Holidays

Boston Workers Circle holiday programs weave together readings, reflections, and music that draw on Jewish tradition and contemporary issues. We have created secular rituals that feel deeply meaningful and authentic, while not being centered around prayer and worship. By connecting us to each other, to our history as a people, and to our passion for social justice, our vibrant community provides a source of spirituality and belonging.  Whatever your level of Jewish knowledge, whatever the faith, ethnic, or gender diversity of your family or upbringing, you are most welcome to join us. Check out our previous holiday programs here. 

Have questions about our holiday observances or want to help plan them? Get in touch with our Ritual Committee Chair, ritual@circleboston.org.

Shabes Gatherings

Every Boston Workers Circle Shabes is an opportunity for members and friends to gather together, to relax and enjoy one another’s company, and to share the traditional Friday night blessings that acknowledge our gratitude for what community, candles, wine, and challah give us. The gatherings are also a chance to get to know some members of our community better.

High Holidays

Rooted in a Jewish commitment to social justice, we have created unique programs of readings, reflection, and singing for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Whatever your level of Jewish knowledge - however you might define your own spirituality - we invite you to join us.

The High Holidays are the most highly attended gatherings of the year at Boston Workers Circle. They inspire, uplift, and remind us of the power of community.

Observances take place on the morning of the first day of Rosh Hashanah and on the morning of Yom Kippur. Adults and children of all ages are welcome.

We are committed to making our in-person services as COVID-safe as possible. We are limiting the number of in-person tickets to allow for more breathing room, as well as requiring that all in-person attendees are fully vaccinated and remain masked for the duration of the services.

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Rosh Hashanah

Followed by a kiddush on the lawn and a virtual kiddush on Zoom, at 12pm.

Tashlikh ceremonies will be hosted by neighborhood and online later in the afternoon. More information coming closer to the holiday!

Join us for NEIGHBORHOOD TASHLIKH GATHERINGS

Everyone welcome, children & families, especially!

TASHLIKH — (You shall cast away) is based on biblical passages - most notably from Micah (7:9) “You will hurl all of our sins into the depths of the sea”. The traditional word for “sin” is “khet”.  A more modern translation goes back to the original meaning of "khet" from archery -- “to miss the mark”.

We throw pebbles into the water to represent our “sins” and those burdens, regrets, disappointments, old thinking, missed opportunities, excuses, or rationalizations that interfere with our living full lives. At the same time, we embrace hope to do better and set our intentions on hitting our marks in the coming year.

What to throw? We suggest bringing pebbles to throw because bread, even challah, is not good for the ducks and geese.

Details will be shared closer to the holiday!

Yom Kippur

Family Program: For kids ages 4-7 years old and their caretaker(s). Takes place during each service. 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services will have ASL interpretation and will be recorded.

The livestream link and the recording will be shared with all registrants.

Your High Holiday contribution sustains the community that makes these observances possible. Boston Workers Circle depends on the support we receive at the holidays each year. At the same time, we are committed to making sure that all feel welcome at our observances.

You are always welcome whatever you are able to pay.

Tu B’Shevat Seder

Tu B’Shevat has been celebrated many different ways in Jewish history, changing to meet the needs of each generation. It has been a pagan festival, a tax deadline to calculate agricultural tithing, a kabbalist mystical observance, and Jewish Arbor Day, birthday of the trees. We mark our Tu B’Shevat seder, adapting it to our needs as secular progressive Jews in the 21st century.

Join us in person or online via Zoom for a unique Tu B'Shevat seder, marking the "New Year for the Trees."

Readings, songs, and poems will reflect the origins of the seder adapted to progressive secular Jewish life in the 21st century.

This event is pay-what-you-can (suggested donation of $5 to $10+).

The Tu B'Shevat Haggadah will be sent to registrants before the seder.

All registrants (in person and online) will be invited to actively participate with the option to read a portion of the Haggadah aloud during the seder.

Ritual foods will be provided at the in-person seder.  If you are attending online, here is a list of ritual foods (optional) that we invite you to have during the seder:

1. something red: red wine, red grape juice, cranberry juice, etc.
2. something white: white wine, white grape juice, apple juice, etc.

1. one food with hard shells: pomegranates, oranges, nuts with hard shells; etc.
2. one food with hard pits: dates, cherries, olives, etc.
3. one food with no shells or pits: figs, seedless grapes, etc.
4. one fragrant food (just to smell, not eat): lemon, etc.

If you are attending in person, here are the covid safety precautions:

  • everyone must be fully vaccinated against covid, including eligible boosters
  • everyone must test negative for covid on February 5 before attending the seder
  • everyone must wear a mask over their nose and mouth except when eating the ritual foods
  • anyone who is not feeling well should attend online from the comfort of their favorite device
  • we will not have a potluck (ritual foods will be provided)
  • if covid rates in the community become a concern, we will celebrate Tu B'Shevat online only

Questions? Email info@circleboston.org.

Our Tu'BShevat Seder is co-sponsored by Kavod
Peysakh / Passover  Seder

After several years of virtual celebrations, Boston Workers Circle is excited to bring back an in-person component for our annual community seder in 5783 / 2023.  More details coming soon as we get closer to the holiday!

Other Celebrations Around the Circle

Our shule community comes together for family celebrations of Sukes, Khanike, and Purim.

Our young adult community puts on a radical Purim party called Gragger – a fantastic time for all!

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