Cheshvan 5778

Peoplehood in Practice: The JCC Model

The last few weeks have been a perfect time to see Jews functioning as a People; gathering together to pray, to celebrate, and to be together as families and communities. Some came for the spiritual dimension, others in order to feel belonging and connection, and yet others for the food, the singing and the cultural traditions. This is really Jewish Peoplehood in action!

(Photo Credit: Pixabay)

This month we turn our attention to the topic of Jewish Peoplehood, focusing on the latest edition of the Peoplehood Papers from the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education. Each edition of the Peoplehood Papers focuses on a particular topic, bringing together diverse authors to reflect on Peoplehood through a specific lens. The latest edition, “The JCCs as Gateways to Jewish Peoplehood” focuses on the work of JCCs (Jewish community centers) across the world and the critical role they play to foster Jewish belonging, catalyze Jewish learning and build community.

As David Ackerman points out in his essay in the collection, JCCs hold true to four principles:


These are important principles for anyone working in community building, and it is worth reading Ackerman’s article and indeed, all the articles in the collection.


If you are interested in Jewish Peoplehood, check out also the wealth of resources from the Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education. Their materials for educators offer ready-made programs, animated videos and textual resources to use with anyone interested in exploring what it is that makes the Jews a vibrant and long-living People. In particular, look at their materials about Judaism as a Civilization.


More Peoplehood-related materials are found on the Beit Hatfutsot website. Look also at their curriculum, the Jewish Lens, an international photography competition (also available in Spanish), and at the “My Family Story” curriculum for teens.