We, as Jews, have a complex identity, whether we live in Israel or another part of the world. We are part of the Jewish people and aspire to remain Jews, each in our own way. That being the case, how can we continue to preserve and cultivate our identity as a single, united people when we are so diverse and dispersed?
The concept of peoplehood may be the only concept around which all of us are able to unite – Israelis and Jews around the globe, “religious” and “secular” Jews. This idea reminds us that despite the genuine differences, we are part of a collective that is united by its history, obligations, values, culture, shared dreams, and shared fate. Peoplehood also unites us with our shared responsibility for our future.
Jewish peoplehood demands the redefinition of our identity as Jews in light of the times in which we live. The Jewish people desperately needs to redefine its significance and roles, especially in light of the dramatic changes it has experienced over the past two centuries and the establishment of a sovereign Jewish entity.
Jewish peoplehood always has been important. In the past, it stemmed from persecution and external events that led the Jews to remain united. With the development of globalization, individualism, and the State of Israel, the reasons to preserve and cultivate the Jewish collective have diminished.
Nevzlin Center for Jewish Peoplehood aims to cultivate a common identity among the students and reinforce their sense of belonging to the Jewish people and their recognition of a global “we,” while preserving their values as individuals.
The courses in Jewish peoplehood are part of a long list of elective courses offered to students. Students must select at least 4 credits of elective courses from this list. Those who complete all of the courses in the Jewish peoplehood cluster will receive a certificate.