Understanding Jewish Peoplehood: Thinking and Doing

Understanding Jewish Peoplehood: Thinking and Doing

What do we mean by “Peoplehood?” Why is this word so hot today? Can the notion galvanize and unite Jews from around the world? Through multimedia presentations, small group discussions, and text study, participants are guided on an exploration of the concept of Peoplehood and its application to policy making and practice.

“Makōm is a very practical way of understanding and advancing the idea of Jewish peoplehood. That’s why it has been the highest priority for both our local allocations committee and our Israel/Overseas allocations…I can say that for us, Makōm has been the most visible and significant Federation initiative in the last few years. ”

Misha Galperin, former CEO, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington


This workshop presents an opportunity for your organization, or community, to take a look at the role and significance of Jewish Peoplehood in your work.

Part 1: The first part introduces a Scanning tool that enables you to take stock of where your organization stands in relation to Peoplehood, conceptually and programmatically. What does it mean for an organization to be “Peoplehood-rich?”

Part 2: Next, we take a closer look at the meaning of Peoplehood. Utilizing text study and multimedia, we explore core tensions such as particularism vs. universalism, collective vs. individual identity, and other related themes.

We engage in a dramatic exercise designed to sharpen our understanding of the concept and to help us translate the theory to practice.

Part 3: Case studies: How can programs and organizations create more balanced Peoplehood programming? Here we introduce you to Makōm’s “Peoplehood Policy and Programming Checklist” to help your institution ensure that its decisions (present and future) take into account a sophisticated and effective Peoplehood platform.

Participants take with them the following resources:

  • Scanning tool for measuring the place and impact of Peoplehood in your organization
  • Working conceptions of Peoplehood, with materials for you to use in your organization to deepen awareness and understanding of the concept
  • The Peoplehood Policy and Programming Checklist to help you design more Peoplehood-rich programming in the future (and evaluate the programs you already deliver)


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