In a recent talk Noam Pianko, a contemporary scholar of Jewish Peoplehood, and professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Washington, offers a stimulating and thoughtful challenge to those of us interested in the future of Jewish Peoplehood, both as a concept and as a way of building collective Jewish identity. See here for Pianko’s talk.

After reflecting on the origins of the term “Jewish Peoplehood”, which has its roots in the 1930s and 40s, Pianko challenges us with a new paradigm focused on a grass-roots redefinition of Peoplehood that can be relevant in the 21st Century. If the old paradigm focused on the questions ‘who are you?’, ‘what values unite us?’ and ‘what are the boundaries between them and us?’, the new paradigm replaces these questions with ‘what do you do [Jewishly]?’, ‘what values are meaningful to you?’ and ‘how do we balance our multiple identities?’.

How would you answer those new questions?

Share your ideas and responses with us.


Noam Pianko is the Director of the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington. He is an academic with interest in modern Jewish history, Zionism and American Judaism. He is also a Fellow of the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education. 

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