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Towards Global Jewish Peoplehood: What Can We Learn from Jewish community studies Around the World

Sun, December 16, 10:00 to 11:30am, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center, Waterfront 2 Ballroom

Session Submission Type: Panel Session

Abstract

This panel will examine global Jewish peoplehood through the lens of recent local Jewish community studies conducted across three continents, Australia, the United States and Western Europe. Our particular focus will be on the next generation (18-35 year olds). The Jewish peoplehood paradigm offers a way to think about Jewish identity that transcends religion and state. By comparing data from studies conducted in different communities and countries, papers will consider commonalities in the expression of Jewishness that are common to widely different Jewish language and national communities and examine their possible contribution to the transnational collective solidarity of the Jewish people.
Papers will focus on establishing social scientific empirical foundation for the concept of peoplehood. More specifically, the papers will consider the extent to which young Jewish adults aged between 18 and 35 feel a sense of belonging to a global Jewish people and to what extent they feel attachment to other Jews in their own community, as well as to Jews in different communities around the world including Israel. To what extent, if at all, do young Jews worldwide share a common stock of cultural symbols of group belonging and in what way do they enact them in their everyday lives? Finally, to what extent do respondents feel a commitment or responsibility to Jews within and also without their own community?
Bankier-Karp and Markus report that in contrast to American Jewry, over almost a decade from 2008 to 2017, Australian young Jews have maintained a stable set of high scores on measures of Jewish education, attitudes towards Israel while controlling for stream of Judaism. Lev Ari reports that while Jewish young adults in geographically adjacent Paris and Brussels speak the same language, they differ in their background characteristics, Jewish identity and sense of peoplehood. Aronson and Saxe, using data from community studies conducted in Boston, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Washington, DC outline what peoplehood means for Jewish millennials, who report very high measures of visiting Israel as well as connection to the local Jewish community, to Israel and the worldwide Jewish community.

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