It is time for like-minded Jewish peoplehood educators and activists to share a common platform for discourse and mutual enrichment. We live in times when Jewish peoplehood can be a practice and an active experience, so let’s celebrate this opportunity. In ancient times, the notion of Jewish Peoplehood was primarily a conceptual framework reflected in Jewish imagination. Jewish peoplehood was expressed in modalities like theology, halachic literature, poetry and art. Practically, most Jews had no direct exposure to other Jews outside their immediate community. The fact that there were Jews in other parts of the world had little personal meaning. Jews spoke different languages and lived in discrete political and cultural settings.
Modern times introduced a dramatic change in this construct. Massive migration, urbanization and Zionism, were the catalyst for new forms of interactions between Jews of diverse backgrounds. Jews traveled, relocated, and found themselves meeting other types of Jews, representing the diversity of Jewish life. Jewish peoplehood became a concrete social and cultural experience. Modernity also forced Jews to adopt another adjective, Jewish and (Reform, Secular, Haredi, Sephardi, Ashkenazi, and more)
Today, globalization opens a new chapter in the evolving concept of Jewish Peoplehood. Now, individual Jews, as part of their respective communities and beyond, can converse, meet, interact and collaborate. New technologies have made it possible and accessible for a new Jewish wide web.
There is a tremendous growth of interest in education for collective Jewish belonging, often focused in the areas of Jewish Peoplehood and Israel education. Despite the interest and the many individuals and organizations who are now working in this area, the field is still in a nascent state. The Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education (CJPE) serves as a resource and catalyst for developing this field.
CJPE addresses the challenges of Jewish Peoplehood education. It offers institutions and individuals the resources and support to obtain professional development, content and programmatic enrichment or general Peoplehood conceptual and educational consulting.
We hope this Blog will be a space for educators and community leaders to share their thoughts and experience regarding Jewish peoplehood education. We invite you to contribute, solicit response and respond your friends.
Dr. Shlomi Ravid, CJPE director
Dr. Elan Ezrachi, Blog editor