Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Syllabus

This page is meant to give a window into what you will learn in Don’t Kvetch, Organize! We update course content frequently, so the syllabus may be slightly different when you take the course.

Hours per week:  Approximately 3 hours per week

Course Components:

  • Weekly videos that students can watch on their own schedule and a discussion board to reflect on the content
  • Weekly live trainings led by Course Instructors
  • An opportunity to workshop a challenge or issue that you are grappling with in your life that you can use as a lens to apply organizing principles
  • Optional: Live session with master trainers

Syllabus Highlights

Lesson 1: Why Do We Organize? 

  • How Jewish values challenge us to act 
  • Developing resilience as organizers and connecting with our vision of the world we want to create
  •  What is community organizing, and why we might turn to organizing to make change
  • What would it look like to turn toward root causes in our current political environment 

Lesson 2: How We Win: Organizing Campaigns

  • Case studies of campaigns for police accountability in New York City, funding for major school repairs in Baltimore, and healthcare reform in Massachusetts that set the stage for the Affordable Care Act 
  • Moving from being overwhelmed to building campaigns that can win 
  • Using stories to show who we are and tell where we are going

Lesson 3: Relationships and Power in Service of Racial Justice  

  • Human equality in the bible and our quest for justice 
  • The history behind the racial wealth gap 
  • Working for racial justice and the importance of relationships

Lesson 4: Organizing People 

  • The motivation to take a risk – Jewish involvement with immigration and criminal justice reform 
  • Connecting with people’s values and interests 
  • How our relationships can be one of the most powerful things we have 
  • How one person can organize hundreds of people 

Lesson 5: Nothing Changes Without Power and Strategy 

  • How the people behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott used the resources they had to get the change they wanted 
  • How do we organize communities and resources to build power 

Lesson 6: Stepping into Leadership, Now and in the Future

  • Finding our place in justice struggles 
  • Finding our Jewish connection to justice 
  • Becoming the leaders our communities need 
  • Risk-taking in the Jewish religious tradition