A Virtuous Cycle of Vibrant Jewish Life

Schusterman shares her family foundation’s approach towards the development of a virtuous cycle of vibrant Jewish life. “If we are successful, we will see a time when the vast majority of young people readily participate in Jewish life, draw on Jewish values to inform their worldviews and take on leadership roles in their communities. We…

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Jewish Peoplehood: Action Items

Porat is the director of the NY-IL connections office of the UJA Federation of New York, which oversees joint programs that partner NY and Israel-based institutions, with the aim of enhancing connections and nurturing Jewish Peoplehood. All programs include a mifgash (encounter) element. He highlights what happens as a result of including a mifgash experience…

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The Future of Peoplehood: From Nationhood to Neighborhood

Pianko proposes a paradigm shift, from nationhood to neighborhood. Peoplehood based on a neighborhood rather than a nationhood model promotes understanding of Jewish collectivity as the sum of divergent processes of Jewish exploration and community building. “Neighborhoods” broadly construed, either in-person or via focused global networks, create a platform for engagement, meaning, creation, and innovation,…

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Our Untapped Potential: Nurturing and Leveraging “living bridges” – Wherever They Are

Flint points to an untapped resource of global Peoplehood change agents: individual Jews who relocated to other countries on the globe. Using the examples of Israelis who reside abroad and Olim who moved to Israel, she proposes that our goal should be to cultivate and nurture those individuals who can serve as “˜living bridges€™,” and…

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Peoplehood Papers 11: Jewish Peoplehood in Practice – Shifting from the What to the How

When the challenges of Jewish Peoplehood emerged in the Jewish world, most efforts went into trying to understand the meaning and significance of Jewish Peoplehood in the present. Some lead questions included: what does peoplehood mean today? Why is it important? How do we define it? Later, Jewish organizations and leaders asked: How do we…

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Jewish Peoplehood in the Age of Pluralism: The Challenge of Measuring Success

Taylor considers challenges in measuring success of educational initiatives in the context of Peoplehood education in pluralistic settings. ” When evaluating success, it is especially important to be mindful of the wide range of starting points learners might have and the wide range of changes they might undergo as a result of a particular program.”…

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The Pluralism of Pluralism in Israel:

Kelman gives a short history of the struggle surrounding Israeli religious pluralism since the mid-1980s, when the Israel Religious Action Center was founded to promote liberal Judaism in Israel and create a more level playing field for non-Orthodox Judaism. She concludes that, “pluralism has the potential to strengthen peoplehood. That is the challenge facing us.…

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Toward a Pluralism of Substance

Kaunfer calls for a pluralism of substance as a means strengthening Peoplehood. “In this model, the key to peoplehood isn’t pluralism per se, it is education. Only through education will Jews develop a deeper attachment to their Judaism.” The goal is not creating individuals with the same values; it may actually lead to large differences…

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Sowing Diversity in Fields of Jewish Peoplehood

Gross write about her work as director of a community outreach program with participants who represent a diversity of backgrounds, opinions and ideas about how to participate Jewishly. “Our gatherings welcome this diversity and demand an openness to hear others and learn from differences in order to better understand our own beliefs and commitments.” She…

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New Directions in Jewish Leadership: Pluralism

Gale, co-director of the Diller Teen Fellows asks, What will be the future of the Jewish People? Having worked so hard to create communities that support different ways of Jewish life, Jewish leaders are reluctant to engage in dialogue. “The ability to engage in dialogue and respond to each other sympathetically and empathetically is critical…

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Pluralism and Peoplehood

Edelsberg, Executive Director of the Jim Joseph Foundation, discusses the role of pluralism in its attempts to foster compelling, effective Jewish learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. He sees the concept of peoplehood as nebulous; no single, commonly accepted definition has gained currency. The Jewish people are still populated by homogeneous sects…

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Peoplehood as Process

Through interviews and participant observation of young adult Americans Jews, Cousens understands the nuances of the concept of Jewish community (ies) for this group. Through her work, she comes to see Peoplehood as an ongoing dialogue , “even a tense dialogue – with Israel, the Jewish people, and the Jewish narrative. This is the essence…

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The Challenges of Building Pluralistic Jewish Peoplehood: Towards a Different Kind of Pluralism

Barber suggest that in most Jewish conversations about pluralism, the word is used to convey the thought that all Jewish narratives are true Jewish narratives and that none holds more weight than any other. However, she suggests that the community needs instead to understand pluralism as the need to learn about the multiplicity of Jewish…

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Jewish Peoplehood and the Biblical Landscape

Using the language of rock music, Arnoff suggests that in order to help the individual view Jewish communities as compelling enough to join, the Jewish educator must move beyond the personal and facilitate “a community comprised of individuals with rich, meaningful experience.” He notes that, “navigating peoplehood requires a multidimensional, pluralistic map to the biblical…

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A Post-Modern Jewish Peoplehood for Israel

The author compares different ways that scholars, writers and activists understand the concept of Jewish peoplehood and provides an analytic framing of the concept. Overall, he sees peoplehood as a concept invented by American Jewry and discusses what happens when it is imported into the Israeli context. He believes that peoplehood has the potential to…

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Jewish Peoplehood: Why?

The author introduces the concept of peoplehood and Jewish peoplehood in Hebrew and English), both both in general and Jewish frames. He goes on to explain the resurgence of the use of the term and concept. He points to two notions, the first a harmless notion of a bond formed between Jews from different locales,…

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Rethinking Global Jewish Collectivity in a Post-Statist World

The author frames Mordechai Kaplan’s thinking on the Jewish State and Jewish nation (people), using it to argue that it is time to move from priveleging state over nation and political sovereignty over global collectivity. He suggests that we need to modify the current paradigm which puts the Jewish State at the center, and consider…

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