Social Justice

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Commemoration

As a Workmen’s Circle School, our mission and history are linked to a struggle for social and economic justice for all.

We are committed to understanding the roots of injustice and finding ways to act for a better world, “un besere velt.”

Many adults in our community speak about the importance of the Midtown Workmen’s Circle School as a connection to progressive issues, and together we find opportunities for activism, and teach our children the value of taking time out of our busy lives to make a difference.

Social justice infuses all aspects of our program.  As children learn about their immigrant roots and the role of working class Jews in advocating for fair labor laws, they make connections to the struggles of low-paid workers and immigrants today. 

As they study the biblical story of Creation, they explore Jewish views on the environment, and add their voices to ideas for positive change. As they learn of the history of Jewish oppression, they begin to understand the dehumanizing effects of prejudice, and build empathy with those who are oppressed today.

avf.logo.smallAdults and children from the Midtown Workmen’s Circle School have gathered to attend protests in solidarity with Wisconsin unions, have commemorated those who died in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, and have marched and danced and sang with Occupy Wall Street. 

Our book group includes a non-fiction selection on a progressive theme, and parent programs feature the work of activists and scholars within our community, such as a recent presentation by a leader of Jews Against Genocide.

Our active listserv offers a forum for parents and community members to exchange views on political, economic, and social issues, both Jewish and non-Jewish. 

We welcome multiple voices on all issues, and foster a safe space for impassioned, respectful debate.

Our innovative model of intergenerational social justice programming was awarded a grant for 2012-2013 from the Bronfman Youth Fellowship’s Alumni Venture fund.  Thank you BYFI for supporting our work!