Sidney Lipshires: Activist, Leader, and Pioneer

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Please join us for a talk by Blake Spitz about Sidney Lipshires and his passionate life as an activist, leader, and labor innovator in New England. Sid moved to Northampton, MA at the age of four, where his family was active in the growing Jewish community, and his father was a successful and respected business man. Labeled “progressive” at a young age, while advocating for school reform with an alternative high school newspaper, Sid eventually joined the Communist Party, and became active in in western MA and the New England region, running for city alderman in Springfield on the CP ticket in 1947. He was called before the Bowker Commission in 1955, and arrested under the Smith Act in 1956. Sid later made a career as a history professor at Manchester Community College, where he continued to stay active in organized labor, and was instrumental in the establishment of a new statewide union, the Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges (4Cs). This lecture will cover topics in history, politics, religion, and humor, all issues beloved by Sid. Sid died on January 6, 2011, at the age of 91. At his request, he was buried at the Congregation B’nai Israel cemetery, at the temple his father and family had helped to establish in Northampton, with his headstone projecting boldly his life’s commitments: “Solidarity Forever.”