The Pedagogy of Names
January 2023

The Pedagogy of Names

Kimberly Dueñas
Community Manager and Founding Member
Jewtina y. Co.
Exploring names as an opportunity to welcome the learner as ‘whole’

At the beginning of a new Jewish group experience, one of the first activities to take place is an introductory activity, game or ritual where participants share their names. What this resource offers is an opportunity to truly welcome the ‘whole’ participant into the space in a thoughtful way. This mini-booklet on Naming is designed for learners to consciously choose how they want to show up as and who they want to be seen as in a new learning environment.
The aim of this resource is for learners to have a place to explore the origins and meanings of their names (or titles or roles) they have been given, inherited or earned/created for themselves. This practice normalizes personal reflection in this way and the ability to claim a name for themselves in the learning space. Each learner will receive a mini-booklet that they will complete primarily independently, followed by a chavruta and community components.

Born into a multicultural home, Kimberly (Kimmy) Dueñas discovered that the best way to explore her dynamic Jewish identity was to immerse and involve herself in the world - beginning with tracing her roots to rural El Salvador, Europe, and Israel. A seasoned international Jewish educator, Kimmy is passionate about providing a brave space for people to develop deeper connections to their layered identities and the world around them. Her enthusiasm for community building, activism, and storytelling gave rise to her being a founding member at Jewtina y Co., a community on a mission to celebrate and elevate the Latin-Jewish community. At the heart of her work as the Community Manager, she has pioneered innovative identity wellness programming where she integrates her background as a Certified Mindfulness and Wellbeing strategist and yoga teacher to practice wellness as a restorative force of healing in our communities and beyond. Kimmy is a graduate of the American Jewish University, where she was selected to be the valedictorian of her graduating class.She is a former JDC Entwine Jewish Service Corps Fellow and an alumna of the M² Senior Educators Cohort for Experiential Jewish Educators. Prior to working with Jewtina y Co., she was a full-time Jewish educator at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, CA, and at the Jewish Community Center in Mumbai, India In 2020, she established Learn. Grow. Rise., a mindful living community where members are guided along their path of self-discovery, growth, and resiliency through meditative and embodiment practices.


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