The Workmen’s Circle’s I.L. Peretz “Shule”: Promoting Jewish Culture and Social and Economic Justice
ENGLISH CORNER, CON LINDA JIMÉNEZ – This week’s trivia question: How is the Workmen’s Circle Shule’s Bar and Bat Mitzvah program different from traditional programs?
The Workmen’s Circle or Der Arbeter Ring is an American Jewish nonprofit organization that promotes social and economic justice, Jewish community and education, including Yiddish language studies, and culture. It operates schools and Yiddish education programs, and year-round programs of concerts, lectures and secular holiday celebrations.
It was founded in 1900 by Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, and at first acted as a mutual aid society, helping its members to adapt to their new life in America. It provided life insurance, unemployment relief, healthcare, social interaction, burial assistance and general education through its branches throughout the US as well as through its national office.
At the Workmen’s Circle, Jewish identity is not defined by or confined to religious beliefs. Rather, identity and belonging are found in Jewish heritage, values, ideals, language, cultural traditions and celebrations. They cultivate a proudly progressive, diverse and inclusive community rooted in Jewish culture and social action. The organization’s national headquarters is in New York, and there are branch offices throughout North America, with approximately 11,000 members nationwide.
The Workmen’s Circle’s I.L. Peretz Jewish School is located in East Meadow, on Long Island, New York. This week our guest is Staci Davis, its Director & Community Service Club Teacher, who spoke with us about the school and its different programs.