i have taught and presented in all kinds of spaces – summercamps to universities, autonomous social centers to livingrooms. here are a few of the programs and topics i’m particularly excited about right now:
- JUST LIKE THAT: Embodied Knowledge / Justice Movements / Practical Tactics
- Cultural Work as Organizing / Beyond Demo-dressing
- Everyday Copwatch / Know Your Responsibilities
- Jewish History & Jewish Myth for Radicals
- Diasporist Approaches to Jewish Cultural & Political Work
- Yiddish Culture as a Resource for Jewish Radicals
- Yiddish Song: A Living Tradition
a few of the places i’ve taught & presented: School of Making Thinking/Abrons Arts Center, Yiddish New York, Allied Media Conference, KlezKanada, Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics, Yiddish Summer Weimar, U.S. Social Forum, Camp Kinderland
JUST LIKE THAT: Embodied Knowledge / Justice Movements / Practical Tactics
What we know from the dancefloor – at parties and clubs, in the studio or on stage, or in ritual spaces – can be incredibly useful to work we do struggling for social justice. What happens when we take ‘the choreography of social movements’ seriously, and work to develop it as a way of getting concrete things done? This workshop will introduce some approaches to that task as we explore collaborative approaches to bodily presence in public space, focusing on tactics for confrontational street actions and on non-verbal group communication and decision-making. We’ll work on strategies to articulate what our bodies already know, investigate approaches to refining it and passing it on, and develop ways of building on it through words and movement. We will move, talk about moving, and work with the embodied knowledge present in each participant.
Cultural Work as Organizing / Beyond Demo-dressing
Cultural work is usually dealt with as an add-on to ‘real organizing’, even in organizations that have a long and substantial commitment to supporting it within their work. This workshop is about the power of taking cultural work seriously as organizing, as a central form of strategizing, and as a structuring model for justice work. It is intended for projects interested in shifting away from the ‘add-on’ model, and for those interested in transforming projects they work within in this direction.
Everyday Copwatch / Know Your Responsibilities
When you see the police stop someone, what do you do? A practical workshop in copwatching as an everyday practice. Rooted in abolitionist ‘radical neighborliness’ mutual support & defense strategies, but not presupposing abolitionist political commitments. [Originally developed within Jews For Racial & Economic Justice, in consultation with NYC’s Justice Committee]
Jewish History & Jewish Myth for Radicals
“Even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.” (Walter Benjamin)
A rigorous, diasporist, two-stranded workshop on Jewish history as a grounding for justice work, and Jewish myth as a resource for our movements. Constructed to feed both secularists and liberation-theology practitioners; no prior knowledge assumed. The usable past your Hebrew School was afraid to teach you! The stories and practices your youth group never talked about! The big picture that your family testimonies don’t quite explain!
Diasporist Approaches to Jewish Cultural & Political Work
If there is strategic merit to organizing as Jews (or within Jewish community contexts), how do we think about the “Jewish” in “the Jewish Left”? This workshop explores “radical diasporism”, the framework proposed by Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz zts”l, with examples drawn from both recent and past Jewish radical organizing and cultural work.
Yiddish Culture as a Resource for Jewish Radicals
Most U.S. Jews trace their lineages back to Yiddish-speaking Eastern European communities; few have more than a vague, stereotyped understanding of those communities and their cultures. As the Jewish left moves towards a deeper understanding of the diversity of Jewish diasporic communities and works to counter assimilationist flattenings of Jewishness (whether through ‘Americanization’ or Zionism), revitalizing our connections to the cultures where our roots are is key. This workshop digs into that process with Yiddish culture, looking at song, theater, visual art, ritual, and other cultural work with direct resonances for our justice movements.
Yiddish Song: A Living Tradition
An invitation to Yiddish song, in all its many forms: folksongs and ballads, political anthems, theater music, ritual melodies (nigunim, zmiros, &c), prayers and laments (tkhines, kloglider), art song, and more. This participatory workshop presents songs and their singers, past and present, celebrating the part of Yiddish musical culture that has been created and developed primarily by women and working-class men. As well as presenting the variety, contexts, and specific musicality of Yiddish song as it has existed in the past, it introduces the wide-ranging vitality of the Yiddish songs being written today.