201402130830PR_NEWS_USPR_____NY64497 20140213T083000-0500 prnewswire.com 20140213 NY64497 1 urn:newsml:prnewswire.com:20140213:NY64497:1 20140213T083000-0500 20140213T083000-0500 MimeType/@FormalName The Family Narrative, Forms Identity, Builds Confidence and Creates a Sense of Belonging NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2014 NY-Beit-Hatfutsot 201402130830PR_NEWS_USPR_____NY64497.xml The Family Narrative, Forms Identity, Builds Confidence and Creates a Sense of Belonging

The Family Narrative, Forms Identity, Builds Confidence and Creates a Sense of Belonging

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- To create family identity and a sense of belonging, Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv, recommends a simple family practice of storytelling. In fact the Museum was so determined to demonstrate the powerful messaging and connectivity of storytelling that they created a short film entitled: You Are Part of the Story, which may be viewed on YouTube.

"That unique sense of belonging; inspiring, an unparalleled, geographically transcending brand of collective and personal identity, is based on common heritage and moral underpinnings, history, purpose, family backgrounds, spiritual and physical yearning," says Irina Nevzlin Kogan, Beit Hatfutsot Chair.

"Developing a strong family narrative is probably the most important thing you can do to create family identity and a sense of belonging," adds Dan Tadmor, Beit Hatfutsot CEO. "Children in particular want to know about their grandparents, how they grew up, what kinds of obstacles they faced, how they lived. These stories often prepare children for facing life's challenges, developing self-confidence, and character building."

According to Dr. Marshall Duke, a psychologist at Emory University and his wife Sara, also a psychologist, who have been advocates of the family narrative and have conducted studies into this theme, "Children who have the most self-confidence have a strong 'intergenerational self.'  They know they belong to something bigger than themselves."

Dr. Duke joined forces with a colleague Robyn Fivush, and set out to test this hypothesis. They developed a measure called the "Do You Know?" scale that asked children to answer 20 questions.

Examples included: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?

Leaders in other fields have found similar results. Many groups use what sociologists call sense-making, the building of a narrative that explains what the group is about.

"This building of a compelling and content-filled narrative is Beit Hatfutsot's primary mission in reaching out to people all over the world," said Shula Bahat, CEO, Beit Hatfutsot of America, as it clearly states that "You Are Part of the Story."  "It is a simple practice stemmed in re-uniting families and connecting them to Jewish life and identity for generations to come. It can be implemented by people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions and nationalities."

To further engage Jewish youth in researching and learning about family legacies, Beit Hatfutsot sponsors My Family Story, a far-reaching experiential program and an international competition that offers long-distance educational support to teachers around the world. It includes a specially-designed interactive six-unit curriculum available in several languages.  For more information about My Family Story visit: www.myfamilystory.co.il.

For more information regarding Beit Hatfutsot, The Museum of the Jewish People, visit: www.bh.org.il.

SOURCE Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People