Four-week Course: American Jewish Radicals, taught by Elaine Leeder

Wednesdays in March 2018
3/7, 3/14, 3/21 & 3/28
1:00pm - 2:30pm at the JCC:
1301 Farmers Lane, Suite C103, Santa Rosa, Ca 95405
Music by Gale Kissin
Donation requested
If you missed Elaine's class at the JCC's Day of Jewish Learning in 2017 you are in for a treat!
At a time when America has major political and social problems it becomes necessary to look at previous times in history to learn methods of coping. American Jewish radicals have long been at the forefront of major social change efforts. Beginning with early Jewish radicals in the labor movement and other social justice efforts Dr. Elaine Leeder proposes to teach a four-week course for the JCCSOCO on this important history

Leeder, who has a PhD from Cornell University where she wrote about Rose Pesotta: Anarchist and Labor Organizer, will discuss important Jewish radicals starting with Rose Schneiderman, Clara Lemlich, Pauline Newman and others in the labor movement. She will then move on to Jews active in the 40’s to 50’s like Saul Alinsky and Sam Dolgoff. In yet another class she will discuss the radicals of the 60’s like Abby Hoffman,  Jerry Rubin and Todd Gitlin; these activists were important in the anti-war efforts. In another class she will discuss the radical Jewish women of the feminist movement like Betty Freidan, Gloria Steinam, Bella Abzug and Susan Faludi.

Leeder will provide excerpts from the writings of several of the activists covered and will provide her books ROSE PESOTTA: ANARCIST AND LABOR ORGANIZER for background on Jews as radicals.

Gale Kissin, noted Sonoma County Yiddish singer, will integrate a musical selection in each class with attention to the era of the American Jewish radicals that Leeder will be covering. 




Elaine Leeder, MSW, MPH, PhD is a Professor of Sociology and the Dean Emerita of the School of Social Sciences at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park CA. Previously she was a Professor at Ithaca College, Ithaca NY. She has 40 years of distinguished accomplishments and experience in academia and public service. Leeder is listed in Who’s Who of America Women, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Teachers. Her awards include a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellowship, outstanding teaching awards, research and travel grants and numerous awards from student and community agencies. She was also a visiting scholar at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC. In 2013 she received the Real Hero Awrd from the Sonoma Country Red Cross for her work in prisons. Twice she sailed on University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea, once serving as the Global Studies Director to all 700 passengers on board. She has appeared on Road Rules on MTV in conjunction with her voyage on SAS.  She sailed again on Semester at Sea for the Fall of 2013. Her exemplary career encompasses roles as professor/teacher, psychotherapist, consultant, author and advocate for social justice. She received her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and master’s degrees from New York’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, at Yeshiva University and the University of California School of Public Health in Berkeley. She completed her doctoral work at Cornell University in 1985. Over the years she has published five books and more than two dozen articles on sociological and psychological issues. Her newest book My Life with Lifer’s: Lessons for a Teacher, Humanity has no Bars was published in Spring, 2012. Her third book, The Family in Global Perspective: A Gendered Journey is being used at dozens of campuses in the US today. She lives in Sebastopol, California and travels widely.