The 16 members of the Hartman Institute’s North American Scholars Circle gathered in New York the first week of January 2011 to launch their year-long study of the topic of Jewish peoplehood. Over three days, the team unpacked the way the term "peoplehood" has emerged as a leading buzzword, traced representations of the dream of peoplehood in Jewish literature and contemporary film, and explored the ways in which the Jewish collective serves as a source of cultural and artistic productivity.
Modeling the dynamic relationship among scholars, rabbis, Jewish communal professionals, and lay leaders, the evening program on January 5 matched the members of the Scholars Circle with 20 New York area leaders for an interactive dinner discussion.
In the coming year, Scholars Circle members will deploy their expertise from various fields of Jewish studies to explore the dynamics of peoplehood in Jewish history, thought, culture, and institutions. The members will collaborate to create a working paper in which they will apply their scholarship to the practical concerns of peoplehood in contemporary Jewish life.