Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Syllabus

This is based on our last offering of the course. We may be making slight content updates for our upcoming round of the course, and will update the syllabus soon.

Hours per week:  Approximately 3 hours per week

Course Components:

** Weekly videos that students can watch on their own schedule

** 4 cohort meetings, led by Course Instructors

** Weekly homework assignments, usually posted to your cohort’s discussion forum

**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 sessions with master trainers


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 community organizing is, and why we might turn to organizing to make change
  • What it would look like to turn towards root causes in our current political environment

Lesson 2 : How We Win: Campaigns That Make A Difference, Not A Statement

  • 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: Living Out Our Values: Organizing For, Not Against

  • 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 4: Nothing Changes Without Power and Strategy

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

Lesson 5: The Growing Inequality Gap and the Struggle Against It: How Did We Get Here?

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

Participants will have two weeks with the content in Lesson 5 to accommodate Passover.

Lesson 6: What Is Our Place as Jews in Justice Struggles? How Will We Lead Successfully and Respectfully?

  • 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

© 2021 JOIN for Justice