Jewish Identities: Educating for Multiple and Moving Targets

Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 5)

Abstract

For a long time, the prevailing approach to Jewish identity has been dominated by a “survivalist” perspective focused on the threats of assimilation and intermarriage rather than the new realities created by modernity which allowed a variety of new ways of being Jewish to emerge. The widespread anxiety about group survival in the field of Jewish education has led to a survivalist paradigm that has tended to narrow the field’s theoretical conceptions of Jewish identity and identity in general, resulting in largely static and monolithic formulations. Instead, drawing upon the work of multiple disciplines, the authors argue for a shift from thinking about identity as some “thing” that someone “has” toward identities as being multiple and shifting processes that people practice and rehearse. The chapter concludes with examples of scholarship from various disciplines that approach identity formation in light of such a shift and with pedagogical applications and implications for the shift within the field of Jewish education, specifically.

Keywords

Jewish Community Jewish Identity Religious Identity Jewish Woman Jewish Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Allport, G. (1950). The individual and his religion. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Ammerman, N. (2006). Religious identities in contemporary American life: Lessons from the NJPS. Sociology of Religion, 67(4), 359–364.Google Scholar
  3. Batson, C. D. & Ventis, W. L. (1982). The religious experience: A social-psychological perspective. New York: Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. Berger, P. L. (1979). The heretical imperative. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday.Google Scholar
  5. Bock, G. E. (1976). The Jewish schooling of American Jews: A study of non-cognitive educational effects. Doctoral Dissertation, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  6. Charmé, S. (2000, March). Varieties of authenticity in contemporary Jewish identity. Jewish Social Studies, 6(2)Google Scholar
  7. Charmé, S. (2006, Winter). The gender question and the study of Jewish children. Religious Education, 101(1), 21–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Charmé, S., Horowitz, B., Hyman, T., & Kress, J. S. (2008). Jewish identities in action: An exploration of models, metaphors, and methods. Journal of Jewish Education, 74, 115–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, S. M. (1974). The impact of Jewish education on religious identification and practice. Jewish Social Studies , 36, 316–326.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, S. M. (1988). American assimilation or Jewish revival? Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press.Google Scholar
  11. Cohen, S. M. (1991). Content or continuity? Alternative bases for commitment. New York: American Jewish Committee.Google Scholar
  12. Cohen, S. M. (2006). A tale of two Jewries: The ‘inconvenient truth’ for American Jews. New York: Jewish Life Network/Steinhardt Foundation.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, S. M. (2008). “Jewish education and its differential impact on adult Jewish identity. In J. Wertheimer (Ed.), Family matters: Jewish education in an age of choice (pp. 19–38). Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, S. M. & Halbertal, T. H. (2001). Gender variations in Jewish identity: Practices and attitudes in conservative congregations. Contemporary Jewry, 22, 37–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cohen, S. M. & Kelman, A. Y. (2005). Cultural events and Jewish identities: Young adult Jews in New York. New York: The National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the UJA Federation of New York.Google Scholar
  16. Cohen, S. M. & Kotler-Berkowitz, L. (2000–2001) The impact of Jewish education on adults; Jewish identity: Schooling, Israel travel, camping, and youth groups, Report #, July 2004, United Jewish Communities Report Series on the National Jewish Population Survey. 20 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Elkind, D. (1961). The child’s conception of his religious denomination: The Jewish child. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 99, 209–225.Google Scholar
  18. Erikson, E. (1980). Identity and the life cycle. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  19. Fishman, S. B. (1995). Negotiating both sides of the hyphen: Coalescence, compartmentalization, and American–Jewish values, Judaic studies program. Cincinnati: University of Cincinnati.Google Scholar
  20. Fox, S., Scheffler, I., & Marom, D. (Eds.) (2003). Visions of Jewish education. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gitelman, Z. (1998). The decline of the diaspora Jewish nation: Boundaries, content, and Jewish identity. Jewish Social Studies, 4, 112–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Goldberg, D. T. & Krausz, M. (1993). Jewish identity. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Goldman, R. (1964). Religious thinking from childhood to adolescence. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Goldman, R. (1965). Readiness for religion: A basis for developmental religious education. New York: Seabury.Google Scholar
  25. Goldscheider, C. (1986). Jewish continuity and change: Emerging patterns in America. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Grant, L. D. (2007, Summer). Israel education in reform congregational schools. CCAR Journal Google Scholar
  27. Grant, L. D. & Marmur, M. (2007). The place of Israel in the identity of reform Jews. In D. B. Moshe (Ed.), Israel, world Jewry, and identity. London: Sussex Academic Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hall, S. (1992). Cultural studies and its theoretical legacies. In L. Grossberg, et al. (Eds.), Cultural studies (pp. 277–294). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Hall, S. (1996). Introduction: Who needs identity? In S. Hall & P. du Gay (Eds.), Questions of cultural identity. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Hannerz, U. (1991). Scenarios for peripheral cultures. In A. King (Ed.), Culture, globalization and the world system: Contemporary conditions for the representation of identity. Binghamton, NY: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  31. Hartman, H. & Kaufman, D. (2006). Decentering the study of Jewish identity: Opening the dialogue with other religious groups. Sociology of Religion, 67(4), 365–385.Google Scholar
  32. Heilman, S. C. (1998). Synagogue life: A study in symbolic interaction. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  33. Herman, S. (1970). Israelis and Jews: The continuity of an identity. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.Google Scholar
  34. Herman, S. N. (1977). Jewish identity: A social psychological perspective. Beverly Hills, CA and London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  35. Himmelfarb, H. (1974) Impact of religious schooling: Effects of Jewish education upon adult religious involvement. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  36. Himmelfarb, H. (1980). The American Jewish day school: A case study. In Consultation of the anthropology of the Jewish classroom. New York: American Jewish Committee.Google Scholar
  37. Hooks, B. (1992). Black looks: Race and representation. Boston: South End Press.Google Scholar
  38. Horowitz, B. (1998). Connections and journeys: Shifting identities among American Jews. Contemporary Jewry, 19, 63–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Horowitz, B. (1999). Indicators of Jewish identity: Developing a conceptual framework for understanding American Jewry. New York: Mandel Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Horowitz, B. (2002). Reframing the study of contemporary American Jewish identity. Contemporary Jewry, 23, 14–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Hyman Tali, E. (2008) The liberal Jewish day school as laboratory for dissonance in American Jewish identity-formation. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. New York University, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Kaufman, D. R. (1998). Gender and Jewish identity among twenty-somethings in the United States. In M. Cousineau (Ed.), Religion in a changing world (pp. 49–56). Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
  43. Kaufman, D. R. (1999). Embedded categories: Identity among Jewish young adults in the U.S. Race, Gender, and Class, 6(4), 86. New Orleans, LA.Google Scholar
  44. Kelman, H. (1976). The place of Jewish identity in the development of personal identity. In Issues in Jewish identity. New York: American Jewish Committee.Google Scholar
  45. Kelner, S. (2001) “Authentic sights and authentic narratives on Taglit.” Maurice and Marilyn cohen center for modern Jewish studies, Steinhardt Social Research Institute, Presented at 2001 Association for Jewish Studies conference, http://dcoll.brandeis.edu/bitstream/handle/10192/23022/AJS2001.pdf?sequence=1
  46. Krasner, J. (2005). Jewish education and American Jewish education, Part I. Journal of Jewish Education, 71, 121–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Liebman, C. S. (1973). The ambivalent American Jew. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.Google Scholar
  48. Liebman, C. S. (2001). Some research proposals for the study of American Jews. Contemporary Jewry, 22, 99–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Liebman, C. S. (2003). Jewish identity in the U.S. and Israel. In Z. Gitelman, B. Kosmin, & A. Kovacs (Eds.), New Jewish identities. (pp. 291–316). New York: Central European University Press.Google Scholar
  50. London, P. & Chazan, B. (1990). Psychology and Jewish identity education. New York: American Jewish Committee.Google Scholar
  51. Miedema, S. & Wardekker, W. L. (1999). Emergent identity versus consistent identity: Possibilities for a postmodern repoliticization of critical pedagogy (67–83). In T. S. Popkewitz & L. Fendler (Eds.), Critical theories in education changing terrains of knowledge and politics. New York and London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  52. Myerhoff, B. (1978). Number our days. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  53. Phinney, J. S. (1990). Ethnic identity in adolescents and adults: Review of research. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 499–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Plaskow, J. (1991). Standing again at Sinai. San Francisco: Harper.Google Scholar
  55. Prell, R. -E. (1988). Laughter that hurts: Ritual humor and ritual change in an American Jewish community. In J. Kugelmass (Ed.), Between two worlds: Ethnographic essays on American Jewry. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Prell, R. -E. (1989). Prayer and community: The havurah in American Judaism. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Prell, R. -E. (2000). Developmental Judaism: Challenging the study of American Jewish identity in the social sciences. Contemporary Jewry, 21, 33–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Rosen, S. (1995). Jewish identity and identity development (pp. 1–25). New York: American Jewish Committee.Google Scholar
  59. Sales, A. L. & Saxe, L. (2002). Limud [learning] by the lake: Fulfilling the educational potential of Jewish summer camps. Boston: Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University.Google Scholar
  60. Sales, A. L. & Saxe, L. (2006). Particularism in the University: Realities and opportunities For Jewish life on campus. New York: Avi Chai Foundation.Google Scholar
  61. Sarna, J. D. (1998, Winter/Spring). American Jewish education in historical perspective. Journal of Jewish Education, 64(1 and 2), 8–21.Google Scholar
  62. Sarna, J. D. (1998, Fall/1999, Winter). The cult of synthesis in American Jewish culture. Jewish Social Studies, 5(1–2), 52–79.Google Scholar
  63. Saxe, L., Kadushin, C., Kelner, S., Rosen, M. I., & Yereslove, E. (2001). A mega-experiment in Jewish education: The impact of birthright Israel (Birthright Israel Report 1). Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis UniversityGoogle Scholar
  64. Schoem, D. (1989). Ethnic survival in America: An ethnography of a Jewish afternoon school. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.Google Scholar
  65. Schuster, D. T. & Grant, L. D. (2005, Fall). Adult Jewish learning: What do we know? What do we need to know? Journal of Jewish Education, 71(2), 79–200.Google Scholar
  66. Sklare, M. & Greenblum, J. (1967). Jewish identity on the Suburban frontier: A study of group survival in the open society. New York and London: Basic Books, Inc.Google Scholar
  67. Templeton, J. L. & Eccles, J. S. (2005). The relation between spiritual development and identity processes. In E. Roehkepartian, P. E. King, L. Wagener, & P. Benson (Eds.), The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence (pp. 252–265). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  68. Tennenbaum, S. (2000). Good or bad for the Jews? Moving beyond the continuity debate. Contemporary Jewry, 21, 91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wertheimer, J. (2005). Linking the silos: How to accelerate the momentum in Jewish education today. New York: Avi Chai Foundation.Google Scholar
  70. West, C. (1990). The new cultural politics of difference. In R. Ferguson, M. Gever, T. T. Minh-ha, & C. West (Eds.), Out there: Marginalization and contemporary cultures (pp. 19–38). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityCamdenUSA
  2. 2.Hebrew Union CollegeLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations