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Peoplehood Reconsidered

Rabbi Spitzer offers an appraisal of Mordecai Kaplan's concept of "Jewish peoplehood" and argues for its reconstruction based on a commitment to covenantal community. Both text and audio versions available.

This speech was given at the opening plenum of JRF's 41st convention held in Philadelphia in November of 2006. The overall topic for the plenum was Reconstructionism for the 21st Century: Aspirations, Expectations and Innovations. Rabbis Richard Hirsh, Les Bronstein, and Michael Strassfeld were the other participants on the panel.

I do not want to give up on peoplehood. I just want to think about it a bit differently. I would suggest we start by remembering that Kaplan never argued for community for community’s sake alone. He understood that Jewish peoplehood was in the service of something greater...

[A] shift in emphasis to covenantal commitment makes clear that inclusion in the community is meaningful only to the extent that we are a collective that shares values and vision and goals.
The audio version is 17 minutes.
Type: Speech