Staying in touch during the COVID-19 crisis

Dear friend,
 
As a Jewish community working for social justice, we come from a long lineage of Jews who have adapted to the shifting terrain of oppression around them and have found ways to be resilient. In the past week, the earth has shifted beneath our feet. We are all doing our best, in our own way, to find the ground. I invite you to take it slow, to look at this time as Lynn Ungar invites in her poem, “ Pandemic ” as a Sabbath, a sacred time. Begin by resourcing yourself with breath, with sleep, with any grounding practices you may have (walks, meditation, yoga, singing), with connection to loved ones (through your virtual platform of choice). Once each of us is resourced, we can begin to ask ourselves how we can become a resource to others.
 
I’m incredibly grateful to our board and staff members who have already done exactly that. Thanks to their leadership, our community has already begun to adapt to this changing landscape by offering our programs virtually. In this first e-news of our new reality, you will find many ways below to connect to the BWC community in the coming weeks from the comfort and safety of your home. You are not alone friends, and this season I am grateful for the technology that will allow us to feel our connectedness to each other even within our isolation.
 
With love and community,
Jen Kiok, Executive Director
 
 
Register now for BWC virtual events
Virtual Passover Seder
Sunday, April 5, 4:30pm - 5:30 pm, on Zoom
 
Join us over Zoom for a one-of-a-kind secular Seder experience, featuring BWC's original ever-evolving Hagaddah, progressive tradition, social justice and singing. Although we can't join together in-person this year, BWC's ritual committee and others are working hard on crafting a service centered around community. We're excited to see everyone's faces on the screen! Along with the Zoom information, participants will also be emailed: 1) a virtual Haggadah to follow along with from home, 2) a community recipe book to create a holiday meal , and 3) instructions on how to create your own Seder plate! Staff are available to support anyone who wants to learn more about Zoom before the Seder. Learn more .
CLASS NOW FULL: Understanding Islam Introductory Course
Wednesdays, 7:00pm - 8:30pm on Zoom
5 Sessions (March 25, April 1, 15, 22, & 29)
 
The same eye-opening class taught by Hayat Imam is now being taught online over Zoom. If you missed registering the first time around, you now have until this Wednesday to sign-up! 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? CLASS IS FULL. 
 
 
Upcoming Events
AFREJ Meeting
Wednesday, March 25, 4:00pm - 5:30pm on Zoom
As our community transitions into maintaining connection and learning together through digital means, AFREJ is rethinking how we approach our work as a committee during this time. Learn more .
 
Yiddish Reading Group
Friday, March 27, 10:30am - 12:00pm on Zoom
We are presently reading a book of short and delightful stories by Kadia Molodowsky, "A Shtub mit Zibn Fenster." The book is available for free download at the Yiddish Book Center . Learn more .
 
Circle Book Group
Sunday, March 29, 10:00am - 12:15pm on Zoom
This month, the Circle Book Group is discussing Stella Suberman's The Jew Store . set in 1920 small-town America. " The Jew Store is that rare thing--an intimate family story that sheds new light on a piece of American history." The first 15 minutes of the meeting are for those who want to test "Zooming" before the meeting starts at 10:15. Learn more .
 
Circle Playtime
Sunday, March 29, 11:30am-11:50am on Zoom
Circle Playtime is a free monthly playgroup for children ages 0-4 and their parents. Planning for the virtual Circle Playtime is still being finalized. It will include a read-aloud for Passover, and followed by music in another Zoom room. To learn more, contact BWC Education Director Meira Soloff, meira@circleboston.org or check the calendar page for updates later this week. The Zoom link will be posted on the page by Friday. And pass along to interested grandkids or families in your life!
 
Zoom Jolly: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Shabes
Friday, April 3 on Zoom, Time TBA (in the evening)
Save the date for this online Shabes! Everyone is welcome. Plans for the evening are being finalized, and the calendar page for the event will be updated with more information this Saturday, March 28. Stay tuned!
News of the Mishpokhe (Community News)
Life news? Actions to share? Graduation? Promotion? Simcha? What's new? Email Madeleine, mjackman@circleboston.org, to have it shared with the community.
 
We're working on creating a landing page for our website with virtual BWC events, community interests & a comprehensive Zoom guide . Is there a remote action members should know about connected or relevant to a BWC committee? Send it to BWC Communications Manager, Madeleine Jackman, mjackman@circleboston.org. In the meantime, our calendar is being updated regularly.
 
As a member-centered community, founded on the principles of mutual aid, Boston Workers Circle is well-positioned to take care of each other in this moment. A team of BWC members and our Board have been thinking a lot about how members can stay connected and support one another. They created a mutual aid survey so that members can share what they can offer/what they need. Please fill it out! Here is the link to a survey for you to fill out with ways that you want to be connected, and give/receive support within the BWC community.
 
Speaking of mutual aid....
 
We were so inspired to see BWC young adult community members Hannah Freedman, Miriam Priven, Sophia Grogan & Anna Kaplan recognized for their important work around Boston creating mutual aid networks that have reached thousands of people. You're making our ancestors and founders proud! Read the New York Times article here.
Have an amazing recipe for Passover? Although we cannot provide ritual foods or the potluck meal in-person this year, we can provide recipes digitally so that folks can make their own charoyses and get ideas for their Seder meals. Share your favorite recipe with the BWC community .
 
BWC Immigrant Justice & Sanctuary Committee has launched a GoFundMe to help continue their work in supporting recent detainees and other immigrants in need, many of whom are in dire financial situations because of the shutdown. Support the most vulnerable of our neighbors .
 
The Union for Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees, with many members from low-income and immigrant communities, is asking people to take action and tell Congress to prioritize workers . Thousands of union workers in New England have lost/could be losing their jobs because of the COVID-19 Crisis. Take action here .
 
Shule goes virtual!  A huge shout-out to our incredible Shule teachers and the Shule families who made the FIRST EVER online BWC Shule a success this past Sunday! We know our teachers loved getting to see all of the students & their parents. Pictured: Char Skidmore teaching Char's Kindergarten Soves class over Zoom.
 
And another big shout-out to our Yiddish teachers who have also already adapted to teaching over Zoom, and continue to carry on the important work of sharing Yiddish language & culture during this uncertain time.
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 !
 
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 Maddy  to learn more about our diverse committees!
 
Support Boston Workers Circle
Our work is made possible by the generous support of people like you.