If you were to think of an identity chart for a Jewish person, what/who comes to mind? Depending on how many Jewish people you know, you may be falling into a singular story of who is Jewish. If we think about pop culture, then perhaps you are thinking of Tevye the MilkMan, Barbara Strrissand in Yentl or Jerry Seinfeld. While they are iconic characters, this perpetuates a singular story of what a Jewish person is. Let’s unpack and move away from singular stories because there is no one way of looking and being Jewish.
By including diverse Jewish identities, voices and representation in curriculum and school life throughout the year, we are working to enable young Jewish students to see themselves. Doing so also helps to prevent the formation of stereotypes and it gives non-Jewish students an opportunity to learn about the rich heritages, cultures, and contributions of Jewish peoples.
On May 26th, we facilitated an event for Jewish Heritage Month that highlighted the diversity and complexity of Jewish identities. The event featured a panel of diverse Jewish speakers who shared resources for educators based on the following prompt:
What are the resources/texts that highlight diverse and complex Jewish identities that you would recommend for adult learning, elementary or secondary school (or any age)?
We hope that this non-exhaustive resource list for Jewish Heritage Month in May (and beyond!) helps you include diverse Jewish identities into your courses year-round: