Living the Legacy: A Jewish Social Justice Education Project

Organization: Jewish Women's Archive, Brookline, MA

Grant Year: 2011

Project Director: Dr. Judith Rosenbaum

Type of Grant: Signature

Grant Amount: $17,500.00 (1 year)

Website: http://jwa.org/

To support the creation of educational modules and interactive tools to help students discover the history of American Jewish social justice activism.

Living the Legacy (LTL) uses primary sources and personal narrative to explore the roles of American Jews in the Civil Rights and Labor Movements. Through art projects, text studies, role-playing opportunities, and more, the Living the Legacy lesson plans encourage learners to grapple with questions about identity, society, and social justice through a Jewish lens.

The primary audience for Living the Legacy (LTL) is junior high and high school age students in supplementary schools, day schools, service projects, and other informal educational settings. Each module will offer options that provide a total of up to 30 hours of instruction per module. The curriculum will represent an important contribution to the field of Jewish education, enhancing the offerings available to educators and students, and strengthening the connection young people feel to Jewish tradition.

In addition to the positive impact this project had on the participants, LTL has helped the Jewish Women’s Archive (JWA) reach a new audience of educators and organizations interested in Jews and social justice. Living the Legacy remains a central piece of JWA’s educational offerings and serves as the foundation of a growing collection of material on Jews and social justice movements. JWA continues to highlight LTL resources in its professional development programs.

In 2011, the JWA was awarded a second Signature Grant to pilot and revise the second module on Jews and the Labor Movement, to hold another Institute for Educators with an LTL focus (in July 2012), and to prepare for and implement the national launch of the complete Living the Legacy project.

Living the Legacy (LTL) uses primary sources and personal narrative to explore the roles of American Jews in the Civil Rights and Labor Movements. Through art projects, text studies, role-playing opportunities, and more, these lesson plans encourage learners to grapple with questions about identity, society, and social justice through a distinctly Jewish lens. It is used with students in grade 8 and up.