Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Fall 2017: Campus Edition

*Special Section for New York Area College Students*

Registration for our Fall 2017 Don’t Kvetch, Organize course is now closed. If you are still interested in registering for this section, please email


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 are particularly excited because this Fall, we will host 60 students and professionals from New York Campuses to have their own sections in the course. These students will learn together how community organizing skills and frameworks can support their Jewish and justice work on campus. The cost of the course for these students will be fully subsidized, and JOIN will provide additional training, coaching, and support for these participants.

Taking the Don’t Kvetch, Organize! course was a unique opportunity for me as an undergraduate student to learn the organizing frameworks, tools and strategies needed to strengthen and inform my social justice work on campus and beyond. I was grateful to be learning the material through a Jewish lens, from experienced organizers I looked up to, and to have time and space to discuss and process the learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from our Master Trainers including many leading organizers, scholars, and cutting edge professionals such as:

  • Marshall Ganz: social movement legend, world-renowned thought leader, Harvard educator
  • Yavilah McCoy: Yavilah McCoy is the founder of Ayecha, one of the first nonprofit Jewish organizations to provide Jewish Diversity education and advocacy for Jews of color in the United States, and is a consultant with her own Dimensions Consulting.
  • Dove Kent: former  Executive Director of Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) in New York.
  • 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
  • Robert Putnam: Social scientist and best-selling author of Bowling Alone and most recently of Our Kids

By participating in the New York Campus Section you will gain:

  • A group of peers on your campus and other NY area campus, that share language and knowledge to support your work tackling issues you 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 effectively address issues, big and small, on your campus and beyond;
  • An analysis of widening economic disparity, and insight into how to work across lines of race and varying campus groups;
  • A fast track introduction to Social Justice Organizing and access to network of Social Justice professionals;
  • Coaching from Senior Organizers to support you in your organizing efforts;
  • A Certificate of Completion to demonstrate your knowledge in community organizing to future employers

“The course sharpened students’ understanding of power and of how relationships and personal narratives are the engines of successful activism.  I’m grateful that this opportunity to connect with teachers and comrades in the field was available to them and highly recommend the course to students and professionals eager to gain skills, tools, and frameworks for operating more strategically and relationally on campus and beyond.”

~​Rabbi Michelle T. Dardashti (Associate Chaplain of the University for the Jewish Community / Rabbi, Brown RISD Hillel)

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 including 60 students and professionals from Hillels around New York;
  • 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.

*Learn more at our FAQ page here!*

You can see more information about the course syllabus here. (Please note that this will take you to the general course registration page, so make sure to return here to find the student link to register for free.)

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


  • This course is fully-subsidized by UJA- Federation for Hillel participants.
  • The registration deadline for this section is September 29.

*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.