Jews and the Civil Rights Movement - Lessons
Civil Rights - Unit 1 - Personal Identity and Action
- Unit 1, Lesson 1 - Exploring My IdentityGo to lesson| Preview
Explore the complexities of our own identities, and how these identities shape the way we view and act in the world.
- Unit 1, Lesson 2 - How Does My Identity Inform My Actions?Go to lesson| Preview
Consider how Jewish experiences and values – in both conscious and unconscious ways – informed the actions of Jews in the Civil Rights Movement, and inform our own allegiances and behaviors.
- Unit 1, Lesson 3 - Jews and the Civil Rights Movement: the Whys and Why NotsGo to lesson| Preview
Assume the roles of Southern Jews participating in a Temple board meeting on whether or not to support Northern Jewish activists staging a protest in town.
- Unit 1, Lesson 4 - Power, Privilege, and ResponsibilityGo to lesson| Preview
Analyze how power and privilege shape our relationships and involvement in social justice and activism, using sources including clips from the film Driving Miss Daisy.
Civil Rights - Unit 2 - Defining Activism and the Civil Rights Movement
- Unit 2, Lesson 1 - Moments of Personal ResistanceGo to lesson| Preview
Examine how individuals take stands against racism and injustice using an essay by Grace Paley and three other short vignettes of individual protest.
- Unit 2, Lesson 2 - De facto segregation in the North: Skipwith vs. NYC Board of EducationGo to lesson| Preview
Investigate the dynamics of segregation in northern schools through a New York City court case ruled on by Judge and Jewish activist Justine Wise Polier.
- Unit 2, Lesson 3 - Civil Disobedience: Freedom RidesGo to lesson| Preview
Discover the story of one young Jewish Freedom Rider and Gandhi's principles of civil disobedience, and prepare your own civil disobedience training video.
- Unit 2, Lesson 4 - Community Organizing I: Freedom SummerGo to lesson| Preview
Explore the role of community organizing, Jewish values, and moral conviction in the lives of young civil rights activists as you imagine yourself a participant in Mississippi Freedom Summer.
- Unit 2, Lesson 5 - Community Organizing II: Wednesdays in MississippiGo to lesson| Preview
Encounter a little known story of women collaborating across geographic, racial, and religious boundaries through documentary clips of Wednesdays in Mississippi activists.
- Unit 2, Lesson 6 - Jewish clergy in the Civil Rights MovementGo to lesson| Preview
Unpack the roles, motivations, and challenges of Southern and Northern rabbis during the Civil Rights Movement.
- Unit 2, Lesson 7 - The March on Washington for Jobs and FreedomGo to lesson| Preview
Use images, artifacts, and audio clips to develop a more nuanced understanding of the March on Washington.
Civil Rights - Unit 3 - Changes and Challenges
- Unit 3, Lesson 1 - Jews and African Americans: Siblings in Oppression?Go to lesson| Preview
Explore and interrogate the identification between Jews and African-Americans against the backdrop of the Passover seder.
- Unit 3, Lesson 2 - Growing tensions I: Black-Jewish RelationsGo to lesson| Preview
Analyze how underlying rifts in the relationship between African Americans and Jews brought these groups into more overt conflict in the late 1960s, with a focus on the Ocean Hill-Brownsville school crisis and a poetry slam activity.
- Unit 3, Lesson 3 - Growing tensions II: Affirmative ActionGo to lesson| Preview
Assess Jewish attitudes towards Affirmative Action as an example of how individuals and communities try to manage competing priorities.
- Unit 3, Lesson 4 - Moving Inward: bringing liberation movements into the Jewish communityGo to lesson| Preview
Act out, through tableaux vivants, the ways Jews took what they had learned from the Civil Rights Movement and other liberation movements and used these insights to change the Jewish community.
- Unit 3, Lesson 5 - Civil Rights and Social Justice TodayGo to lesson| Preview
Consider what contemporary civil rights and social justice issues matter to us today, and how Jews and African Americans determine their priorities and responsibilities to effect social change.