Teaching Towards Collective Belonging
The Pedagogic Introduction provides an overview to the principles of a pedagogy for exposing students, in all settings and ages, to Jewish Peoplehood. As described in more detail in the introduction the pedagogy consists of three components:
- Engagement with the Jewish People – Connecting with the Heart
- Developing Peoplehood Commitment through knowledge – Connecting with the mind
- Motivating Action-oriented expressions of belonging to the Jewish collective enterprise – Connecting with the Hands
The Education Toolkit is a tool for the world-wide community of Jewish educators. We are committed to sharing resources across the field, and encourage educators to share their own resources and lesson plans, allowing us to create a user-driven program bank.
Ideas for Sparking Engagement
Designed to focus on emotional engagement, motivation to learn more, pride, solidarity and connection.
- Create programs focused on students’ family roots. Explore family histories, including stories of immigration, family customs, names etc. Demonstrate the geographical roots of students’ families and show how they reflect diversity of experience and background but are also part of the story of the people.
- Discuss notions of solidarity between Jews around the world. Do students feel pride in the successes of other Jews? Do they have connections to Jewish communities they have never met? Play a game of “Jewish geography,” watch movies that spark discussion about connections amongst Jews.
Ideas for Strengthening Commitment
Designed to provide students with more knowledge that will help them understand what Jewish Peoplehood is and why it is important.
Content areas that relate to the overall concept of collective Jewish belonging include:
- Jewish texts that deal with collective identity and the role of the Jewish People in the world
- Jewish history focusing on migration and population movements throughout the centuries
- The unique story and structure of Jewish community
- Hebrew language, as a unifying force between Jewish communities
- Other Jewish languages, such as Ladino or Yiddish, and their songs and literatures
- Modern Jewish history with a focus on the formative events and initiatives of the 20th Century
- Contemporary Jewish demography
Ideas for Motivating Action
Designed to give students concrete outlets for their motivation and connection, and to strengthen their Peoplehood consciousness through action.
- Have students create oral history recordings (video or audio) of their family members and/or other members of the Jewish community, particularly immigrants from other countries. Create an exhibition of their stories and photos.
- Create a mifgash with Jews of the same age in another country or city. Look for shared values and interests, as well as differing customs, beliefs and behaviors.
- Develop a project that emphasizes Jewish solidarity from one community to another. How can your students do something concrete that will benefit another Jewish community? This could be some type of campaign responding to the needs of Jews elsewhere.