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About Don’t Kvetch, Organize!
We offer a seven week online training course, Don’t Kvetch, Organize! Guided by master trainers and instructors, we 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. Our 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.”
See more of what our past participants are saying here!
Participants will leave the course with:
- A natural and powerful connection between their Jewish identities 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 their communities;
- An analysis of widening economic disparity, and insight into how to work across lines of race
- A set of peers from the course with a shared language and knowledge, who can, if they desire, join together with to tackle issues they care about, even after the course!
“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:
- Typically run from late October through mid December, with a midway break for Thanksgiving.
- Be taught by master trainers and visionary Jewish leaders;
- Be offered to 150 people around the world;
- 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.
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 Fall, we are offering a Jews of Color section in the course. In this critical moment, JOIN for Justice is committed to building the leadership of Jews of Color within our communities. To learn more about this group, click here. The registration deadline for this cohort is extended until September 29.
- The cost of this course is $345.
- 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 $295. See our buddy page for more information.
- We will 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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.