In the Classroom

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

The program—which houses the Jewish Studies and Social Justice minor, the only one of its kind in the U.S.—is built upon the following four ideas, each integral to Jewish communal histories and identities:

  • Activism—Each of us has a role in 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.
  • Social In/justice—Our social identities can give us access to opportunities, or they can deny us entry to jobs, homes, and even food. Our social identities are not static but constantly shifting.

Program Learning Outcomes


  1. Social Justice: Students will explain and apply theoretical and practical applications of social justice and activism rooted in the Jewish traditions.
  2. Social Identities, Intersectionality, and Marginalized Communities: Students will articulate the intersectionality of social identities and in/justice, specifically those of marginalized social groups, using Jewish communities as a window.
  3. Jews and Judaisms: Students will articulate various dimensions of Jewish cultures, histories, politics, philosophies, and/or languages.