A Virtuous Cycle of Vibrant Jewish Life

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The path we have charted for our foundation aims to perpetuate a virtuous cycle of young adult engagement that promotes a culture of service, connects young people with Israel and welcomes all who seek to lead actively Jewish lives. Lynn Schusterman -------------------- [This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Lynn Schusterman When my late husband, Charles, and I embarked on our philanthropic journey 25 years ago, we were committed to doing our part to ensure a strong, vibrant future for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. We shared a vision of spreading the joy of Jewish living, giving and learning, and we sought to make our contribution where we could make the greatest … [Read more...]

The Mitzvot of Peoplehood – Some Proposals

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Einat Wilf More than eight years ago I published an article titled “The Mitzvot of Peoplehood” where I posed the following question: “I’m a member of the Jewish People. So what should I do when I wake up in the morning?” I’ve spent the years since I posed this question thinking and speaking about it and formulating ideas in response to it. So this might be a good time to write down some of the answers. In that article I defined Jewish Peoplehood as “the instinctive feeling that one is a member of one Jewish People present around the world.” If the instinct exists, then the Mitzvot are necessary merely to give shape and form to … [Read more...]

Jewish Peoplehood: From Concept-Building to People-Building

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] The Case of the Peoplehood Education Toolkit by Clare Goldwater and Shlomi Ravid Historians of Jewish communal history may well describe the last two decades as the period of the rude awakening to the crisis of Jewish Peoplehood. The long-term impacts of the forces of modernity and sociology on one hand, and lack of response on the other, have combined to shake the foundations of Jewish collective identity. Jews of different backgrounds and commitments have less and less to do with each other, the sense of a joint fate and common destiny is fading away rapidly and the feeling of a joint responsibility for fellow Jews and for the Jewish enterprise is … [Read more...]

Jewish Peoplehood – Action Items

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] Partial List by Yahal Porat In this short paper I will try to share a few insights and observations accumulated over the last year of directing the Israel-New York connections portfolio in Jerusalem. The Israel-New York connections oversees joint programs which engage Jewish institutions in NY with “peer” Israeli organizations (JCCs-Matnasim, Hillels, Congregations, etc.) with the aim of enhancing their connections and nurturing a spirit of Jewish Peoplehood. All of these programs include face to face encounters (“mifgashim” in Hebrew) which represent the highlight of the joint program. How does programming change when the Peoplehood … [Read more...]

The Time Has Come to Build Limmud USA

US state map

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Dan Brown A strong, national Limmud is the perfect vehicle to connect, and engage, American Jewish young adults in Jewish Peoplehood The American Jewish community is facing a paradigm shift from the how and why Jews connected to community institutions in the past to how Jews of today - especially young adults - are relating, and connecting, to the Jewish "establishment" of the 21st Century. These changes, often referred to as generational, are so much more than simply looking at the different characteristics of, say, the Greatest Generation to Baby Boomers to Generation X or Y. For while today's young adults are fully immersed in the pace and … [Read more...]

Our Untapped Potential: Nurturing and Leveraging “Living Bridges” – Wherever They Are

living-bridge

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 11 - Jewish Peoplehood in Practice - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Netaly Ophir Flint From time to time I get invited to participate in panel discussions or conferences about Jewish peoplehood and the future of the Jewish people. One of my most interesting observations from these encounters is the generational difference in answers to the often posed question: “when was the first time you felt a sense of belonging to the Jewish collective, a sense of Jewish peoplehood?” I can roughly divide the answers given between those who are below the age of 40 and those who are above the age of 40, though obviously exceptions exist. Those among the younger participants, who actually did feel that sense of greater … [Read more...]