BWC artist feature!

Emma Goldman, a fiery Jewish feminist, famously said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution." With almost twenty different member-led committees, we are a community of doers and go-getters ready to put in the work for that collective liberation. And we are a community of artists, musicians, dancers, healers, and makers!

Joining BWC as a 2022-2023 member means embracing all of the ways that you make the world a better place, from protesting to painting. 

Here are just a few of our members bringing creativity, joy, and revelry to our community:

"I wanted a space where we could create in Yiddish, and a space where we could help each other with the challenges of creating in Yiddish. 

So many of us are learning the language, or are otherwise much more proficient in English - so not only do we have the regular questions that any storyteller would have about a work in progress, we also have questions about the language we are using.
 
I wanted to have a space where we could help each other with both the grammar and the artistry of Yiddish in our creations.
 
To me, creating in Yiddish is a radical act. It is a way to reclaim a part of my culture and an act of anti-assimilation."
 
- Lilye Weitzman, Co-Chair, Yiddish Committee & Creator of BWC's Di Nest: Yiddish Projects Incubator
 
Above: The first verse of Lilye Weitzman's song-in-progress, featuring personifications of time and music in Yiddish.
 
 
A cut-paper image of two figures in skirts holding a basket of eggs and a rooster together on a green background.Left: 'Friendship' papercut by Bubbie Mae Rockland Tupa
 
"I like stories. And one of the Jewish arts I learned to make to tell stories was papercutting, in my mother's kitchen.
 
She said that the women would cut with scissors and men would cut with a knife. But I found that when it came time to make an elaborate papercut, I needed to cut with a knife. I had it in my head to do a whole series of Jewish papercuts."
 
- Bubbie Mae Rockland Tupa
 
See Mae's art and watch the interview here.
 
 
 
Below: Singing for Peace & Freedom! Upcoming Concert on June 18, 2022
 
Flyer for Singing for Peace and Freedom with wide photo of the A Besere Velt chorus beneath it.
"A Besere Velt (a better world) is a community that enjoys singing together, focusing on a repertoire shaped by our secular, progressive beliefs and our desire to celebrate radical Yiddishkayt.
 
When we perform, we try to deliver intense concert experiences, for ourselves and hopefully for our audiences. I've always found that our concerts carry extra emotional weight beyond the music itself because of the scripts and productions we create, weaving Jewish/Yiddish history together with our universal values of peace and justice for all, around the world and in this country."
 
- Bob Follansbee, A Besere Velt Steering Committee member
 
 
Below: Abigale Reisman performing Vu Zaynen Di Shtibelekh at the Boston Festival of New Jewish Music

Vu zenen di shtibelekh, vu iz der taykh?
Vu zenen de beymelekh, elter fun aykh?
Nishto mer di shtibelekh, dos taykhl iz oys
Farbrenen di beymelekh, alts is shoyn oys

Where are the houses, where is the river?
Where are the trees, so much older than
 you?
The houses are no more, the river has run dry
The trees are burning, all is gone

Vu zenen di onshitn, vu iz di gas?
Vu zenen di kinderlekh, tantsndik in plats?
Di onshitn tseplaste, dos gesele tseshtert
Di oreme laydn, ven ir nemt ayn di velt.

Where are the levees, where is the street?
Where are the children, dancing in the square?
The levees have burst, the street is destroyed
The poor people suffer as 
you steal this world.

S’dakt zikh a kholem, nor biter’s der tam
Dos shtibl iz leydik, geshlogn fun yam
Nishto mer di beymelekh, nishto mer der taykh,
Shoyn lang fargesn di menshlekhkayt.

It seems like a dream, with a bitter taste
This home is empty, swallowed by the sea
No more are the trees, no more is the river,
Long forgotten is humanity.

"I could not have written the words to this song without the help of everyone at Di Nest! It was a great experience to collaborate to create the narrative and vibe of this song using the Yiddish language. We went back and forth on many words and what kind of meaning they created.
 
Weeks later, Lilye brought to my attention that Malka and Josef Lubelski had also written new words to Vu iz Dos Gesele about the horrors of the Holocaust. There is something about this song that made me and them want to work through issues that are so important, in a rich language that has been through many sorrows."
 
- Abigale Reisman
 
Watch Abigale's beautiful concert here.
 
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This year, we're starting our membership month a little early! We're inspired by the spring blooming, re-emergence, and the energy of new staff. If you join/renew now, your BWC membership will be valid through June 2023.
 
Thank you to everyone who has already joined as a 2022-2023 member!