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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Pushing Peoplehood: An Agenda that Matters

Based on the position that intellectual activity around the expression of Jewish peoplehood is aligned with a sense that the bonds of Jewish peoplehood are declining, the authors focus on the implications for Jewish communal settings, especially surrounding tzedaka and community-building – raising money and the level of consciousness around collective Jewish values. Using research…

On the Relationship Between Peoplehood and Zionism

The author questions the relationship between peoplehood and Zionism, distinguishing between dimensions of meanings of the term peoplehood, and offering four propositions that civer the different schools of thought regarding the idea/ideology of Zionism. He concludes that the idea of peoplehood is fully congruent with the basic underlying proposition of the Zionist idea. He notes…

Zionism and Peoplehood: Toward a Historical Synthesis

Religion, nationalism and peoplehood are highlighted as the anchors of Jewish identity. Historically, first religion dominated the three, and then nationalism in the form of Zionism. Changes in classical Zionism in the 21st century have made room for religion and peoplehood to be complimentary rather than contradictory to Jewish nationalism, with a move from state…

When the Jewish People and Israel Conflict

The word “Israel” has multiple meanings and associations. The author discusses the intentional ambiguity of three terms associated with Israel – am (people), eretz (land), and le’om (nation) – signifying a rootedness in a particular geographic locale and the aspiration that all Jews are part of the Jewish collective regardless of where they live. She…

Peoplehood’s Overlooked Origins as a Critique of Zionism and Nationalism

One of the underlying issues in today’s conversations about the meaning of “peoplehood” is situating the term’s relationship with historical expressions of Zionism. There is a lot at stake in establishing precisely where the concept falls on the spectrum between nationalism’s inclination to place the state at the center of collective cohesion and a more…

Ahad Ha’Am At Last

The author argues that the new era of Israel-Diaspora relations isn’t a rejection of classical Zionism, but rather, it is the acceptance of the classical Zionist model propounded by the “cultural Zionist,” Ahad Ha’Am. He argues that Ha’Am’s notion is uniquely suited for the today’s generation of college-age Jews, the Millennials, who are the focus…

Educating about Israel and Jewish Peoplehood: Murmurings about a Field in Formation

The author argues that Zionist and Israel education are in tension with Jewish Peoplehood education. The former stresses the significance of place, the latter, the virtues of space. One narrows yet focuses options for identification; the other broadens yet dilutes options for belonging. In making sense of the the complexity of Israel and peoplehood education,…

Reflections on Israel, Peoplehood, and a New Jewish World

At the ninth annual Herzliya Conference in February 2009, the concept of “Jewish peoplehood” emerged as an important concept, and the author discusses some of the proposed definitions of the concept and arguments raised by Jewish scholars and thinkers in previous volumes of the Peoplehood Papers. While many questions about the concept still remain, the…

Institutionalizing Peoplehood?

 The author argues that the Jewish community is facing an evident paradigm shift that stems from a need voiced by younger people through the Jewish world to create a different and more appropriate paradigm that meets the external challenges facing our global society, the existing trends within North American Jewry, and the desire among Israeli…