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Jewish Activism Summer School

Founded in 2016 and directed by Professor Jonathan Schorsch, Chair for Jewish Religious and Intellectual History at the University of Potsdam, Germany, the Jewish Activism Summer School (JASS) immerses participants in the world of activism through a diverse sequence of seminars and trainings, visits to local sites and community and social action organizations. A cadre of renowned, international teachers and practitioners teach and guide participants. JASS has hosted three summer programs thus far, welcoming a diverse group of participants from around the world. JASS is a unique combination of a beit midrash, think tank, living laboratory and retreat. Informed by Jewish values, JASS educates, challenges, inspires and trains activists and those who want to be activists in our shared fight for democracy, human rights and a healthy and sustainable world. The three-week program integrates the study of Jewish texts with classes on the history and practice of activism, workshops in skills and trainings in relevant methods (e.g., Deep Democracy, complex systems theory, etc.) and visits to local organizations and initiatives engaged in social and environmental projects. On Shabbat, JASS also offers spiritual and cultural activities designed to help participants discover Berlin’s Jewish community with activities, such a prayer services at local synagogues followed by communal meals coordinated with local groups, such as Studentim, Hillel, Bet Debora, or JSUD.