The Midtown Workmen’s Circle School aims to give students and families a strong foundation in Jewish knowledge and the tools to become active creators of Jewish culture.
Each class day, students rotate through core, music, social justice, and Yiddish classes. They trace connections between history and contemporary issues, and express their interpretations through artwork, music, performance, and social justice projects.
Core themes include Jewish ethics and values, biblical narrative and midrash, Jewish cultures around the world, Eastern European cultural and political life, Jews in the Civil Rights and labor movements, and the American Jewish immigrant experience.
Teachers—artists, activists, Yiddishists, musicians, and passionate educators—develop collaborative hands-on projects that are presented at community gatherings and holiday celebrations. Here’s a sampling:
- Short films based on Jewish ethics, folk tales, bible stories, performed by students and directed by Judy Bro:
- The Sign - a tale from Simm’s Taback’s book Kibbitzers and Fools
- A Small Mitsve: a tale based on a precept from Pirkey Avot
- A student-led protest at a Midtown Manhattan McDonald's, with social justice/core teacher Hannah Temple
- A cooking zine created by six to eight year-olds featuring recipes, poetry, drawings, and history drawn their unit on Jewish foods from around the world, created with Emma Alabaster
- A Purim puppet shpil exploring themes of power and resistance in the Purim story, presented at our social justice-themed Purim carnival in Brooklyn, directed by Emma Alabaster and Hannah Temple
- A community sukkah and parade collaboratively created in a Brooklyn park with visionary puppeteer, performer, and Yiddishist Jenny Romaine
- A full-day exploration of Jewish immigrant life and labor activism through role play, dress-up, and pickle-making, with master Yiddish teacher Kolya Borodulin