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Living the Legacy Labor Lessons

These eight lesson plans weave stories of immigration and collective action together with traditional Jewish texts to create a rich investigation of Jewish involvement in the American Labor Movement. Identify the connections between human needs, work, and community, examine real-life examples of how to create social change, and look closely at contemporary labor issues through a Jewish lens.

Unit 1, Lesson 1 - Bread and Roses - Defining Basic Needs

Explore the concept of “Bread and Roses” and ideas about work and dignity, with specific cases on education and culture, hats and clothing, poetry and song, as well as traditional Jewish texts about labor.

Unit 1, Lesson 2 - From Suffering to Action, From the Individual to the Collective

Examine inter-generational relationships among Jewish immigrants, and the role of work and workers’ youth culture in the Americanization process. Use art and writing to explore your own identity formation.

Unit 1, Lesson 3 - Identity, Independence, and Becoming American Jews

Examine inter-generational relationships among Jewish immigrants, and the role of work and workers’ youth culture in the Americanization process. Use art and writing to explore your own identity formation.

Unit 1, Lesson 4 - Workers and Their Allies, Then and Now

Through the history of mutual aid societies, unions, and settlement houses, as well as contemporary organizations working for labor rights, consider the ways Jews have supported one another and also worked in solidarity with others to repair the world.

Unit 1, Lesson 5 - Housewives and Consumer Organizing

Consider the impact of consumer organizing by analyzing the day-to-day actions of the key players in the 1902 kosher meat boycott.

Unit 1, Lesson 6 - Jews and Agricultural Labor

Discover the little-known history of American Jewish farming and explore the contemporary resurgent Jewish interest in food justice. Analyze traditional and modern texts about Jewish values and food production and consumption, and design your own vision for how society should produce, distribute, and consume food.

Unit 1, Lesson 7 - Jewish Radicalism and the Red Scare

Examine the rich tradition of Jewish radical politics and its repression in the McCarthy era, focusing on the history of Jewish radicalism in the entertainment industry and the Hollywood blacklists of the 1940s and 1950s.

Unit 1, Lesson 8 - Contemporary Jewish Labor Campaigns: The Labor Movement Begins at Home

Explore contemporary Jewish labor campaigns on issues such as the living wage and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, and analyze how and why Jewish organizations are advocating in solidarity with oppressed workers.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Living the Legacy Labor Lessons." (Viewed on December 11, 2019) <https://jwa.org/teach/livingthelegacy/labor/lessons>.

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