Re-examining Jewish Peoplehood in the Age of Instagram

Messinger proposes two guiding principles “to advance the discourse about balancing universalism and particularism in the 21st century.” First, she suggests moving beyond the binary and embracing hybridity. Quoting Rabbi Hirsch, she writes, “We must forget the views and prejudices that we inherited about Judaism. Instead we must turn to the sources of Judaism… because…

“Active Bystander” Responsibility: Collectivism Through the Lens of Responsibility

Nir Lahav and Idit Groiss try to understand the Jewish collective responsibility for others. They argue that “The poor of your city come first” cannot come at the expense of “Repairing the World” (“Tikkun Olam B’Malchut Shaddai”). They suggest that there is no conflict between the options, but rather, it is a question of timing…

Peoplehood Flows from Asking Big Questions

Josh Feigelson suggests addressing the issue posed in this volume through “Big Questions,” Big which provide the possibility of creating new dynamics and new paradigms. “If we are to renew a sense of peoplehood, we have to renew a language and ethic of responsibility. And doing that starts with asking bigger questions … that animate…

Universalism and Particularism: Jewish Teachings on Obligation

Ellenson shows that within Judaism there have always been universalistic and particularistic dimensions, starting with the concept of covenant (brit) in the Bible. “This notion maintains that God stands in relationship with all people.” These dual dimensions are also displayed in the idea of Tikkun Olam, a concept that also binds Jews to God. “The…

In Defence of Particularism

Bitton argues for a “balanced particularism” that allows one to continue to contribute to all of humanity. “This vision of Jewish particularism does not assume that there is something ‘better’ about Jews than non-Jews,” but simply, that the Jewish people are one family, with a shared history, destiny and humanity. She believes that universalism only…

Is “For Whom Are We Responsible” the right question?

Aaron suggests that even two centuries after the Enlightenment, Jews still struggle within the group about “whether our Jewish world is one of universal innovation or particular corruption.” He proposes that instead of asking, “for whom are we responsible?”, we ask, “what is our responsibility to each other?” He suggests we focus on “what we…

Peoplehood Papers 12: For Whom Are We Responsible? Peoplehood in the 21st Century

This (12th) volume of the Peoplehood Papers “grapples with the tension between sustaining the Jewish People and contributing to Universal goals. Finding new ways of contributing to the world has become part of the search for a new meaning for being Jewish. The Jewish people are seeking meaningful answers to the question, “why Jewish” or…

Jewish Peoplehood Crisis – The Seattle “Call for Conversation”

Originally published in eJewishPhilanthropy, Levy & Chivo tell about a community call to discuss the Peoplehood crisis that brought out almost 800 participants within the Seattle area. A strategic roadmap was proposed at the meeting, including: (i) adult education aimed at self-transformation (starting with leaders of any Jewish institution); (ii) incorporation of peoplehood in school…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

From Concept-Building to People-Building: The Case of the Education Toolkit

Goldwater and Ravid focus their response broadly on education. They introduce the Toolkit for Peoplehood Education, acknowledging that there is an identity crisis requiring a holistic educational approach, facilitated by educators as key change agents for assuring a strong and rich Jewish collective future. It reflects their conviction that the response should be practical, proactive…

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…

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.”…

A Less Spoken About Angle: The Threat Israel Presents to Jewish Peoplehood

As head of an organization for religious freedom and equality in Israel, Regev focuses on the threat to a sense of Peoplehood brought on by the lack of religious pluralism in Israel. He points to the conflict between Israel’s unifying role for world Jewry and its current laws that discriminate against “the overwhelming majority of…