The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One?

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9781580233927: The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One?
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Peoplehood―everyone's talking about it. But what does it actually mean and why is it important to the future of Judaism?

"Why is this conversation important? Why does it merit your attention? If you care about Jewish identity and community, then you know that we have no trouble identifying the problems that fragmentize us as a people but have far less success identifying that which unites us. Without a unifying, collective notion of Jewish identity that is meaningful and robust, it is virtually impossible to make a strong case for Jewish continuity."
―from the Introduction

This call to Jewish community explores the purpose, possibilities and limitations of peoplehood as a unifying concept of community for a people struggling profoundly with Jewish identity. It defines what peoplehood is―and is not―and explores both collective and personal Jewish identity and the nature of identity construction.

Drawing on history, sacred texts and contemporary scholarship, The Case for Jewish Peoplehood identifies some of the obstacles that challenge a shared notion of peoplehood: personal choices, construct of membership and boundaries, growth of Jewish illiteracy, identity fragmentation between Israeli and Diaspora Jewry and the generational divide affecting traditionalists, baby boomers and generations X and Y.

To help you join the conversation, the authors support a vision for the future and provide practical guidance and recommendations for getting there.

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From the Inside Flap:

A meaningful and robust collective notion of Jewish identity today ensures strong Jewish continuity for tomorrow.
The key to strong Jewish continuity is a shared identity characterized by joint assumptions, certain expressions, and a host of familial-like behaviors that unite an otherwise disparate group of people. But how do we get a Jewish community splintered by factionalism and ideological divides to feel collectively attached to each other as part of a global family? And, how do we do this without sacrificing the universal concerns that extend far beyond communal boundaries?

In this important and inspiring statement on peoplehood, Drs. Erica Brown and Misha Galperin set out to find the meaningful and overarching reason for involvement in the Jewish legacy, tradition and people that can hold us all, no matter our backgrounds. They explore:
* Membership and Boundaries
* Peoplehood and Intermarriage
* Jewish Literacy and the Peoplehood Prerogative
* Jewish and Israeli Identity
* Stepping Across the Generational Divide
* ... and more

About the Author:

Dr. Erica Brown, an inspiring writer and educator, is scholar-in-residence for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She consults for the Jewish Agency and other Jewish non-profits, and is a faculty member of the Wexner Foundation. She is an Avi Chai Fellow, winner of the Ted Farber Professional Excellence Award, and the recipient of a Covenant Award for her work in education. She is author of Confronting Scandal: How Jews Can Respond When Jews Do Bad Things; Inspired Jewish Leadership: Practical Approaches to Building Strong Communities, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and Spiritual Boredom: Rediscovering the Wonder of Judaism and coauthor of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One? (all Jewish Lights). She contributed to We Have Sinned: Sin and Confession in Judaism―Ashamnu and Al Chet, Who by Fire, Who by Water―Un'taneh Tokef and All These Vows―Kol Nidre (all Jewish Lights). She lectures widely on subjects of Jewish interest and leadership. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, and can be reached at www.EricaBrown.com.



Dr. Misha Galperin is CEO and president of Jewish Agency International Development and former CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Dr. Galperin serves on several non-profit boards and was previously COO of UJA-Federation of New York, the world's largest local philanthropy. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and has written about and spoken widely on the issues of Jewish identity, values and community. He was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and immigrated to the United States in 1976 with his family at age eighteen. He is author of Reimagining Leadership in Jewish Organizations: Ten Practical Lessons to Help You Implement Change and Achieve Your Goals and coauthor of The Case for Jewish Peoplehood: Can We Be One? (both Jewish Lights).



Rabbi Joseph Telushkin is author of several books that have made Jewish philosophy, theology and history accessible to the broad public, including Jewish Literacy and Jewish Wisdom.

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