Jewish Identities: Educating for Multiple and Moving Targets

  • Stuart Charmé
  • Tali Zelkowicz
Part of the International Handbooks of Religion and Education book series (IHRE, volume 5)


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.


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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

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

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