Social Justice

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, in Yiddish, “un besere velt.”

Many adults in our community speak about the importance of the Manhattan 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.

As a community of adults and children, we join together to understand pressing issues and find ways to act.

We have gathered to support the Fight for $15, participated in #Black Lives Matter actions in New York City and Washington D.C., and marched, danced and sang with Occupy Wall Street.

Parent programs feature speakers, films, and discussions on progressive themes that draw from the work of activists and scholars within our community. 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.

These two videos feature our student-led social justice work:

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