Here are a number of topics that Elaine is available to speak about:

  1. Prisoners are People Too: Leeder can discuss her 20 year involvement in prisons, including teaching inside, running groups and now doing victim/offender dialogues.
    Watch Video – ‘Radical Chasidism: A Dialogue About Restorative Justice’
    See Presentation – The Meaning of Resilience
    Watch Video – ‘Elaine Leeder on Jews and Prison’
    Watch Video – ‘Dr. Elaine Leeder on Restorative Justice and Spirituality in Prison Work’
    Listen to Podcast – ‘Dr. Elaine Leeder on Restorative Justice and Spirituality in Prison Volunteer Work’
    Listen to Podcast – ‘From Sparks to Light – Inspiring Stories for Challenging Times’
    Read Article: ‘Jewish Spirituality and Restorative Justice: A Seeker Finds Her Way Home’
    Read Article: ‘Jewish and Black lawyers want to put prisons on the agenda’
  2. Holocaust and other Genocides: Leeder can discuss her family’s history in Lithuania and frame this talk in the context of current xenophobia, ethnic cleansing and other atrocities currently being committed globally.
    See Presentation
    Read Article in The Jewish News: “Teens from viral swastika photo face Holocaust survivor families”
  3. American Radicals: Leeder has done extensive research on American Radicals and how they have influenced the course of American history. She is available to tell stories that are funny, gripping and inspiring at a time when such inspiration has become most important.
    See Presentation
    Read Interview from the Sociologists’ Knowledge of Anarchism Project
    Read Article in the Jewish News: “New class on U.S. Jewish communists, anarchists and socialists of the 20th century”
    Read Article in The Commoner: “Sex, Politics and Anarchism: American Jewish Anarchist Women, 1920-1950”
    Watch Video – ‘American Jewish Anarchist Women: 1920-1950; The Politics of Sexuality’
    An Interview with Elaine Leeder: “A Closer Look at Jewish Anarchist Women of the 20th Century and at What Anarchism Might Teach Us”
  4. Leadership: Having been an educator for over 40 years Leeder has spoken to countless groups on how to become a role – model and leader in our society. She is able to inspire young people to engage in social justice work and to show that a life dedicated to social change can provide meaning and relevance in today’s world.
    Watch Video
  5. Family Life in a Global Perspective: Leeder has traveled to 65 countries in the world studying the similarities and differences on family structures, impact of globalization, gender relations and the changes that occur as a result of dramatic social change. She will tell stories from her travels and can tie the observations to theories and current issues.
    Listen to Podcast on family in Africa “I Am Because We Are: The Family in Africa with Elaine Leeder”

Here are a few of the talks that Elaine has given

Ner Shalom Social Justice Café

Featuring Dr. Elaine Leeder

Great Music, Deep Learning, Yummy Food & Drinks
Inspiring and Supporting Each Other As We Keep On Keeping On…Towards Justice and Peace!

American Jews have long been involved in social justice and progressive causes. With our values of Tikkun Olam and doing Teshuvah, Jews have been at the forefront of most social change efforts in the US. Dr. Leeder”s talk will cover the way that Jews have influenced American social policies. We will look at the Jewish labor movement, particularly some of the women like Pauline Newman, Rose Schneiderman and Rose Pesotta, whose values were rooted in Jewish identity but who were able to stretch mainstream American ideals. We will talk about the relevance of these foremothers’ and fathers’ actions for today.

Join us for inspiring music, stories, learning and great company. We will celebrate our tradition of activism and our lineage of radical Jews. Other presentations by social justice activists providing networking and activist opportunities! Wonderful nosherei and snacks available for purchase, with proceeds going to Ner Shalom and a social justice project TBD.

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

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 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.

Teaching Moral and Ethical Responses to Prejudice, Indifference and Hatred: Personal Stories of the Holocaust and Other Genocides

Lessons For Today in Accounts of Survival and Rescue

Starting with the 2015-16 school year, the Story Project is offering age-appropriate Holocaust and genocide education programs for Sonoma County students, grades 5-12.

The population of Holocaust survivors in Sonoma County is rapidly dwindling. These education programs will provide teachers and students an opportunity to hear living survivors tell their stories and engage in valuable dialogue with them.

Holocaust survivors and rescuers, survivors of other genocides and their descendants, as well as Holocaust and genocide scholars, are available to speak with students from their own experiences of intolerance, bullying exclusion, and bystander behavior. They will address the power of empathy and mutual caring in their own and others’ lives. They will present photographs, maps, and film clips to enliven their stories.

Presenters can be scheduled for individual classrooms or for larger gatherings. They can appear individually or as part of a panel. Reading and film lists are available so that students can be prepared for the presentations, have a contextual framework and follow up with additional study.

The focus of these programs will be as follows:

  1. To teach students the history of the Holocaust and other genocides and make them aware of the ideas and behaviors that preceded these events.
  2. To foster discussion and action on relevant issues related to bullying, exclusion, intolerance, stereotyping, and appropriate interventions.
  3. To encourage students to seek solutions in their own sphere of influence.
  4. To facilitate a more peaceful and compassionate school environment through awareness, reflection, prevention, and reconciliation.
  5. To provides resources for teachers and available speaker biographies

To schedule a presentation or for more information, please email

The Story Project of Sonoma County

The Daymare: Elaine tells the story of her family killed during the Holocaust

Leeder is a lively and engaging speaker who has delighted audiences since childhood. Invite her to speak to school aged children, college students, families, elders, and other active community groups. Reviews available upon request.

Dr. Elaine Leeder