[This exercise is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 13 – Jewish Peoplehood: What does it mean? Why is it important? How do we nurture it? – published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]

By Shlomi Ravid and Clare Goldwater

We invite you to use the articles in this edition of the Peoplehood Papers to stimulate discussion with your students, colleagues and friends. Here are some guiding questions and suggestions for discussion.

Discussions

Choose excerpts from 3-5 articles and ask your group to read them carefully. In pairs or small groups consider the following questions:

  • What does Peoplehood mean for the different writers? What do they seem to have in common and where do they differ?
  • What might be the source of the difference in their opinion: Generational? Religious affiliation? Nationality? Others?
  • Note the different language that the writers use regarding Peoplehood. Try to tease out the varied definitions or approaches you can find.
  • Why is Peoplehood important according to the different writers?
  • This question pushes the reader to uncover the value of Peoplehood, not just what it means. Read the articles carefully to figure out why Peoplehood is important. There are many different reasons.
  • Reconvene the group to share.
  • Ask each person to write their own article – what does Peoplehood mean to them?

Additional questions to consider:

  • For you, does Peoplehood come from the heart (emotional), the mind (intellectual)
    or some combination of the above?
  • Were you exposed to Peoplehood at home or through some event or educational process you experienced?
  • Do you believe Jews share both a history and destiny? What is that destiny in your opinion?
  • Where do you stand in our collective attempt to balance between our particularistic interests and our universalistic values? Which is more important to you?

Additional Ideas

Stage a friendly debate between two articles with different approaches. Ask participants to prepare to defend one article against another. The debate is on the topic of “Jewish Peoplehood means … and is important because …”

Once participants have formulated their own approach to what Peoplehood means and why it is important, create a series of film clips. Have each participant explain their approach in 60-90 seconds and create short videos. Upload the videos to your facebook page or institutional website. Send us the videos and we will post them on the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education blog.

Create a mifgash opportunity with a partner community or institution in another city or country. Send videos or written pieces to each other, or stimulate discussion using social media. For more ideas of how to use social media, see the Peoplehood Practices section in the Peoplehood Education Toolkit – jpeoplehood.org/toolkit.

JPeoplehood newThis exercise is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 13 – Jewish Peoplehood: What does it mean? Why is it important? How do we nurture it? – published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.