On Tuesday, members gathered both online and in-person for our annual meeting to reflect on the past year, learn about the year to come, and vote on the new incoming Board member.
Spirits were high and we highlighted many of our accomplishments from the past year including having 700 due paying members, 29 new Shule families, and 18 active committees doing amazing work guided by 30 committee co-chairs. Our committees both serve our membership internally as well as being a voice for justice out in the community.
This year marked the return to in-person and hybrid celebrations. In educational programming, we returned to the in-person version of regular highlights like the Giml class Ellis Island simulation and Purim spiel, continued our partnership with CLVU to protest for housing justice with the Hey class, and last month we graduated 11 amazing young people from Shule who shared eloquently and powerfully about their Jewish identities at their collective b’nai mitzvah. In adult education, we had a powerful class on Antisemitism: Reclaiming the Conversation with amazing speakers who are radical leaders in this field. Spoke about the reality of white nationalism, false accusations of antisemitism as a form of censorship, and had great conversations about what this means for our membership.
In holiday celebrations, we had our first Gragger since the start of the pandemic, and had 375 people in attendance (curious about attending next year? Mark the date on your calendar now!). Our hybrid high holiday observances drew a crowd of 800 people, and our seder had 121 registrants, both in-person and online. We also resurrected neighborhood Shabes! Last Friday night we held 3 simultaneous Shabes dinners across the metropolitan area!
Our social justice committees have been very active, with a revived Israel-Palestine Committee partnering with a whole range of organizations, and AFREJ working on GBIO housing campaigns and the No New Women’s Prisons campaign.
Yiddish has also had a stellar year at BWC, with A Besere Velt’s recent 25th anniversary concert “Freedom is a Verb” with special guest Daniel Kahn as a particular highlight. This concert honored our own Linda Gritz & Mike Katz, as well as Nadav David and the Brookline Educator’s Union. In other Yiddish news from this year, we had six classes each in the Fall and Spring semesters, and had many ongoing gatherings for Yiddish speakers and lovers of Yiddish like the Yiddish Reading Group, Yiddish Sing, Di Nest, and the Yiddish Vinkl.
Our Community committees have been wonderfully active as well. Aging in Community is one of our newest committees, and has been thriving with monthly meetings on wide-ranging topics. The Community Care Circle has begun the process of developing secular life cycle rituals for BWC members to use as individuals, families and for community events, as well as reviving BWC’s mutual aid process, linking it in with the News of the Mishpokhe feature of our community’s twice-monthly ENews. Circle Book Group is meeting monthly, discussing books by Jewish authors or about Jewish themes.
This is just a taste of all the amazing things going on around Boston Workers Circle! You can view the full slideshow presentation here.
We honored several outgoing leaders as well as our beloved departing Deputy Director, Beth. We voted in Meridith Levy to the Board of Directors, unanimously! We ended with a plug for membership month (RENEW NOW!) as well as a few upcoming announcements which are listed below.
- Membership Renewal Phonebank, Tuesday June 27th. Register here.
- Support the striking workers at Encore Casino. This week, 1,400 workers at Encore Casino are voting to go on strike because Encore management won’t agree to a fair contract. These workers are taking on a huge risk – both risking their jobs and their ability to make ends meet for the duration of the strike. The #1 thing that our community can do to support the strike is mobilize our time and resources to lighten the load of this sacrifice. We are aiming to raise $5,000 for the Local 26 Hardship Fund. You can donate by sending money through Venmo to Sarah O’Connor (@sarahroseoc) Read more about this strike in the Boston Globe.
- Greater Boston Interfaith Initiative is holding an action at Temple Israel, 477 Longwood Ave in Boston on June 26th at 7:00 P.M. in support of its housing justice agenda. They hope to be 1000 strong coming together to demand housing justice including support for fees on high end real estate to support affordable housing, doubling funding for public housing and other critical housing initiatives. Register here.