Peoplehood, Universalism and particularism: The Tension that keeps it all together

By Ari Hart

The Jewish Peoplehood Hub, November 2010

The author argues that interacting with the "other" can greatly sharpen our own identity and that the challenge and opportunity of Jewish communal leaders today is to forge the links between helping non Jews and connecting to the Jewish People. This challenge goes both ways. For those of us who tend towards the particularistic side, we must strive to make links to the larger world. How do these issues affect us, and how do we affect them? What wisdom do we have to offer to the world's most difficult challenges? In addition, we must think about how the Jewish issues vital to our survival - Jewish poverty, antisemitism, preservation of culture and tradition, encouraging Jewish education, are mirrored and affected by the rest of the world. What other peoples share our interests in preserving tradition and cultural norms? What other groups are fighting for return to homelands, or freedom of religious expression? How can we learn from them? How can they teach us about ourselves? Engaging deeply in these questions is not just a good thing to do -- it thickens what Peoplehood is all about, making it more real, more meaningful, and more alive to millions of Jews.

Topic: Peoplehood, Communal Responsibility, Community Relations, Meaning, Social Issues, Identity Formation

Name of Publication: The Peoplehood Papers

Editor: Ravid, Shlomi

Volume/Issue: Volume 6

Page Number(s): 4-5

Funder: Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) , Nadav Fund , UJA-Federation of New York

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Genre: Essay

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Hart, Ari. Peoplehood, Universalism and particularism: The Tension that keeps it all together. The Peoplehood Papers. The Jewish Peoplehood Hub. November 2010: 4-5.


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