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Author(s): Samson, Maxim G. M.
Date: 2018
Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper examines how Rabbinic and communal authorities participated in treatment decisions made by a group of strictly orthodox haredi Jews with breast cancer living in London. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five haredi breast cancer patients. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Demographic and personal data were collected using structured questionnaires. All participants sought Rabbinic involvement, with four seeking rulings concerning religious rituals and treatment options. Participants' motivations were to ensure their actions accorded with Jewish law and hence God's will. By delegating treatment decisions, decision-making became easier and participants could avoid guilt and blame. They could actively participate in the process by choosing which Rabbi to approach, by providing personal information and by stating their preferences. Attitudes towards Rabbinic involvement were occasionally conflicted. This was related to the understanding that Rabbinic rulings were binding, and occasional doubts that their situation would be correctly interpreted. Three participants consulted the community's ‘culture broker’ for medical referrals and non-binding advice concerning treatment. Those who consulted the culture broker had to transcend social norms restricting unnecessary contact between men and women. Hence, some participants described talking to him as uncomfortable. Other concerns related to confidentiality.

By consulting Rabbinic authorities, haredi cancer patients participated in a socially sanctioned method of decision-making continuous with their religious values. Imposing meaning on their illness in this way may be associated with positive psychological adjustment. Rabbinic and communal figures may endorse therapeutic recommendations and make religious and cultural issues comprehensible to clinicians, and as such healthcare practitioners may benefit from this involvement.
Author(s): Lewis, Gwynneth
Date: 2014
Abstract: Over the last 130 years attendance by Jewish children at Jewish day schools in Britain has waxed and waned, until now, in the twenty-first century, attendance figures are similar to those of the 1880s, with almost 60 per cent of Jewish children attending a Jewish primary or secondary school. Recent research has examined this trend within the Jewish population as a whole, mainly concentrating on Jewish secondary schooling. Because of the impact this phenomenon has had on chederim and because of the fundamental differences between the different branches of Judaism, it is important for Jewish educators and leaders to understand what factors lie behind the choices that parents make when deciding on their children's schooling. This study investigates the reasons why parents who are affiliated to Progressive synagogues choose to send their children to Orthodox Jewish primary schools, concentrating on one Progressive community in the north of England in particular, and contrasting the data with that from two larger and older communities. The data was collected through the use of interviews and questionnaires, then analysed in relation to the history and size of the three communities and contrasted with the conclusions of previous studies. The findings suggest that the size and relative age and history of the principal community have had a significant influence on the attitudes of the parents toward the city's Jewish community and the importance of the role of the Orthodox Jewish primary school in maintaining that community, to the extent that the parents' social identity as 'Jews' is more important to them than their synagogue affiliation.
Date: 2015
Author(s): Lev Ari, Lilach
Date: 2013
Abstract: This paper describes and analyzes the multiple ethnic identities
and identifications among first-generation Jewish Israeli immigrants
in Europe, and specifically in London and Paris, by means of closedend
questionnaires (N=114) and in-depth semi-structured interviews
(N=23).

Israelis who live in Europe are strongly attached to Israel and are
proud to present themselves as Israelis. Despite their place of residence,
these Israelis, particularly those residing in London and over the age
of 35, manage to find ways to preserve their Israeli identity. They also
perceive the need to expose their children to other Israelis as another
means of preventing assimilation. On the other hand, those who are
under the age of 35, and in particular those residing in Paris, have less
opportunity or less need to maintain their Israeli identity in Europe.
The older Israelis in London are also somewhat more integrated with
the proximal host and have a stronger Jewish identity than do younger
Israelis, particularly those residing in Paris. Living in Europe allows
Israelis to flourish economically without having to identify with or
belong to a cultural and social ethnic niche. The ethnic identity of
first-generation Israeli immigrants in Europe is multifaceted. While it
is primarily transnational, it is also dynamic and constantly changing
though various interactions and is, of course, susceptible to current
local and global political and economic events. For younger Israeli
immigrants, assimilation into the non-Jewish population appears to be
a possible form of identity and identification. This assimilation may be
moderated among young adults who build bridges with local Jewish
communities in tandem with their transnational formal connections
with Israel, a process that can benefit both sides. Such a process - the
reconstruction of ethnic Israeli-Jewish identity and collaborative
identification with local Jews - has the potential to strengthen and
enhance the survivability of European Jewry at large.
Date: 2010
Abstract: Since the early 1990s, and coinciding with the celebratory events of the fifth centenary, new cultural initiatives related to the legacies of Spain’s Jewish inhabitants have been added to the marketing of the country as a tourist destination. This article analyses how these initiatives foreground convivencia [coexistence] as a uniquely Spanish cultural tradition and shape it into a marketable ideological product, by focusing on the town of Hervás, in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, as a prime example of the complexities inherent in these tourism initiatives. Over the last twelve years Hervás has organized a celebration of its Jewish identity in ‘Los conversos’ [‘The converts’], a three-day festival in which the town’s inhabitants dress up as ‘Jews’ and stage a collective performance of a theatre play related to its Jewish past. Through careful analysis of the gradual changes that have been incorporated into the festival and the play over the years, the article studies the entanglement of desires and anxieties and the multiple contradictions that arise as this town foregrounds its Jewish past to negotiate unresolved issues of transnational, national, regional and local identity. The article combines an analysis of textual sources, especially the literary works on which Hervás has relied to construct the image of itself promoted in the festival, and materials gathered from fieldwork there (promotional materials, video footage and photographs of the celebrations, interviews with organizers and participants, etc.). It also relies on the research undertaken by local historian Marciano de Hervás, and current theorizations of patrimonialization and heritagization (Urry 1995; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1998) and the ‘reinvention’ of Jewish culture in Europe (Gruber 2002) in the field of tourism studies.
Date: 2018
Abstract: Issues arise when trying to understand the motivation of policymakers to preserve the assets of cultures that do not belong to the mainstream population. Tunbridge and Ashworth's seminal study on ‘Dissonant Heritage’ and Bennett's developmental model of intercultural sensitivity (DMIS model) provide a basis to evaluate both the motivations and the existence of a cultural dissonance. As there is a growing worldwide trend towards preserving and developing Jewish heritage tourism (JHT) this study examines Jewish heritage sites in three Macedonian cities endowed with rich Jewish history. Unlike previous studies concentrating on the notion of dissonant heritage, this research focuses on the motivation for preserving such sites, an issue hardly tackled before. Previous studies suggested the prevalence of six possible motives: guilt, facing harsh history, emphasis on dark tourism, revival of a harmonious past, respect, and economic benefits. Data were obtained via face-to-face interviews conducted with policy-makers from central and local governments. The interviews were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively in order to determine the leading motives for preservation. The findings indicate that by establishing and maintaining Jewish Heritage sites, stakeholders reflect sentiments of respect and admiration for the perished Jewish community and a longing for the revival of an elusive harmonious past. The potential economic benefits and dark tourism surfaced only as minor motives. Practically, JH preservation is used to revive dialogue with a forgotten past that may also contribute to urban tourism development in the future. Conceptually, the interviews did not reveal any indication of heritage dissonance, a finding that stands in sharp contrast to the dissonant heritage theory.
Date: 2016
Abstract: This article explores contemporary images of Jews and Muslims in Norway by using qualitative empirical data, namely the answers to an open-ended question that was included in a quantitative survey on attitudes towards Jews and other minorities in Norway, conducted in 2012. The target group for the survey consisted of Norwegian residents aged 18 and above. A total of 1522 people answered the questionnaire. The results of the survey can be considered as representative of the Norwegian population with respect to age, gender, education and geographical distribution.

Respondents were asked what they regarded to be the reasons for existing negative attitudes towards Jews and Muslims respectively. This article analyzes whether the perceptions reflected in the respondents’ answers represent stereotypical views and partly include traces of conspiracy beliefs. The article also discusses these perceptions within the broader perspective of Norwegian society, asking in which ways the data reflects ideas of inclusion and exclusion.

The analysis exposes differences regarding traditional stereotypes and prejudices against the two minorities and the ways in which these prejudices are linked to (perceived) contemporary conflicts and tensions – both within Norwegian society and internationally. Negative attitudes towards Jews are often explained with reference to the role played by Israel in the Middle East conflict, and almost never with specific reference to Norwegian society. The material contains few examples describing Jews as scapegoats for current social problems in Norway. On the contrary, respondents’ answers indicate social distance. Approximately half of the answers claim that negative attitudes towards Jews are due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The images of Jews presented in connection with this conflict are predominantly negative and characterized by topics such as oppression, ruthlessness and power. The analysis shows how these statements serve to reduce complexity by effectively equating “Jews” with “Israelis”. As a consequence Jews seem to be excluded from the notion of the Norwegian national collective.

The statements about Muslims show that they are regarded to be citizens and as such part of Norwegian society, but with characteristics perceived as problematic and threatening. Respondents often connected negative attitudes towards Muslims with a “foreign culture”. Many statements describe Muslims as oppressive to women, as harboring undemocratic attitudes or as criminals.

The data shows how people develop generalizations, describing something as “typically Muslim” or “typically Jewish”, reflecting current debates and media coverage. Such generalizations derive their strength from placing the speaker in a morally superior position. In the present material these attitudes represent the antithesis of an implicit notion of the Norwegian community as a liberal, egalitarian and peace-loving society. Despite the differences, a clear picture emerges that the characterizations of both Jews and Muslims seem to serve a common function: to provide a contrast to this national self-image. Such polarized notions of “us” and “them”, however, undermine the values generally constructed as “Norwegian”: when “the other” bears problematic features that we do not want to acknowledge in ourselves or our communities, we lose the ability to critically reflect on who we are. While maintaining an idealized notion of “us”, we become increasingly dependent on a rejection and denial of the “other”.
Translated Title: Jewish family life in Norway
Author(s): Høeg, Ida Marie
Date: 2003
Date: 2016
Date: 2014
Author(s): Sandri, Olivia
Date: 2013
Abstract: Throughout Europe products of Jewish culture – or what is perceived as such – have become viable components of the popular public domain. Jewish-themed tourism has emerged since the 1990s in a number of European cities after decades of “collective amnesia”, and some of the Jewish areas have recently undergone a ‘Jewish-thematisation’.

The focal point of this article is the usage of heritage in former Jewish areas. The aim is to understand in which ways and to what extent Jewish heritage is used for tourism purposes. A comparison between Krakow and Vilnius underlines what this difference in usage depends on, in the context of increasingly popular cultural and heritage tourism. In order to understand how Jewish-themed tourism has developed an inventory of Jewish heritage and Jewish-themed events in the two cities is made, showing that Jewish heritage is mainly used for economic development through tourism as well as commemoration in Krakow, whereas in Vilnius, it is used for commemoration and for the needs of the local (Jewish) community. The complexity of the topic and the importance of various local factors in the usage of Jewish heritage are shown. There does not exist, neither in Krakow nor in Vilnius, any specific public policies regarding Jewish heritage that can explain the ’degree’ of touristification and ’heritagisation’ of the areas.

Furthermore, a range of connected theoretical issues, such as authenticity, commodification of culture, or ownership of heritage, is raised.

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