A Continued Evolution in Jewish Peoplehood

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should W...

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should We Do Differently? - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]

In thinking about Jewish peoplehood in the 21st Century and comparing it to our past, there are several trends that clearly present themselves as major shifts in our community. Globalization, and the shrinking distance between cultures and countries along with the changing demographic trends of lifespan and stages, has deeply impacted the Jewish community. Although the core values and traditions of the Jewish people have stayed fairly consistent over the past few decades, the way that we connect and relate with one another has decidedly changed. As a result of this continual global evolution, the Jewish community must also adjust its approach to serving its constituents around the world. Despite a growing global population, the world is becoming a much smaller place. Whether considering online communication or increased travel, there is a permeating interconnectedness that is rapidly increasing, not just in person but also over the web. Further, demographic trends are shifting as people live longer and marry later than in previous generations, creating entirely new phases of life that provide a rich opportunity for promoting a deep and meaningful Jewish impact.

Click here
to learn about the three major components to nurturing Jewish peoplehood that we should all take into consideration when examining the current state of the Jewish community and its potential future directions.

A Continued Evolution in Jewish Peoplehood, July 3, 2012, eJP, by David Cygelman

Service as a Medium and a Message

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should W...

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should We Do Differently? - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]

Over the last 25 years, leaders of immersive Jewish service-learning programs have made a discovery: these programs - designed first and foremost to offer authentic service to those in need - also powerfully catalyze diverse, purpose-driven Jewish communities. Through Jewish service programs, Jews from very different backgrounds come together, often far from their homes, with a shared purpose of serving others. As the volunteers spend time in a host community, learning about underlying challenges, lending a hand, and being inspired by the ability of those facing great challenges to craft their own solutions, they experience the power of community and set about building it for themselves.

Repair the World partners with a wide range of service programs including AJFCA. Together, AJFCA andRepair the World Repair the World are implementing a joint initiative on engaging young Jews in service to the community.  This article by Ilana Aisen, Vice President of Repair the World, offers an interesting perspective on Jewish service learning, illustrating the importance of involving the community in volunteer efforts in order to have a fully positive effect on those serving and those served. As Repair the World's work to build and inspire a movement to make service an integral part of North American Jewish life continues, we are excited about the many important outcomes of Jewish service-learning programs, including the strengthening of Jewish Peoplehood.

Read Ilana's entire article here.

Service as a Medium and a Message, June 24, 2012, eJP, by Ilana Aisen

Peoplehood and Fragmentation

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should W...

[This essay is from The Peoplehood Papers, volume 8 - Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood in the 21st Century - What Should We Do Differently? - published by the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.]

Walk into most synagcenter for jewish peoplehood educationogues in North America today and you will find services for everyone: a tot Shabbat, a junior congregation, senior lunches, and latke and vodka programs for men in mid-life. They may not always be advertised within age brackets, but we all know who the target audience is. Sisterhoods have even been divided in some synagogues to cater to both young professionals/young mothers and older empty-nesters.

This is not only true for synagogues. Federations and JCCs create happy hours for their hip twenty-year-olds and gallery showings for those over 50. It's true that we've always had to market to specific populations to attract participants, but now we hardly have any programming meant to bring the entire community together. And this is not only true for institutional programming. Erica Brown, -in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington has found it to be true in tejp full logohe socializing that takes place out of buildings. "We often have people around our Shabbat table who are 10-20 years younger or older, but are rarely invited to join families outside of our age range and if we are, it will be to those who are older than we are, not younger."

Read Peoplehood and Fragmentation to learn more about intergenerational planning and what is lost when millennials and baby-boomers aren't brought together to talk, debate and socialize.

Peoplehood and Fragmentation,June 17, 2012, eJP, by Erica Brown