May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Dr. Erica Brown Inspires RKYHS Students to Form Their Own Jewish Identities

RKYHS was thrilled to welcome renown scholar and prolific author Dr. Erica Brown to school. Dr. Brown inspired students as she delineated how they can shape their own personal and Jewish identities, from their valuable time now in high school and as they go forward through life.

Dr. Brown began her talk by having the students think about the major factors that have shaped their Jewish identities up until now, and helped them understand what aspects of identity can be fluid. She then discussed the concept of a “thin and thick Jewish identity,” what aspects of our identities are strong and immutable and which are phases that can wax and wane. She concluded her inspiring and motivational talk by describing three identity frameworks: behavioral, emotional and cognitive—what you do, what you feel and what you think. In order to maintain a “thick” Jewish identity, one must think, feel and do in order to create a deep and meaningful Jewish life.

Dr. Brown’s remarks resonated with the teenagers who are in their parents’ homes for just a short while longer, before they head out to college and beyond and are then responsible for forming and maintaining their Jewish identities on their own. The talk was aligned with the goals of the weekly SEED speaker program at RKYHS that enables students to take a step back from their daily routines and think about issues on a larger scale. The weekly speaker sessions helps students take in the ideas and beliefs of others that leads them to inform their own beliefs and lifestyle.

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