Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Brickner Cohort Fall 2017

Registration for our Fall 2017 Don’t Kvetch, Organize course is now closed! Please email with any questions.

If you would like to be notified when we offer our next round of the course, please fill out this form.


About Don’t Kvetch, Organize!

In Fall 2017, we will be offering our seven week online course, Don’t Kvetch, Organize!. Guided by master 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. We’re especially excited because this Fall we are offering a special section with the RRA network.

Our master teachers include, among others:

  • Robert Putnam: Social scientist and best-selling author of Bowling Alone and most recently of Our Kids
  • Marshall Ganz: social movement legend, world-renowned thought leader, Harvard educator
  • Rabbi Jonah Pesner: director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
  • Heather Booth: nationally recognized and long-time civil rights organizer
  • Ruth Messinger: former president of the American Jewish World Service, currently serving as their Global Ambassador

“I feel ready to embrace taking action with confidence, as a leader. I understand the crucial nature of boldness and courage as I work alongside others to bring change. Listening, storytelling, and building relationships  one by one are the route to strategic action. I not only came to understand the power of action but also that it needs to be interwoven with hope and belief in a positive outcome aligned with Jewish values.”

By participating in the Brickner Fellows Cohort, you will gain:

  • set of peers from the course with shared language, knowledge, and experience who can join together to tackle issues they care about, even after the course!
  • A natural and powerful connection between your Jewish identity and acting for justice;
  • Stories that give a behind the scenes look at different organizing efforts, both iconic and lesser known
  • An understanding of a community organizing model and how it can be used in a practical way to tackle issues, big and small, in your community;
  • An analysis of widening economic disparity, and insight into how to work across lines of race

“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.”

THE BASICS | The course will:

  • Run for seven weeks with a break for Thanksgiving. The course will open on October 22, 2017 and run until December 10, 2017.
  • Be taught by master trainers and visionary Jewish leaders;
  • Be offered to 150 people around the world with a specific section for Brickner Fellows;
  • Include weekly online videos that students can watch on their own schedule;
  • Include three online section meetings (scheduled based on your availability), led by Course Instructors, where students can build relationships with one another, reflect together on what they’re learning, and push their learning further;
  • Include a workload of about 3 hours of coursework total per week

“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.”

You can see more information about the course syllabus here (but make sure to return to this page to use the correct registration link for the Brickner section).

Who is the course meant for?

  • People who want to learn how they can have a meaningful impact on issues they care about, without it taking over their whole life
  • People who want to explore how Judaism or their Jewish identity can strengthen and be strengthened by their commitment to having a meaningful impact
  • People who have been doing social justice work but feel like they’re not getting very far and wonder if there is a way to be more effective
  • People who want to meet and spend time with like-minded folks who share an interest in making the world a better place


  • For the Brickner Fellows, there is a special subsidized rate of $195 (regular rate is $345).

*The course is provided through generous support from the Dorot Foundation and the Michael and Alice Kuhn Foundation.

For more information, contact Tali Smookler by email or by phone at 617-350-9994 x 208.