Another piece from eJewishphilantrophy continuing the discussion about “peoplehood”… except, this time, the piece read a little bit like a plug or a not-so-cleverly-placed product for the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education.
That aside, Kopelowitz made an interesting distinction between “peoplehood” and “identity,” but, again, we quibble…
To succeed in the Peoplehood project, we need to distinguish between the form and content of of collective Jewish life. When it comes to content, I find that the discussion normally gets lost – that is searching for “core values” or “practices” that all agree on. We can certainly point to some central beliefs and practices, but there will always be some group who will disagree.
So…? Isn’t that the point of being Jewish, the core of our 5,000 year tradition… to argue?
At least if we consider “core values” and “practices,” we will have something to argue about… otherwise, all we are left with is cocktail mixers. Continue reading below…
However, when it comes to the form of Peoplehood, that is the manner in which Jews who do not know one another personally, are able to come into interaction with one another and/or develop feelings of commitment and belonging to the larger collective; we know that there are organizations and communities that do this well and those who don’t. Peoplehood discourse at its finest focuses on the dimension of best practice for building collective Jewish belonging and has a healthy sense of what such discourse addresses and what it does not.
That’s right. Cocktail mixers.
For Kopelowitz’s full piece, click here.