Search results for: Jewish identity
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On Becoming a ‘Real’ Jew: An Ethnography of Adolescents’ Identity Formation in a Jewish Community in Germany
In the course of an ethnographic investigation in the youth group of a Jewish community that included participant observation, group discussions and problem-centred interviews, I gained insights into the contextualised construction of Jewish identities. Analysing identity formation as a holistic form of learning, I identify two trajectories of socially embedded identity formation: appropriating aspects of Judaism taught in the youth group and becoming a part of the Jewish collective. Within the latter trajectory, I differentiate three sub-processes: forming and evaluating social representations of the Jewish people, ascribing ‘Jewishness’ to oneself, and experiencing communality.
Updated: Jun. 15, 2020
Understanding How Under-Engaged Jewish Teens Self-Articulate and Self-Express Jewish Identity and Jewish Identification
This study was inspired by the abundance of literature regarding the withdrawal of non-Orthodox American Jewish teenagers from an active Jewish life. This situation has been called an “epidemic that threatens the future of American Jewry” (Ravitch, 2002b, p. 254). This study sought to answer the primary research question: How do under-engaged Jewish teens self-articulate and self-express Jewish identity and Jewish identification? Portraiture methodology was used to capture how three Atlanta-suburb teenagers articulated and expressed their Jewish identity and Jewish identification. Each of the study participants grew up attending supplemental Jewish education programs and celebrated their Bar or Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, but then disengaged from organized communal Jewish education or social experiences. As current high school junior and seniors, the study participants reflected on how Judaism has shaped who they are, their interactions with Judaism in their daily lives, and the ongoing meaning they derive from being a part of the Jewish people.
Updated: Jun. 02, 2020
Since its launch, in late December 1999, approximately 750,000 Jewish young adults – more than 425,000 from the United States – have participated in Birthright’s ten-day educational programs. Numerous studies have demonstrated Birthright’s impact on the Jewish identity of its participants. Less appreciated is how the program is reshaping American Jewry’s demographic profile. When Birthright was launched, there were approximately 5.5 million Jews in the United States. Today, the US Jewish population is 7.5 million individuals, a 25% increase. Birthright is not solely responsible for the growth, but the program has become emblematic of efforts to engage future generations with Jewish life.
Updated: Feb. 06, 2020
This study focuses on two groups of Birthright Israel participants: first, those from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus and second, Russian-speaking Jews (RSJ) in Germany. It is part of a larger program of research designed to understand the impact of Birthright Israel (known in the FSU and Germany as Taglit) on its participants. The study draws on pre- and post-trip surveys of the summer 2017 cohort from these countries, as well as on a long-term survey of participants from Russia and Ukraine who participated in the program during 2010-14.
Updated: Nov. 07, 2019
Many Israelis living in the United States long-term or for good struggle to find ways to help their children feel connected to their Israeli identity. One of the most important aspects of this identity is ensuring that their children can communicate in Hebrew — not just on a conversational level but on a deeper, emotional and cognitive level that often requires formal training. Previously, most options for Hebrew instruction were centered around religious observance and taught at religious Jewish day schools. But Israeli parents who feel alienated by the religious instruction typical of Jewish day schools are increasingly creating alternative, structured educational programs so their children can receive secular Hebrew instruction.
Updated: Nov. 06, 2019
‘Marching at the Speed of the Slowest Man’: The Facilitation and Regulation of Student Autonomy in a Pluralist Jewish Day School
Based on interviews and focus groups with parents, students and senior staff, this article investigates how England’s one pluralist Jewish secondary school has, in contrast, attempted to accommodate various forms of Jewish practice and facilitate students’ agency to determine their Jewish identities as desired. It reveals that students enjoy opportunities to actively negotiate Judaism, but that their autonomy is not without limits, and issues inherent to pluralism exist in executing an ethos accommodative of diverse, personalized expressions of Jewishness.
Updated: Sep. 25, 2019
By examining response patterns to questions about Jewish attitudes, the study identified five different types of Jewish identity among the young adults who applied to go on a Birthright trip in summer 2018: Ancestry, Secular Peoplehood, Casual Religious, Connected, and Committed. After sorting applicants into groups corresponding to their Jewish identity type, the study examined the ways in which participants in the different groups were impacted by their Birthright experience.
Updated: Sep. 18, 2019
Leading Jewish Thinkers and Activists from 6 Continents Convene in Jerusalem to Launch Effort to Achieve Unified Vision for Global Jewry
More than 30 leading Jewish thinkers and activists from around the world are convening in Jerusalem today to launch Our Common Destiny, a ground-breaking initiative created to strengthen the bonds among Jews worldwide. The project is a joint initiative of Genesis Philanthropy Group and the State of Israel, under the auspices of Israel’s President. Our Common Destiny strives to connect Jews to each other and to Israel across diverse religious and cultural identities through a shared set of ethics and values. This Forum runs Monday, September 9 through Wednesday, September 11, with scholars from six continents.
Updated: Sep. 18, 2019
2019 Jewish Futures Conference - Pride & Prejudice: Jewish Education’s Battle amid Growing Anti-Semitism
Join The Jewish Education Project for an exploration of how our FJews—and how our orientation must shift in a climate of heightened anti-Semitic rhetoric and violence on December 4, 2019 at 10AM at the Kimmel Center for University Life, NYC.
Updated: Aug. 28, 2019
To determine if digital badges can function as assessments that strengthen religious, ethnic identity, we examined the badge programme of a Jewish temple’s after-school programme. Through interviews with student participants and evidence submitted to earn digital badges, a number of indicators suggest that a religious school’s digital badges can provide opportunity to strengthen religious identity. In particular, student interviews and evidence supplied for the completion of learning objectives for digital badges indicate increases of religious salience (compared to secular practices), religious commitment within a community, and self-esteem based on religious identity. Recommendations are made for ongoing and future religious badge implementations on how to strengthen religious identity while meeting the requirements of authentic, quality assessments.
Updated: Jun. 26, 2019