June 6, 2024

Bridging the Distance Through Peoplehood

Sydra Miller Peoplehood 6 Participant

Our Peoplehood 6 trip to Spain last week was bittersweet. It may have been our final time all together as a cohort before the program officially ends, but it will not diminish the strength of our bonds.   

With a fabulous tour guide, we learned about Spain, with a focus on Madrid and Toledo from both a general historical perspective as well as through a fascinating, varied and colorful Jewish, and more specifically Sephardic, lens. But it was our time together that created the deeply meaningful memories that will truly last. How is it possible that people who you didn’t know two years earlier become part of your family?  

We participants came to this program with excitement, eager minds and open hearts — and the payoff is unparalleled.  

Personally, I’m a little guarded and protective, so it was utterly surprising that for the first time in my life I was able to let my guard down and feel completely at ease and be 100% my authentic self among a relatively large group. There was no judgement. Instead, I discovered friends, brothers and sisters, who were truly interested in each other’s thoughts and opinions, supportive, uplifting, and genuine.  

And although our Cohort 6 structured program is over, we have already created our own self-run schedule for continuing. Half of our cohort may live in Israel and the other half here, but there’s no distance, because we live in each other’s hearts. 

Peoplehood is a life-changing one-and-a-half-year program for Greater MetroWest Jewish community members interested in creating deep connections with Israelis from our long-standing partner communities. The program brings together cohorts from Greater MetroWest NJ and Israel to discuss Jewish identity, pluralism, Israel Diaspora connections, and Zionism.  

Learn more about Peoplehood and apply to be part of Cohort 7.