Including All Jews in the Conversation About Covenant

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Arnold Eisen The call for focused conversation about the nature of the Jewish people’s age-old covenant strikes me as exactly right and urgently important. My own work as a scholar has been greatly influenced by the notion that, as literary critic R. W. B. Lewis wrote 40 years ago, “every culture seems... to produce its own determining debate over the ideas that preoccupy it ... [its development] resembles a protracted and broadly ranging conversation: at best a dialogue - a dialogue which at times moves very close to drama.” That is all the more true of the Jewish people because … [Read more...]

Jewish Diversity and Its Implications for Jewish Peoplehood: Obstacle or Opportunity

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Steven M. Cohen, Jack Ukeles and Ron Miller The recently conducted Jewish Community Study of New York (2011) offers a window on the diversity of the Jewish population, a feat that is both a daunting challenge to Jewish Peoplehood as well as the compelling core of its contemporary rationale. As the three authors of the Comprehensive Report for the study sponsored by UJA-Federation of New York we were most struck by the growing multi-faceted diversity of New York’s 1.54 million Jews. The initial media coverage focused upon the most immediately noteworthy developments. Among them: The explosive … [Read more...]

Jewish Peoplehood: The Values of Collective Action

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Jerry Silverman Mina is in her late 80s, and for more than four decades has lived alone in an apartment in Kiev. This former teacher barely gets by on a meager pension, aided by care packages from the government. Thankfully, a social worker from the Chesed network of social service agencies visits Mina and other seniors, helping her do chores, and brings her to concerts, lectures and holiday programs. After graduating from college, Jesse felt distant from his Conservative upbringing. But a Birthright Israel trip rekindled his identity and helped propel him to become an active volunteer in … [Read more...]

Experiencing Jewish Peoplehood, Creating Jewish Connections

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Alan Hoffman and Ilan Wagner John Dewey, the preeminent American philosopher of education, based his educational approach on the premise that "there is an intimate and necessary relation between the processes of actual experience and education... all genuine education comes about through experience." As we think about nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century, I believe that our efforts must essentially be guided by the need to create real Jewish Peoplehood connections for young people through experiences. Whereas the 20th Century, marked by sweeping ideological prisms and the advent … [Read more...]

Jewish Peoplehood in Hungary: A Challenge and An Opportunity

j_hungary

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by theCenter for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Gábor Balázs and Mircea Cernov Who are the leaders of the Jewish community in Hungary today? Who engages and inspires the most creative minds of the young generation? Who is investing in their ideas and mobilizing their networks to revitalize the Jewish community? Who is providing knowledge, sharing tools, enabling and empowering innovators? Who is providing the financial resources and facilitating the platform for dialog between givers and implementers? Who is providing resources for small and mid-size organizations, initiatives and projects not in line with the communal system’s … [Read more...]

Limmud International: Contributing to the Global Jewish Conversation

Limmud Conference

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 9 - The Collective Jewish Conversation: Its Role, Purpose and Place in the 21st Century - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.] by Helena Miller “It’s a wonderful environment for feeling part of the larger Jewish people.” This was one of many comments articulated in response to a study that took place within the past year, to evaluate the outcome of Limmud on the individuals and local communities who are engaged in Limmud events. … [Read more...]