Community Leadership Summer Retreat and Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar, both of which take place at the Institute’s campus in Jerusalem, will focus on the theme: “Jewish Peoplehood: The Meaning of the Collective in Modern Jewish Life”
Although we are finally enjoying some much needed winter rain in Jerusalem, the thoughts of Hartman Institute staff and faculty are very much on planning our Community Leadership Summer Retreat and Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar, both of which will take place at the Institute’s campus in Jerusalem, and which focus on the theme: “Jewish Peoplehood: The Meaning of the Collective in Modern Jewish Life”
As Jews we see ourselves as individuals in search of meaning, as members of religious communities, as shareholders in a covenant, and perhaps most vexingly as part of “a People.” The idea of Jewish Peoplehood – its complex origins, its implications and how it might be sustained – is an issue of wide concern in the Jewish community today. The idea of a collective appears at odds with the “sovereign self,” and is challenged by the growing divide between the Jewish experience of nationhood in Israel and a growing Jewish ethnic and behavioral diversity elsewhere in the Jewish world.
Meantime, anxiety about a dwindling sense of Peoplehood is increasingly defining the agenda for Israeli agencies and many Jewish institutions, synagogues, foundations and federations. The meanings and implications of Jewish Peoplehood have a direct impact on nearly all of the central questions and tensions of Judaism and modern life.
This summer we will engage in a broad and deep study of some of the many tensions that arise regarding Peoplehood, both in classical Jewish tradition as well as in contemporary Jewish thought and life.