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Jewish Peoplehood –Klal Israel– is an ancient concept. It connects Jews historically to past and future generations; geographically, ethnically, religiously and culturally to other Jews in the community and to Jews in other countries.
For almost 40 years, JCC Global has connected more than 1000 Jewish Community Centers worldwide. Building on the uniqueness of each JCC and Jewish community, JCC Global creates relationships that inspire Jews and strengthens Jewish communities the world over.
We believe that bringing Jewish Peoplehood to your JCC can be of value.
While Jewish partnerships do develop within Jewish communities, we invite you to foster connections with Jewish communities around the world. We believe that building bridges between JCCs will help strengthen Jewish identity, belonging to the Jewish community and to the Jewish world.
By sharing ideas and resources, and by collaborating and partnering, you will be able to joins hands around the world, bring Jewish Peoplehood to your JCC and strengthen the Jewish People.
- Jewish Peoplehood in your JCC mission statement
To strengthen the connection of your JCC to the Jewish World and Jewish People, Jewish Peoplehood should be an explicit part of the JCCs mission statement.
- Incorporate Jewish Peoplehood in your JCCs website
- Add a world map on your JCCs website, marking the location of your JCC and your partner community.
- Add the flag of the country of your partner community.
- Add a photo gallery featuring encounters and joint activities with your partner community.
There’s no need to tell a JCC director how much influence a JCC design and ambience have on the message sent to both staff and members. By incorporating Jewish Peoplehood into the design of the JCC, a strong message of connection could be conveyed.
- Hang the JCC Global World Map of JCCs at the entrance to your JCC, marking the location of your JCC and your JCCs partner communities.
- Once a week/month, play music from a Jewish community from another part of the world.
- If you have a partner community – dedicate a wall at the JCC for that community, publicizing news, photos, articles and more from that JCC, their members and the joint program/project.
- Celebrate days that are important for your respected partner
Celebrate days that are important for your respected partner JCC, such as: Independence Day, Days related to the Jewish community, and more.
For example, if you’re having a fair at your JCC on Israel’s Independence Day, hosting stands of merchandise and representatives from Israel, add a stand (one or more) representing Jewish Community from a third country in the world. It could feature food from the community, crafts from the region and other ideas.
- Holiday greetings
Exchange holiday greetings with your partner community. This could be an exchange of staff greetings and/or members of all ages.
- Exchange of art exhibition
If you have art exhibitions as part of your Arts and Culture Department, contact a JCC from around the world and offer them to do art exhibition exchange, to feature their exhibition in your local JCC and then exhibit your JCCs art at their JCCs. The execution of such exchange isn’t always possible because of the nature of the produced art; therefor the exchange could be of photo of the art with the arts story. Adding a booklet featuring the art and the story of artists could be a great plus
- Staff exchange
This is a great opportunity to get to know another Jewish Community from around the world and strengthen your ties. The exchange could be between
- Staff members from the same department – your JCC staff going to your partner community for a week of learning and your JCC hosting your partner community staff.
- Create a professional staff group from both communities which will convene for a monthly video call to learn from each other’s work.
- Teens from partner community coming to be counselors at your summer camp.
- Exchange of sports groups.
- Board Trip
Planning a board trip to your partner community together with your partner JCC board members. The trip could be to both JCCs and additional JCCs in the area
- Inviting a band from another JCC
Have a community event and planning on inviting a band or a show? Invite a band or a show from a JCC from around the world.
- Dedicate a day at camp to the other J communities
- Celebrate their day of Independence
- Once a year, highlight during board meeting
- Once a year, highlight during staff meeting
- Physical presence
- Holiday greetings
- Early childhood- Shabbat bear
- Visits of community members
Best Practice example for Jewish Peoplehood Projects:
Migvanim: Ramat HaSharon Community Centers
- Havaya International/J – TAG Fellows (Jewish Teens in Action Globally):
A groundbreaking pluralistic Jewish Peoplehood teen leadership initiative, that brings together teens from diverse Jewish backgrounds. It is an intensive group experience of global Jewish traditions, cultures and values emphasizing Tikkun Olam (leaving the world a better place than we found it) and Leadership Development through a Jewish lens. The program often serves as the primary point of engagement for many Jewish teens to their heritage at this point in their lives.|
The program is a month-long encounter in Israel and the US and is the centerpiece of an 18-month engagement in Jewish communal activity. It fosters meaningful and tangible connections to the diverse Jewish collective in an age of increasing globalization through an exploration of common heritage in both the US and Israel.
Havaya International/J-TAG Fellows seeks to instill an appreciation for and commitment to Jewish ideals. For the 9 years, the program has introduced Israeli and American teens to the strengths, challenges and needs of their respective communities. It has instilled an appreciation of their place within the broader Jewish collective.
- JLGB Summer Camp and London Tour
Migvanim, over the past 7 years, has organized and coordinated the annual Israeli youth delegation from 9 Community Centers to attend the JLGB (Jewish Lads and Girls Brigade) Summer Camp and London Tour program. Participating communities last summer included: Ramat Hasharon, Netanya East, Kiryat Ono, Alfei Menashe, Beit Aryeh, Yavne, Givat Shmuel, Herzliya and Sderot. The summer program starts with a pre camp weekend for the international participants. Countries participating last summer included; Israel, Russia, the Ukraine, France and the Netherlands. Israel’s delegation has traditionally been the largest international group, last year reaching 178 people, 156 campers and 22 staff. The total International delegation was over 200. Add to this the more than 300 Jewish youth from the U.K. and you have a wonderful Global Jewish Peoplehood experience. The program includes 9 days at camp and another 5 days exploring London..Throughout this entire 2 week experience, the participants form friendships with other Jewish youth, and enjoy a wide array of both individual and unique shared Jewish and overall experiences .JLGB Summer Camp and London Tour is perfect for groups that have been together during the year or a wonderful opportunity to forge new groups that can be active in your community.
- Staff Team Exchange– This program brought together members of Migvanim’s professional staff along with the professional staff of the 92 Street Y 92nd Street Y.in New York. The program brought together these two diverse groups for joint training in both Ramat HaSharon and New York. Staff training included looking at best practices in each country which resulted in the development of shared “best practices”. In addition, time was spent brainstorming and developing potential new partnership projects. The plus of these projects being jointly developed in face to face meetings was the complete buy in from both staffs, which helped immensely during the implementation stage when staff felt overwhelmed by their regular work load, they knew they would be letting down a colleague who they now knew and worked with to create and develop the project being implemented. In addition to the departmental and program staffs meeting and working with each other, the two Center management teams went through a similar bonding experience and created a letter of understanding on the nature of the relationship and level of joint projects. The letter of understanding was approved by the Board of Directors of both Centers.
- Shabbat Teddy Bear – Over several years, kindergartens in Ramat Hasharon, participated in a joint program with kindergartens Rosenthal JCCat the Rosenthal JCC ו- and Peninsula JCC. The American Community Centers sent Dubi (a stuff bear) to Israel and the Israeli Community Center sent another Dubi to the U.S. Centers. The teddy bears were hosted in different kindergartens and every Shabbat the bear would go home with one of the kindergarten children for a Shabbat experience with their family. After Shabbat, when Dubi returned back the classroom, the child would tell about their Shabbat experience with Dubi and their story would be captured through pictures, drawings, written stories, etc. Towards the end of the school year, the two partners would send their guest bear back to its original community along with the pictures, stories, drawings, etc., for the other children to see the many different and fascinating experiences their Dubi had visiting the other country. Kindergarten children and their families would send holiday cards and creations to one another and teachers exchanged information on different educational programs and activities. the program, a connection was made between the families and children of the kindergartens in Israel and the U.S. Connections were established between the teachers and through skype, the classes were able to celebrate Jewish holidays, life cycle events and learning opportunities.
- Town Hall Town Hall– Based on the “Town Hall” model found in the United States, this program was created and developed to provide Israelis and American Jews an opportunity to talk openly with one another. The format of the program revolved around a panel discussion on a certain topic of interest to both community members. A panel of guest speakers was assembled in both countries with each Center having its own moderator. This was later changed to having 1 moderator in charge of both panels. The panel discussion was limited in time and then the floor was open to anyone in the audience. People could step up to the open mike and ask questions, comment on what they heard and respond to opinions expressed by members of the other community. Everyone was given a maximum of 2 minutes and knew that while they could and should feel free to disagree, it should be done in a respectful manner. It was truly amazing, interesting and eye opening to hear the comments of the two very diverse and in many ways different communities and cultures. 92 Street YTo help create a connection between the two groups, each hall had two large screens, one which showed the people sitting in the audience and one on the panel of the other country. Broadcasting was via Skype technology. This dual screen concept helped people connect with one another and have a sense of a more intimate experience. Even though we had two different audiences in Ramat Hasharon and New York, the Skype technology created a feeling of one audience. Staff and lay leadership from both communities help to choose topics that ranged from subjects including; Israel and the US relationship before the elections, Israeli-US relations, Israel-Diaspora relations, religion and pluralism to name a few. On and off. The program provided members from both communities to get a true sense and understanding of the feelings, thoughts and positions of the other community members.
- Professional Staff Exchange Program – Both the 92nd Street Y and Migvanim had similar programmatic areas that they both specialized in and were proud of. Both Center’s realized that there was much to learn from each other’s professional staff and as a result created a “Professional Staff Exchange Program” that would send a ‘visiting’ staff member to their partner community. 92Y and Migvanim decided to do this in the area of dance. Each community chose one of its choreographers/Dance instructors to visit the other community for a 2 to 3 week period. During this time, they would do master classes, and work with a set group on a dance routine that both communities would perform at their end of the year dance recital programs. Using the wonders of technology, the 2 groups would perform the dance live in front of their audience, while behind them on a large screen would be the other community doing the same coordinated dance.