Students doing group exercises in class

Jewish Studies & Social Justice

The Swig Program in Jewish Studies and Social Justice minor engages you in both theoretical and practical applications of social justice and activism rooted in the Jewish traditions. The interdisciplinary curriculum examines Jewish culture, history, politics, philosophy, and language to better understand and strengthen marginalized communities around the globe.

Rabbi Camille Shira Angel

Camille Shira Angel

Rabbi in Residence

Some [of my students] have never met a Jew. Most of my students haven’t met a woman rabbi, let alone a lesbian rabbi who uses her own story as text. This opportunity enables me to share some of the ideas and strategies that Jews have used over centuries to navigate intolerance and to create something better.”

Camille Shira Angel

Rabbi in Residence

The program’s ethos is built upon the following four ideas integral to the Jewish community’s vast histories and identities

  • Activism – each of us has a role in the process of shaping the world as it is into the world it can be.
  • Intersectionality – all forms of marginalization and oppression are interlinked.
  • 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, socioeconomic standing, race, or something else entirely. Some identities are acquired; others, we’re born with.
  • 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 constantly shifting.

Renowned Collection of Books

The USF Gleeson Library's' collection of books on Jewish Studies is of the highest caliber. Our library is also renowned for its rare microfilm collection of The Forward (Forverts), the most important Yiddish newspaper of the twentieth century. This microfilm collection has copies from the time of the paper's inception in 1897 through 1951, the year in which the paper's renowned editor, Abraham Cahan, died. The collection is available to USF students, faculty, and staff.

Visiting faculty and students planning on coming to the library should contact the Periodicals Unit in advance at (415) 422-2051 to arrange access.

Beyond the Classroom

The program sponsors an annual fall Speaker Series on Jewish Identities, annual spring lectures on Social Justice and Human Rights, a Social Justice Passover Seder, study abroad courses, film screenings, presentations, and workshops.

Professor lectures in front of a slideshow while sitting on a table

Jewish Studies & Social Justice, Minor

2130 Fulton St.
Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 152
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
Hours

Mon-Fri: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.