Conference Sessions



I: The History of “Jewish Identity”

Facilitator

Sylvia Barack Fishman

Panelists

Michael Berger
Rokhl Kafrissen
Yehuda Mirsky
Jonathan Krasner

  • Where and why and how did the language or concept of Jewish identity emerge?
  • What are its conceptual underpinnings?
  • What work does the language or concept of Jewish identity do for the Jewish community?


II: 
Approaching Identity: Methods and Concepts

Facilitator

Joe Reimer

Panelists

Tobin Belzer
David Kaufman
Wendy Rosov
Jeremy Wanderer

  • What are the methodological and conceptual challenges in studying identity?
  • Can we imagine methodological alternatives that provide better descriptive insight?Are there unintended consequences of studying identity -- in particular, in the realm of Jewish educational policy and resource allocation?
  • How do you know what you’re seeing is “identity?”


III: 
The Language of “Jewish Identity”

Facilitator

Sharon Feiman-Nemser

Panelists

Sharon Avni
Sarah Benor
Eli Gottlieb
Jeffrey Kress

  • How have Jews and educators of Jews learned to talk about Jewishness in terms of identity?
  • How does the language of Jewish identity shape how Jews (especially contemporary American Jews) think about themselves?
  • Do Jewish people (Amcha, proste Yidn, Jews in and out of the Pews) talk about Jewish identity in the same manner as do Jewish communal institutions?


IV: Other Language, Other Outcomes

Facilitator

Lee Moore

Panelists

David Brenner
Lisa Grant
Bethamie Horowitz

  • How might people frame their relationship to Jewishness, Judaism, or the Jewish people or community in terms other than “Jewish identity?”
  • What are other ways of conceptualizing the outcomes of Jewish education?
  • How might we uncover other languages for talking about learning to open up alternatives for talking about (what we now call) identity?


V: Varieties of Jewish Identity

Facilitator

Ari Y Kelman

Panelists

Shaul Magid
Samira Mehta
Emily Sigalow
David Mittelberg

  • How are articulations of Jewishness informed by people's multiple affinities (gender, class, national belonging, race, sexuality, etc.)?
  • What can we learn about Jewish identity by attending to its internal variations?
  • How do people manage questions of authenticity?
  • How do people learn to inhabit or perform a “Jewish identity?”


VI: The Individual and The Collective

Facilitator

Joyce Antler

Panelists

Rafi Cashman
Fern Chertok
Keren McGinity
Katka Reszke

  • At least since The Jew Within, Jewish identity discourse has been dominated by the theme of individualism. What do we actually mean when we talk about individualism?
  • Are there limits, within Jewish educational projects, to individual agency?
  • Can we document or imagine Jewishness (or even subjectivity, generally) as something that is neither wholly collective nor narrowly individual?
  • Is there a way to imagine communal identification that is not necessarily ethnocentric or coercive?


VII: Jewish Education Beyond Identity

Facilitator

Don Weber

Panelists

Zvi Gitelman
Jenna Weissman Joselit
Arielle Levites

  • To the extent that institutions are constructed to "deliver" identity outcomes, how might they be organized differently?
  • What have you heard throughout the conversation that you found particularly useful or productive?
  • How might “rethinking Jewish identity” reshape Jewish education?  What about vice versa?