2012-13 Events

Previous Events

All events are free and open to the public.

Spring 2013

Social Justice in Israel?

For the fifth annual Social Justice Lecture we will be joined by Jerusalem's Rabbi Andrew Sacks, a long-time activist at the forefront of human right struggles in Israel, working toward social and political equality irrespective of ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation. An active supporter of Rabbis for Human Rights, Women of the Wall, and the Jerusalem Open House, Sacks' understanding of Jewish law demands a Judaism that is inclusive of all humanity, regardless of identity. [JCCSF admission fees are $10/members, $15/non-members. FREE for USF students.]

UPDATE: Cancelled due to a death in the family.

Ending Genocide in the Congo and Sudan?

For the fifth annual Social Justice Passover Seder we will be joined by long-time social justice activist Rabbi Lee Bycel, the founder and CEO of CedarStreet Leadership. Bycel will focus the seder on his recent humanitarian work in Eastern Africa. [Light Pesadic snacks will be served.]

"Karski - How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust"
We will be joined by E. Thomas Wood, author of Karski: How One Man Tried to Stop the Holocaust, who will show a short film about Karski, followed by a book signing. A Polish Catholic WWII resistance fighter, in 1942-43 Karski began working tirelessly with the Polish government in exile and Western Allies to have the Nazi extermination camps in Occupied Poland dismantled. Due to his efforts, in 2012 he was posthumously awarded the highest American civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by President Barack Obama.

Co-sponsored by the Dept. of History, Campus Ministry, and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland.

Social Justice Activism Conference: Transforming Conflicts and Societies
FRIDAY, APRIL 26 and saturday, april 27, 9am-4:30pm, usf, Fromm hall
This two-day conference offers students a number of workshops and presentations focusing on multiple ways to become more engaged social justice activists working to transform local and international conflicts. The conference is open to all USF under/graduate students as well as student alumni from USF-affiliated programs run in partnership with Abraham's Vision and the Center for Transformative Education.

For more information, including a detailed schedule of the conference, click

Sponsored by the Jewish Studies and Social Justice program. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Media Studies, Politics, Theology & Religious Studies, the BA in International Studies program (BAIS), the Master's in International Studies program (MAIS), and the programs in Middle East Studies and Peace and Justice Studies.

Opening Conference Session (April 26): Bodies and Prison, Intersectionality and Transformation
Dr. Clarence B. JonesIn the first half of this workshop, we will be joined by USF Performing Arts Faculty Amie Espen-Dowling, Ivan Corado-Vega, and Reggie Daniels. These three individuals are all involved in the Well Contested Sites project, which uses a metaphorical, movement-based film to explore the effect of incarceration on individuals and suggests that the imagination can thrive even while the body is behind bars. In the second part of the workshop Corado-Vega and Daniels will join long-time, world renowned social justice activist Clarence B. Jones on a panel moderated by USF Vice-Provost Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi. Their discussion will focus on the intersection of social justice activism in terms of the seemingly distinct tracks of the Environment, Gender and Sexual Identities, Immigration, Race and Ethnicity, and International Conflict.


Opening Session (April 27): The Human Right to Grow
Mark GonzalesMark Gonzales is a thought leader in using storytelling as a global health strategy. His ability to cultivate imagination, teach methodology, & curate stories across thematic lines has awarded him invitations to over fifteen countries, with previous clients that include TED(x) talks, Stanford University, Wehdat refugee camp, State Library of Queensland (Australia), the United Nations, & HBO's Def Poetry. He is often found poetically integrating narrative and medicine via twitter: @WageBeauty.

Fall 2012


A Jewish Journey Between Genders

Tuesday, October 2, 11:45am-12:40pm, USF, Cowell 10

In June 2007, after a lifetime of struggling to live as a man, Dr. Joy Ladin began to live as a woman. In this powerful presentation Joy will share parts of her newly published autobiography, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders.

Co-sponsored by Department of Theology and Religious Studies and Program in Gender and Sexualities.

Joy ladin speaker

Jews, Blacks, and the Politics of Identity
Thursday, October 11, 11:45am-12:40pm, USF, Cowell 106

African-American Jewish woman Yavilah McCoyA candid discussion of race, class, gender and beyond led by African-American Jewish woman Yavilah McCoy. Join Yavilah for an up close and personal look at the successes and challenges of contemporary multidimensional identity in the US and the ways that women of color are caring for themselves, their families, and their communities as they walk the road with grace.

Co-sponsored by Departments of Theology and Religious Studies, Politics, and Programs in African American Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

Jews of Africa
Thursday, November 1, 11:45am-12:40pm, USF, Cowell 106

Rabbi Gershom Sizomu Join Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, Uganda’s Chief Rabbi and the leader of the Abayudaya Jews, in a presentation on the Jews of Africa. Though there have been Jews in Africa since their beginning, little is known about them.

Co-sponsored by Departments of Theology and Religious Studies, and International Studies, and Programs in African Studies and Peace and Justice Studies.