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.
Investigate what it means for American Jews to celebrate Passover and the Fourth of July in the context of religious and national freedom, by reading an editorial from the April 1897 issue of The American Jewess.
Interrogate the notion of midrash using "The Coming of Lilith" by theologian Judith Plaskow as an example of how contemporary Jewish feminists have created their own midrashim—retellings of biblical stories—to incorporate women's viewpoints into the traditional texts of Judaism.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America through a 1790s letter, originally written in Yiddish by Rebecca Samuel to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, describing her life in Petersburg, Virginia.
Explore and interrogate the identification between Jews and African-Americans against the backdrop of the Passover seder.
Examine modern labor justice issues to allow students to consider their own stance on events like the 2013 collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh or the reports of poor working conditions in Chinese factories that produce iPhones and iPads.
Using the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—examine the relationship between gender, body image, and ritual garb.
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.
Using the letter of a Jewish civil rights activist and several freedom songs, explore how music is able to cross racial and religious boundaries and build community.
Discover the story of one young Jewish Freedom Rider and Gandhi's principles of civil disobedience, and prepare your own civil disobedience training video.
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.
Assess Jewish attitudes towards Affirmative Action as an example of how individuals and communities try to manage competing priorities.
Examine how individuals take stands against racism and injustice using an essay by Grace Paley and three other short vignettes of individual protest.
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.
Explore the complexities of our own identities, and how these identities shape the way we view and act in the world.
Encounter a little known story of women collaborating across geographic, racial, and religious boundaries through documentary clips of Wednesdays in Mississippi activists.
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.
Study several traditional Jewish texts and apply the concepts in these texts to the stories and characters in the game. Think about the lessons Judaism teaches about the responsibilities of workers and employers.
Unpack the roles, motivations, and challenges of Southern and Northern rabbis during the Civil Rights Movement.
The letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation in 1974 serve as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.
Use images, artifacts, and audio clips to develop a more nuanced understanding of the March on Washington.
After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, labor rights activist Rose Schneiderman made a famous speech which provided the basis for investigating our communal and individual responsibilities for the well being of others in our midst.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Lesson Plans." (Viewed on October 3, 2022) <https://jwa.org/teach/lessonplans>.