Report back on racial justice training

Dear Friend,
On two recent Sundays, 45 leaders from the BWC community (including board, staff, Shule & Yiddish teachers, and committee chairs) gathered for a 10-hour training on the intersections of racism, anti-semitism and white supremacy called, “Our Liberation is Bound Together.” Led by our peer-organization Kavod, this training was one piece of our work towards building an equitable community that is actively working against racism. 
We began by locating ourselves in these systems of oppression, tracing our family timelines to understand how we have been impacted and, for those of us who are white, how we have benefited (like it or not) from legal policies that have given white folks a leg up, time and time again. 
As a community bound together by a commitment to social change, we took an honest look at our shortcomings. We located ourselves, alongside the broader Jewish community, historically and in the current moment as active members in movements for racial justice. At the same time we acknowledged the reality that here at BWC, just as in the larger Jewish community, white Ashkenazi Jewish narratives are often centered, serving to erase or marginalize perspectives of Jews of Color and Sephardi and Mizrachi Jews. 
In small groups focusing on different realms of our organization from Shule to Arts & Culture to Social Justice to Infrastructure, we created collective visions for racial justice in our community and made commitments to concrete action steps to get us there. 
We envision a community where:
  • We acknowledge anti-semitism and show up for ourselves.
  • White folks are doing the work of owning their privilege and challenging racism.
  • Jews of Color feel whole, seen, at home; especially our young people.
  • All of our shule students understand Jewish community as multiracial, multicultural and full of traditions.
  • We commit to staying together as we work through conflict.
Each of us made specific commitments to bring this work forward, including by sharing it with you, our members. We are committed to working with you to build a community and a culture that is actively challenging racism and anti-semitism while working towards collective liberation and racial justice. Join us by supporting our racial justice work or getting involved!
In Solidarity,

Jen Kiok, Executive Director

Rachel Hess, Board Member, Chair Equity & Inclusion Committee

Want to plug into this work?

Equity & Inclusion committee: Contact Rachel Hess,
Acting for Racial & Economic Justice committee: Contact Nakhie Faynshteyn,
Jewish Muslim Solidarity Committee: Contact Laura Derman, or Betsy Abrams,
Save the Date
Gragger 5780! Saturday, March 7
8:00pm - 1:00am @ SEIU 32BJ Meeting Hall
Don't miss the magic of this year's Gragger shpiel that is chock full of Russian forest magic, ancient Jewish demons, and queer & feminine power. Learn more // Get your tickets now
Jewish-Muslim Shabes
Friday, March 13, 6:15pm
@ Temple Beth Zion
We will be joined by guests from Muslim partner organizations. The evening will provide an opportunity to socialize; get a glimpse into each other's lives; share stories of strength, hope & resistance. Learn more.
Shule Purim Shpiel & Carnival, Sunday, March 15, 10:15am
@ the Runkle School
This event is geared for families and open to the whole community! The kids are putting on an amazing shpiel, plus there will be carnival games & food. Bring friends!
New Member Orientation + Potluck Dinner
Sunday, March 29, 4:30pm @ BWC
Interested in getting more plugged in at BWC? Join others looking to connect at our upcoming New Member Orientation. 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. Learn more.
Upcoming Events at BWC
Gragger 5780! Builds
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2:00pm - 5:00pm / Wednesday, Feb. 26, 6:30pm - 8:30pm / Sunday, March 1, 1:00pm - 5:00pm / and Wednesday, Mar. 4, 6:30pm - 8:30pm. All @ BWC
We need you! To be in a puppet, paint a set piece, play a courtesan or a harpiscord in this year's sphil. NOW is the perfect time to jump into Gragger--we've got a script and an awesome story and we need YOU to bring it to life! Email to RSVP. Learn more.
Circle Book Group
Sunday, Feb. 23, 10:15am @ BWC
Our book this month is Paul Goldberg's The Yid. A debut novel of daring originality, The Yid guarantees that you will never think of Stalinist Russia, Shakespeare, theater, Yiddish or history the same way again. Learn more.
Yiddish Sing
Thursday, Feb. 27, 7:30pm @ BWC
Drop-in for this informal monthly gathering to learn and sing Yiddish folk songs. Songbooks provided. All are welcome, regardless of singing ability or knowledge of Yiddish. Learn more
Yiddish Reading Group
Friday, Feb. 28, March 6, 13, 10:30am @ BWC
We reading Mendel Mann's "Kerner in Midber" (Seeds in the Desert). Published in 1966, it is a series of autobiographical stories that goes backward in time from his settlement in Israel in 1948, back to his time in Russia during and after WWII, and finally, back to his childhood in Poland. Learn more
Secular Judaism with Mitch Silver (Shule Focused)
Sunday, March 1, 10:45am - 12:00pm @ BWC
The Shule Committee is excited to host Boston Workers Circle former Shule director, long-time member, lecturer, and author, Mitchell Silver. He will offer a talk on Secular Judaism with a focus on what it means for families with children. Learn more.
Jewish Muslim Solidarity Committee Meeting
Thursday, March 5, 7:00pm @ BWC
Through political action, relationship building, and community education, the Jewish Muslim Solidarity Committee (JMSC) works to build relationships among Jews and Muslims in Greater Boston and joins with the Muslim community in opposing Islamophobia in all its manifestations. Learn more.
Register for Classes
Understanding Islam Introduction Course with Hayat Imam
4 Sessions, Wednesdays, 7pm - 9pm starting March 18 @ BWC
Back by popular demand, we are excited to offer this important introductory course again! This course is designed to bring an alternative voice, and a glimpse of the wider, sweeping, story of the 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. Hayat will answer questions such as: Who are we? What do Muslims find so appealing in Islam? What do we believe? In this increasingly connected globe, it's imperative for our survival to foster greater understanding and build bridges. Learn more, read the instructor bio here, and register.
ABCs of Racism: Starting the Convo about Race & Racism with Kids
Sunday, March 22, 10:30am-12:30pm @ Runkle school
This interactive workshop by Wee The People will explore the barriers that prevent adults from talking about race and racism with kids, examine the social science of race awareness in children, and identify strategies to start the conversation with kids about the complexities of race, racism, and racial differences. Learn more and register.
Join our ABV Concert Host Committee
On Sunday, May 31, Boston Workers Circle is proud to host Singing for Love & Justice, a concert featuring A Besere Velt Yiddish Chorus performing with Lorin Sklamberg & Polina Shepherd. This evening will honor three transformational community leaders: Aaron Lansky, Yavilah McCoy, and the BWC Shule Class of 2019. 
Joining the Host Committee is a meaningful way for individuals to support the mission of Boston Workers Circle, the performers, and our honorees. Host Committee members receive tickets to the event, an ad in the keepsake program book, and your name included in promotional materials. Join by Feb. 28 to be listed on the invitations!
Around the Circle
Life news? Graduation? Promotion? Simcha? What's new? Email Madeleine,, to have it shared with the community. 
Join the AFREJ Committee's Climate Justice Working Group in a fun, family-friendly art build for the upcoming Earth Day Strikes! Make posters and get a chance to learn more about what is going on around climate justice in our communities! Please fill out this form so we can get a sense of what date works for everyone!
Join our Building Beautification Committee
We'll meet three or four times a year and we'll tackle cleaning and organizing project as needed, such as organizing the attic or painting signs. Contact Sandy Martin at if you're interested.
Derek David, director of A Beserve Velt Yiddish Chorus, is taking part in a panel discussion on Feb. 24th. The panel is called "Shofar: A Call to Come Together" and is being hosted by Coro Allegro to celebrate Jewish choral music and Robert Stern's oratorio ShofarLearn more.
Become a BWC Member
Boston Workers 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!
Support Boston Workers Circle
Our work is made possible by the generous support of people like you.
Get in touch: | (617) 566 - 6281