Parting Words from Jen Kiok, Executive Director | Announcing our interim executive director

Dear friend,
 
I spoke candidly at our Annual Member Meeting last week about my time at BWC, the incredible role of our members, and my vision for the future.
 
I invite you to watch my speech below, and to know that I am speaking to you —that I fully believe you have the power to help shape our collective future. If you haven't joined or renewed yet this membership month, I invite you to become a 2021-2022 member of Boston Workers Circle to help power the next chapter of our community collectively.
 
My chapter as executive director is coming to a close on July 1. Watching the deeply relational and intergenerational organizing that has happened during my time here, I am confident that Boston Workers Circle will be thriving and growing for another 120 years.
 
I encourage you to be bold in our next chapter. To act from your values. To see yourselves as laying the groundwork for the future of the Jewish community because that's what I believe members of this community are doing.
 
We've done a lot of incredible work together, and that work is not done. Thank you for helping shepherd this historic organization into a brighter and bolder future.
 
With hope, solidarity, and love,
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jen Kiok
Executive Director
 
June is membership month at BWC! Being a BWC member is choosing to belong to a community that takes care of each other, celebrates and learns together, and shows up for justice. Membership runs from June-June of each year. If you have questions about your current membership status, please email info@circleboston.org.
 
Introducing Our Interim Executive Director
 
We are excited to introduce our interim executive director, Jonathan Rosenthal. Jonathan was selected by our wonderful transition team of BWC members and Board members, and we're grateful for his leadership during this time as we start the search for a permanent Executive Director.
 
Jonathan will be working alongside staff, the Board, and a team of BWC members including AFREJ chair Nakhie Fayenshteyn, and Shule parents Lucas Orwig & Catherine Bell who are supporting our racial justice work during the transition.
 
 
 
Jonathan Rosenthal
Pronouns:he/él
 
I grew up in various suburban communities: New York, Chicago, New Jersey, and Washington DC. My family was of Jewish heritage, but with no Jewish rituals or overt connections to being Jewish. I moved to Maine to attend Colby College. I dropped out after 2 years to be an activist in Boston.
 
I then worked as a warehouse worker, buyer, and co-manager of a cooperative food warehouse. Three of us from the coop created the fair trade company Equal Exchange, which I co-led and then led. I later collaborated with my EE co-founders to launch and lead a fair trade fruit company, Oké USA. I have consulted with fair trade and cooperative organizations in many countries.  
 
Frustrated with the lack of interest in the fair trade community in embracing antiracist work, I shifted movements to be the Executive Director of the New Economy Coalition. Most recently, I was the interim executive director of the Cornucopia Institute, a nonprofit defending family-scale organic agriculture.
 
I am a member of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek and have leadership roles in the Tikkun Olam steering committee, the Sindyanna Jewish/Palestinian olive oil project, the Israel-Palestine Peace Committee, the Antiracism Working Group, and a group bridging the political divide re: Palestine/Israel, Israel Connects. I also serve on various boards: The Coffee Trust, The Southwest Georgia Project/New Communities Inc, and The Center for Cooperative Development and Solidarity in East Boston. I am married to Ora Grodsky and we have two amazing adult daughters.
 
I am looking forward to getting to know the BWC community and working with the staff, board, and members to provide a smooth transition to new leadership.