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Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood (Hebrew: עמיות יהודית, Amiut Yehudit) is the conception of the awareness of the underlying unity that makes an individual a part of the Jewish
Jewish
people.[1] The concept of peoplehood has a double meaning. The first is descriptive, as a concept factually describing the existence of the Jews
Jews
as a people. The second is normative, as a value that describes the feeling of belonging and commitment to the Jewish
Jewish
people.[2] Some believe that the concept of Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood is a paradigm shift in Jewish
Jewish
life. Insisting that the mainstream of Jewish
Jewish
life is focused on Zionism, Jewish
Jewish
nationalism, they argue that Jewish
Jewish
life should instead focus on Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood.[3] Others maintain that the concept of peoplehood, or "Klal Yisrael" has permeated Jewish
Jewish
life for millennia, and to focus on it does not constitute a shift from the focus on Jewish
Jewish
nationhood. Jews
Jews
have been extremely effective in sustaining a sense of joint responsibility towards their people and its members for over 2,000 years.[4] At the same time, the concepts of Jews
Jews
as a nation and as a peoplehood are not necessarily at odds with one another. The very concept of defining Judaism
Judaism
as a people or a "civilization" suggests a wide variety of values within the context of Judaism.[5]

Contents

1 Jewish
Jewish
writings 2 Jewish
Jewish
nationhood 3 Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood

3.1 In modern Jewish
Jewish
life 3.2 Key characteristics 3.3 Areas of agreement 3.4 Different perspectives

4 See also 5 Footnotes 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Jewish
Jewish
writings[edit] See also: Bnei Israel The concept of a distinctive Jewish
Jewish
people has been part of Jewish culture since the development of the Hebrew
Hebrew
Bible. Throughout the Torah, Prophets and Writings, Jews
Jews
are variously referred to as a congregation, a nation, children of Israel or even a kingdom, all implying a connection among people.[6] "And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God to you, and to your seed after you". Genesis 17:7/8[7] "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of every people". Esther
Esther
3:8[8] "In each generation every individual should feel as though he or she had actually been redeemed from Egypt". The Haggadah[9] "Kol yisrael arevim zeh bazeh" – "All Israelites are sureties for one another". Talmud
Talmud
Shevuot 39a[10] Jewish
Jewish
nationhood[edit] Goy גוי, in Biblical Hebrew, literally means "nation", and historically Jews
Jews
are most commonly described with variations of this concept. In Genesis 12:2, God promises Abraham
Abraham
that his descendants will form a goy gadol ("great nation"). In Exodus 19:6, the Jews
Jews
are referred to as a goy kadosh (גוי קדוש), a "holy nation". One of the more poetic descriptions of the Jewish
Jewish
people in the Hebrew
Hebrew
Bible, and popular among Jewish
Jewish
scholarship, is goy ehad b'aretz, or "a unique nation upon the earth!" (2 Samuel 7:23 and 1 Chronicles 17:21). The "nation" concept refers not just to a territorial or political entity, ie the Kingdom of Judah, but in the ancient sense meaning a group of people with a common history, a common destiny, and a sense of connection to one another,[11] an ethnos. The nationhood concept adhered to the biblical and religious identification as a chosen people, a holy nation set apart from the other nations in obedience to the One God. This conception of Jewishness helped to preserve the Jewish
Jewish
people during the diaspora, when Jews
Jews
were "scattered among the nations". It was similarly invoked by the Zionist movement, which sought to Negate the Diaspora (shlilat ha'galut) by Gathering the exiled of Israel (Kibbutz Galuyot) back to their homeland, where they would achieve national self-determination. Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood[edit] Some modern Jewish
Jewish
leaders in the diaspora, particularly American Jews, found the traditional conception of Jews
Jews
as a "nation among the nations" problematic, posing a challenge to integration and inviting charges of dual loyalty. The first significant use of the "peoplehood" concept was by Mordecai Kaplan, co-founder of the Reconstructionist School of Judaism, who was searching for a term that would enable him to describe the complex nature of Jewish
Jewish
belonging. Once the State of Israel was founded, he rejected the concept of nationhood, as it had become too closely identified with statehood, and replaced it with the peoplehood concept.[12] In his work Judaism
Judaism
as a Civilization, Kaplan sought to define the Jewish
Jewish
people and religion in socio-cultural terms as well as religious ones. Kaplan’s definition of Judaism
Judaism
as "an evolving religious civilization" illumines his understanding of the centrality of Peoplehood in the Jewish
Jewish
religion. Describing Judaism
Judaism
as a religious civilization emphasizes the idea that Jewish
Jewish
people have sought "to make [their] collective experience yield meaning for the enrichment of the life of the individual Jew and for the spiritual greatness of the Jewish
Jewish
people." The definition as a civilization allows Judaism
Judaism
to accept the principles of unity in diversity and continuity in change. It is a reminder that Judaism
Judaism
consists of much that cannot be put into the category of religion in modern times, "paradoxical as it may sound, the spiritual regeneration of the Jewish
Jewish
people demands that religion cease to be its sole preoccupation."[13] In the sense that existence precedes essence and life takes precedence over thought, Judaism
Judaism
exists for the sake of the Jewish
Jewish
people rather than the Jewish
Jewish
people existing for the sake of Judaism.[5] Kaplan's purpose in developing the Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood idea was to create a vision broad enough to include everyone who identified as a Jew regardless of individual approaches to that identity.[14] In modern Jewish
Jewish
life[edit] Since 2000, major Jewish
Jewish
organizations have embraced the peoplehood concept and intellectual interest in the topic has increased. Major organizations such as the Jewish
Jewish
Federations of North America, the JFNA New York Federation, the Jewish
Jewish
Agency for Israel, the Israel Ministry for Education, the Diaspora Museum, the Avi Chai Foundation, the American Jewish
Jewish
Committee and many other smaller organizations are either introducing the peoplehood concept as an organizing principle in their organizations or initiating high-profile programming with an explicit focus on Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood.[15] Natan Sharansky, the Jewish
Jewish
Agency’s chairman, declared that the agency’s traditional Zionist mission had outlived its usefulness. In his new capacity, he has made Israel education and promoting Jewish Peoplehood a priority, particularly among the young.[16] Key characteristics[edit] Alongside the use of the peoplehood concept by Jewish
Jewish
organizations, there is a parallel growth of intellectual interest in the topic since 2000. The intellectual discussion asks: What is " Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood"? What are the key characteristics that distinguish Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood from other concepts?[17] Areas of agreement[edit] The areas of agreement among Jewish
Jewish
intellectuals writing about the concept of Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood point to three principles: The three unifying principles of the Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood theory:

A multidimensional experience of Jewish
Jewish
belonging – The concept of Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood assumes an understanding of Jewish
Jewish
belonging that is multidimensional. Rejection of any dominant ideology, which over emphasizes one dimension of Jewishness - Strong ideological frameworks that over-emphasize one dimension of the larger Jewish
Jewish
experience are not an acceptable starting point for understanding how individuals connect to the Jewish
Jewish
People. Focus on the nature of the connection between Jews
Jews
and not on the Jewish
Jewish
Identity - Those concerned with the Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood concept do not focus on the identity of individuals, but rather on the nature of connections between Jews. The concern is with common elements and frameworks that enable Jews
Jews
to connect with one another both emotionally and socially.

In combination, these three principles imbue the Peoplehood concept with coherence and offer an added value to organizations that wish to create programs “that build Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood” in a sustainable and measurable way.[18] Different perspectives[edit] There are several variants of the communitarian position among intellectuals writing about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood. The common denominator is the desire to find common ground upon which connections between Jews
Jews
are built. The four distinct positions regarding Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood:

Peoplehood as a common destiny. Peoplehood as a shared mission with an emphasis on Tikkun Olam. Peoplehood as a shared kinship and mutual responsibility. Peoplehood as an obligation.[19]

For some critics, Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood is still an amorphous and abstract concept that presents an optional ideological approach towards the Jewish
Jewish
collective. Others wonder if it is too weak a foundation on which to base Jewish
Jewish
collective identity, especially since the vision of Peoplehood is not predicated on having any kind of religious or spiritual identity.[16] See also[edit]

Who is a Jew? Jewish
Jewish
identity

Footnotes[edit]

^ Peoplehood Now, sponsored by the NADAV Foundation, editors: Shlomi Ravid, Shelley Kedar, Research: Ari Engelberg, Elana Sztokman, Varda Rafaeli, p.11 ^ The Peoplehood Papers IV, edited by Ravid S., United Jewish Communities, Kol Dor, The Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood HUB, Tel Aviv, 2009, p.37 ^ The Peoplehood Papers III, edited by Ravid S., Serkin T., United Jewish
Jewish
Communities, The International School for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, 2008, p.20 ^ Making Peoplehood Work: The Institutional Challenge, Dr. Shlomi Ravid, The Peoplehood Papers II, edited by Serkin D,. Kol Dor, The International School for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, 2008 , p.27 ^ a b *Emanuel S. Goldsmith, "Salvational Zionism
Zionism
and Religious Naturalism in the Thought of Mordecai M. Kaplan" Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Peoplehood Papers I, edited by Corbin K., Fram Plotkin A., Levine E., Most G., United Jewish
Jewish
Communities, New York, 2007, p.38 ^ *Genesis 17:7/8 ^ * Esther
Esther
3:8 ^ *The Haggadah ^ * Talmud
Talmud
Shevuot 39a ^ Judaism
Judaism
101 Are the Jews
Jews
a Nation? ^ A Framework for the Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, Kopelowitz, E. and Engelberg A., Platforma, Jerusalem, 2007, p. 4 ^ Mordecai M. Kaplan, Judaism
Judaism
as a Civilization, New York: Macmillan, 1934, p.345 ^ Peoplehood Now, p.13 ^ A Framework for Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, p. 4 ^ a b Embattled Jewish
Jewish
Agency To Promote Identity Over Aliyah, Gal Beckerman ^ A Framework for Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, p. 7 ^ A Framework for Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, p.9-10 ^ A Framework for Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, p.13-14

References[edit]

A Framework for the Strategic Thinking about Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, Kopelowitz, E. and Engelberg A., Platforma, Jerusalem, 2007 Peoplehood Now, sponsored by the NADAV Foundation, editors: Shlomi Ravid, Shelley Kedar, Research: Ari Engelberg, Elana Sztokman, Varda Rafaeli The Peoplehood Papers I, edited by Corbin K., Fram Plotkin A., Levine E., Most G., United Jewish
Jewish
Communities, New York, 2007 The Peoplehood Papers II, edited by Serkin D,. Kol Dor, The International School for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, 2008 The Peoplehood Papers III, edited by Ravid S., Serkin T., United Jewish
Jewish
Communities, The International School for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Studies at Beit Hatfutsot, Tel Aviv, 2008 The Peoplehood Papers IV, edited by Ravid S., United Jewish Communities, Kol Dor, The Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood HUB, Tel Aviv, 2009 Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood in an Age of Globalization, Dr Ami Bouganim, The Research and Development Unit of the Department of Jewish-Zionist, Education, 2007 Are we ready for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood?, Moty Cristal, 2007, YNet News Peoplehood in the Bible Peoplehood in Rabbinic Texts Embattled Jewish
Jewish
Agency To Promote Identity Over Aliyah, Gal Beckerman, The Jewish
Jewish
Daily Forward, March 2010

Further reading[edit]

The Case for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood: Can We Be One?, by Erica Brown, Misha Galperin, and Joseph Telushkin, 2009 Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood: Change and Challenge, (Reference Library of Jewish Intellectual History) by Ezra Kopelowitz and Menachem Reviv, 2008 The Future of Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood, by Arthur Waskow
Arthur Waskow
(1977)

External links[edit]

Center for Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Education Policy publications on Jewish
Jewish
peoplehood at the Berman Jewish
Jewish
Policy Archive Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Resources, NADAV Foundation Dynamic Judaism: the essential writings by Mordechai M. Kaplan, Edited and with Introductions by Emanuel S. Goldsmith and Mel Scult Rabbi
Rabbi
Mordechai Kaplan Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood Index Be'chol Lashon – In Every Toung Peoplehood Research Blog Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood HUB Envisioning Jewish
Jewish
Peoplehood The International School for Jewish
Jewish
Peopleh

.