Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Jews of Color Cohort Fall 2017

Registration for our Fall 2017 Don’t Kvetch, Organize course is now closed. If you are still interested registering, please reach out to


About Don’t Kvetch, Organize!

In Fall 2017, we will be offering our seven week online course, 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.

We are particularly excited because this Fall, we will host a cohort in the course for Jews of Color. These participants will learn together how community organizing skills and frameworks can support their Jewish and justice work. The course also provides a platform to engage with other Jews of Color across the country around the material during this critical moment we are in.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Experienced 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

“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.”

See more of what our past participants are saying here!

By participating in the Jews of Color Cohort you will gain:

  • A group of peers who also identify as Jews of color 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  your commitment to acting for justice;
  • Stories that give a behind the scenes look at different organizing efforts, both iconic and lesser known;
  • An understanding of one community organizing model and how it can be used in a practical way to effectively address issues, big and small;
  • An analysis of widening economic disparity, and insight into how to work across lines of race and other identities;
  • A fast track introduction to Social Justice Organizing and access to network of Social Justice professionals;
  • Coaching from JOIN Senior Organizers to support you in your organizing efforts.
  • A Certificate of Completion to demonstrate your knowledge in community organizing

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 experienced trainers and visionary Jewish leaders;
  • Be offered to 150 people around the world including at least one group of 25 Jews of Color
  • Include weekly online videos that students can watch on their own schedule;
  • Include three online group 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.
  • We are excited to announce that Megan Madison will be the Course Instructor for the Jews of Color cohort. Megan been a Course Instructor for the past two rounds of the course. She is pursuing her doctorate at Brandeis University concentrating in child, youth, and family policy and focuses her research on early care and education workforce, and the intersections of race, gender, and class. She is also on JOIN’s Strategic Planning Committee, and has trained for us this Spring as part of our ROAR! Training series.

You can see more information about the course syllabus here.

Who is the course meant for?

  • Anyone who identifies as a person of color and either identifies as Jewish or has a connection and interest in exploring this work through a Jewish lens
  • People who want to learn how they can have a meaningful impact on issues that impact them and people they care about
  • 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 experiences and interests
  • People who are interested in connecting with other people of color from across the country


  • **Early Bird Rate!** Register by September 27 to receive the Early Bird rate of $295! (The regular price of the course is $345.)
  • Regular registration for the course closes on September 29.
  • We have a limited number of young adult (under 35) slots for $99.
  • Those who sign up for the course with a “buddy” are eligible for a $50 discount, so the course would cost $245. See our buddy page for more information.
  • We make every effort to include participants for whom the course fee is a barrier. Please contact us if you are in need of a scholarship at

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