fried, Laurie Livingston, Andy Strauss, Linda Cohen, Christy Pardew, Dan Finkelstein, Laura Derman, Lois Glass and many more; kitchen coordinator Jess Green; and our emcees Maddy Popkin and Haley Kossek. Check our more photos here

 
Teen Action: FedEx Cut Ties with the NRA!
Congrats to Molly Greenwold, Mara Litten, Ramon Fireside Rivera, Zaira Dalton, Claire Caldicott, Ariana Seniuk, Sam Wikler-Marchand, Be Jackson, and Sam Cheever of TASC (Teens Acting for Social Change) for organizing an action calling on FedEx to cut its ties with the NRA. Thanks toSarah O'Connor, Maddy Popkin, Max Chapnick, Miles Meth, Chris Messinger, David Schwartz, Evvie Jagoda, Matt Karlin, Mirah Sand, and Clayton Cheever for the support as marshals, police liaisons, coaches, and puppeteers! See photos, the livestream, and an article in the Jewish Advocate.
 
News of the Mishpokhe
Life news? Graduation? Promotion? Simcha? What's new? Email Michelle and share it with the community.
 
Mazel tov to Milo Tumposky (member of first Shule graduating class, 1992) and his wife, Heatherjean MacNeil, who joyously welcomed twin boys, Finch and Jax Macosky, born March 7.
 
Become a BWC Member
Boston Workmen's Circle is sustained by our members. If you believe in keeping secular progressive Jewish tradition alive and thriving for generations to come, please join us! Find out about BWC membership or sign up now!
 
Get More Plugged In @ BWC
Interested in joining a committee? We've got something for everyone with Yiddish, Shabes, Ritual, Adult Ed, Acting for Racial and Economic Justice, Middle East Working Group, Jewish-Muslim Solidarity, Aging in Community, Shule, Young Adults, and Caring. Email Liz to learn more about our diverse committees!
 
BWC Building Rentals
Hosting a party that's too big for your house? Having a meeting, or teaching a class? Hold it at Boston Workmen's Circle! We are conveniently located on the Green Line, with plenty of on-street parking. Learn more about space rentals.
 
Support Boston Workmen's Circle
Our work is made possible by the grassroots support of people like you.