Passport to Peoplehood™

Passport to Peoplehood™ is an educational initiative that strengthens Jewish identity by expanding children's awareness of themselves in relation to the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Jews around the world. Passport to Peoplehood™ focuses on experiential activities—art, dance, music, and cooking–exposing students to global Jewish traditions and communities. The program highlights inclusion, diversity and personal identity as hallmarks of Judaism. Passport to Peoplehood™ providing basic building blocks for not only instilling Jewish pride, but also gaining cultural competency in an increasingly global world.

The Jewish people are the most diverse and global people on the planet, but our educational tools do not always reflect this rich diversity. Passport to Peoplehood™ provides an opportunity to accentuate the reality of Jewish history and embrace the contemporary choices of American Jews as a celebration of the natural multiplicity of Jewish identity. By engaging children who are at the beginning of the process of identity formation, Passport to Peoplehood™ will help establish the language and experience of Jewish diversity as an integral part of their Jewish identity.

Our goal is to make the best case for why Jewish identity should anchor the many identities young people hold. Passports to Peoplehood's™ experiential approach instills the legacy of generations of Jewish communities around the world as it prepares young Jews to utilize historic Jewish values and experience as a means to connect in a modern, increasingly global era. The focus on individuals' stories and their value to the collective encourages individuals to see themselves and their experiences as and essential asset to the Jewish community.

Jews are part of American life and are affected by social trends. The U.S. is in the midst of a big demographic shift. Over the next few decades, people of color will come to compose a majority of the country's population, a transition that's already happened among the nation's youngest residents. The Internet and social networks are shaping our sense of self in dialogue with many cultures. Additionally, the Pew's recent national study of Jews and New York's Community Study provides valuable information about the younger generation of Jews and insight into diverse communities. Many diverse Jews feel alienated from organized Jewish life, and Jews of all backgrounds, particularly those of the next generation growing up in a diverse and inter–connected world, are seeking a more expansive Judaism. Attracting next–generation leaders hinges on embracing diversity and inclusiveness, a key lens through which young Jews build identity and make choices about engagement. By engaging the individual experiences of participants as well as the Jewish narratives and traditions of diversity, Passport to Peoplehood™ channels this need for connectivity and diversity toward building a more robust Jewish future.