Identity & Belonging, A New Initiative for Parentsby Dr. Neta Peleg-Oren, Founder and Director
“If Not Now, then When?”
Rabbi Yehuda Kornfeld, an orthodox rabbi, and Dr. Neta Peleg-Oren, a secular psychotherapist, have formed an interesting and unique connection to found and develop an advanced program in the field of Jewish early childhood for parents. The pilot program started in Florida and is now expanding to other parts of the country. The goal of the program is to strengthen the Jewish identity of second generation children of Israeli- American parents living in the USA. This program does not focus on religion or religious practice but rather on identity and connections.
Our goals are to: 1) Raise awareness and recognition of the importance of Jewish and Israeli identity and the effect on the children; and 2) Provide parents with the tools to help their children develop and maintain a Jewish and Israeli identity.
Developmental psychology teaches us that experiences shape our identity. Assuming that our experiences have shaped our identity, some of the essential questions that are discussed with participants are:
1) Do children share the same experiences as their immigrant parents?
2) Do the experiences that children have affect them in a similar way as well?
3) Where does our responsibility as parents and educators come in to help the children develop a Jewish identity?
4)What impact will our identity and belonging have on the next generation?
The program provides theoretical knowledge on the subject of identity and belonging in general and Jewish identity in particular. The Identity and Belonging program also helps parents learn the importance of building Jewish and Israeli identity by providing guidance on how to implement new tools and techniques as part of everyday family life.
The program can be done in English or Hebrew with some adaptation for American Jews as well. For more information please go to the JIDENTITY FaceBook page or contact Dr. Neta Peleg-Oren at 1-786-877-0919.