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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

DC 37 marks multicultural heritage

Jewish activists’ commitment to justice


Celebrating key labor victories of the past and decrying the rise of anti-Semitism and deep political conflict of today, the union’s Jewish Heritage Committee held its annual event at DC 37 headquarters in lower Manhattan in late May.

It was an evening of celebration: of music and song in honor of the colorful, rich heritage of the Jewish people, and of their vital contributions in taking the lead fighting for social justice and equality, and for their role in building the nation’s labor movement into the political powerhouse it is today.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido greeted the audience, and talked about how we must celebrate the diversity of the union. “As a union, we have a people from all backgrounds and many perspectives,” Garrido said.

“Tonight, we celebrate our shared heritage.”

Along with the evening’s entertainment, there was a deep discussion of the challenges ahead in a time of intense political conflict and rising anti-Semitism.

Discussing this issue was Yehudit Barksy, a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy. In her talk Barksy, laid out the threats by the so-called “Alt-Right,” a growing reactionary movement rising since the election of Donald Trump as president.

Entertainment was provided by the Howard Leshaw Ensemble, and the audience was given a special concert by Cantor Yaakov Yanky Lemmer of the Lincoln Square Synagogue, who had only recently arrived early that day from a performance in Israel.