Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Jews with Disabilities Cohort

For the second time, JOIN for Justice is hosting a cohort of Don’t Kvetch, Organize! for Jews with disabilities. This online course teaches the fundamentals of organizing and is created for folks who are relatively new to organizing or who have been organizing for some time without receiving formal training.

About Don’t Kvetch, Organize!

Guided by experienced trainers and instructors, we will examine different ways that community organizing has been used to build a more just world for all and how our Jewish tradition and history inform our own commitments and approaches to acting for justice.

With so much happening in the world, how do you start to make a difference?

This course examines how we can use community organizing to strengthen our communities and build a more just world. While society would often have us believe we need to go it alone — that we are solely responsible for creating change — community is one of the cornerstones of organizing to build power together and create real change in the world.

For six weeks, course participants are guided by experienced trainers and instructors to delve deeper into social justice and community organizing fundamentals, relate these fundamentals to Jewish tradition and values, and get firsthand experience building relational organizing skills, growing their leadership capacity, and building power with other leaders in their cohort. No one has to do it alone.

The next round of the course will begin the week of  December 4, 2023, and run through the week of January 22, 2024.  *There will be no meeting the week of 12/25 

Course Takeaways

You will leave the course with the following:

  • Powerful connection between your Jewish identity and acting for justice
  • Behind-the-scenes stories from both iconic and lesser-known organizing efforts
  • Understanding of a community organizing model and how it can be used in a practical way to address issues in your community effectively
  • An analysis of widening economic disparity 
  • Insight into working across lines of race, disability, class, and other intersecting identities
  • Community of peers who share language and knowledge to support your work tackling issues you care about, even after the course!

“One key message that I am taking away from this course is the idea that Judaism is a radical tradition. That themes of justice and equity are embedded throughout Jewish tradition. Woven into even the most mainstream of rituals (like Shabbat, for example). Before this class, I felt like I had a few explicit connection points between Judaism and my social justice values.  Now I feel like the whole of Jewish tradition is a connection. I am excited to continue to wake up to the radical potential in everyday Judaism–drawing upon it as I continue my work.”

“Is this for me?”

Don’t Kvetch, Organize! is for you if you…

  • Feel called to take action in your community on issues exacerbated by the pandemic, with an eye towards more significant systemic change
  • Have been involved in social justice work in the past, but feel like you’re not getting very far and wonder if there is a way to be more effective
  • Want to learn how you can have a meaningful impact on issues you care about (without it taking over your whole life)
  • Desire to explore how Judaism or your Jewish identity can be strengthened by your commitment to having a meaningful impact on the world

The Jews with Disabilities Cohort is Meant For: 

This cohort provides the opportunity for Jews with disabilities to build relationships with one another and connect their experiences as people with disabilities with organizing and Judaism. Lenny Somervell, an experienced disability rights organizer, will lead the live sessions. Sessions will cover the same content as other cohorts, with a particular focus on building an accessible cross-disability space and connecting lived experiences of disability to organizing frameworks.

Course Components

This course combines live cohort meetings and written and pre-recorded materials. On average, the course has approximately 3 hours of coursework per week. You can review the syllabus [here]

  • Written materials are accessible to most screen readers
  • All pre-recorded materials are closed-captioned
  • Real-time captioning for live cohort meetings is also available on request

Please email with further access questions.

We are now finalizing the live cohort dates and times and will update this page when that information is available.

Course Trainers

Teachers in the course include, among others:

  • Marshall Ganz: social movement legend, world-renowned thought leader, Harvard educator
  • Yavilah McCoy: CEO and Executive Director of Dimensions, a nonprofit led by women and Jewish People of Color that provides training and consulting in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Rabbi Jonah Pesner: Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Ruth Messinger: former president of the American Jewish World Service, currently serving as their Global Ambassador
  • Dove Kent: former Executive Director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) in New York, now works as Senior Strategy Officer at Bend the Arc.
  • Robert Putnam: social scientist and best-selling author of Bowling Alone and, most recently, of Our Kids

Cost & Deadlines

  • Don’t Kvetch, Organize! is offered on a self-selected income-based sliding scale of $175-$345
    If an organization is paying for your registration, please register at the higher end of the scale.
  • Final registration closed Friday, November 17, 2023.
  • The course starts December 4, 2023 and runs through January 22nd (no class the week of 12/25).

“This has been an amazing fast-track introduction to the Social Justice organizing world. I notice the difference now when I read about any campaign…how to think about it, what I think is being done well or not so well, what I think might enhance it, instead of passively noting a campaign but not feeling attached/interested in any direct way.”

Read more testimonials from past DKO participants!

Register for Course!

Scholarship Request

For other questions, please email