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 online sessions that students can watch on their own schedule
** 3 ‘section’ meetings, led by Course Instructors
** Weekly homework assignments, usually posted to your section’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


Week 1: Why Do We Organize?

  • Course overview
  • Jewish values challenge us to act
  • The A, B, C’s of community organizing
  • Stories from 50 years of organizing for change

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

  • A behind the scenes look at the campaign that set the model for national healthcare reform
  • Moving from being overwhelmed to building campaigns that can win
  • Using stories to show who we are and tell where we are going

Week 3: Living Out Our Values: Organizing For, Not Against

  • The motivation to take a risk – Jewish involvement with immigration and criminal justice reform
  • Organizing around people’s own values and interests
  • How our relationships can be one of the most powerful things we have

Week 4 : February 17-23 will be a vacation week, which you can use as a break or to catch up on work they are behind on, or get a head start on the next week’s work.

Week 5: 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

Week 6: The Growing Inequality Gap and the Struggle Against It: How Did We Get Here?

  • Human equality in the bible and our quest for justice
  • Why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility
  • Working for Racial justice and the Importance of Relationships

Week 7: 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

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