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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
     - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Founded in August 2008, the Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice is the only program in existence that formally links these two fields. We offer a minor in Jewish Studies and Social Justice (JSSJ), an annual Social Justice Lecture, Social Justice Passover Seder, and study-abroad courses, and intermittent films, presentations, and workshops.

The program’s ethos is built upon the following four ideas, each of which is rooted in Jewish Studies:

  • Activism – each of us has a role in the process of activism, actively shaping the world as it is into the world as it can be. 
  • Intersectionality – all forms of marginalization and oppression are inter-linked. 
  • Social Identity – each of us has multiple social identities, whether a reflection of our age, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, nationality, physical ability, physical appearance, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic standing, race, or something else entirely. Some identities are acquired, others inborn.
  • Social In/justice – our social identities have a great deal of meaning for us and others. At times they give us access to opportunities. At other times they deny us entry to jobs, homes, and even food. The world in which we live currently functions as if our identities are real. Most of us live as if there is a specific definition to community X or Y, despite the fact that identities are not static but are constantly shifting.