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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Peoplehood Papers 5: Jewish Peoplehood and Zionism

On the occasion of Israel’s 62nd Independence Day this (the 5th) issue of the Peoplehood Papers is dedicated to exploring the relationship between Zionism and JewishPeoplehood. For individual articles, click here  

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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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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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Responses and Catalyzing Concepts

The author discusses the applicability as well as the superfluity of “indicators” as reliable evaluative tools. He argues that the Jewish people urgently need indicators of “Jewish Peoplehood” to understand what is happening, to identify trends, and to craft policies. He suggests five features that he believes are important in shaping the future of Jewish…

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