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Date: 2018
Abstract: CST recorded 1,382 antisemitic incidents in 2017, the highest annual total CST has ever recorded. The total of 1,382 incidents is an increase of three per cent from the 2016 total of 1,346 antisemitic incidents, which was itself a record annual total. The third highest annual total recorded by CST was 1,182 antisemitic incidents in 2014.

There has been a 34 per cent increase in the number of antisemitic incidents recorded in the category of Assaults in 2017: 145 incidents in 2017, compared to 108 in 2016. As in 2016, CST did not classify any of the assaults as Extreme Violence, meaning an attack potentially causing loss of life or grievous bodily harm. This is the highest annual total of Assaults recorded by CST, surpassing the 121 incidents recorded in 2009.

Antisemitic incidents recorded by CST occurred more in the first six months of 2017 than in the second half of the year. The highest monthly total in 2017 came in January with 155 incidents; the second highest was in April with 142 incidents; and the third highest was in February with 134 incidents reported. Every month from January to October, CST recorded a monthly incident total above 100 incidents. This continued an utterly unprecedented sequence of monthly totals exceeding 100 antisemitic incidents since April 2016, a run of 19 consecutive months. There were 89 incidents recorded in November and 78 in December. There is no obvious reason why November and December 2017 saw an end to this sequence, although historically CST has usually recorded fewer antisemitic incidents in December in comparison to other months. It is too soon to predict whether this decline in monthly incident totals towards the end of 2017 marks the beginning of a downward trend from the sustained highs of the past two years.

Previous record high annual totals in 2014 and 2009 occurred when conflicts in Israel and Gaza acted as sudden trigger events that caused steep, identifiable ‘spikes’ in antisemitic incidents recorded by CST. In contrast, in 2017 (as in 2016) there was not a sudden, statistically outlying large spike in incidents to cause and explain the overall record high.
Author(s): Underhill, Karen C.
Date: 2011
Abstract: In Israeli director Yael Bartana’s 2007 film Mary Koszmary—meaning “Bad Dreams” or “Nightmares”—a young Polish politician delivers a resounding speech to an empty, crumbling, communist-era Stadion Dziesięciolecia in Warsaw. The speech, he says, is an appeal: “This is a call. . . . It is an appeal for life. We want three million Jews to return to Poland, to live with us again. We need you! Please come back!” This article considers the powerful and perhaps disturbing premise of these lines and explores their possible meanings in a contemporary Polish context. What can it mean for Poles and Polish culture to need Jews—and in particular, to need those Jews who can never return? The complex phenomenon of Jewish memory in Poland and Eastern Europe cannot be contained within specific, present-day borders—whether of geography or of academic discipline: similar dynamics to those Bartana has identified in Poland exist throughout the region. Thus, against the background of Bartana’s film, the article considers the growing phenomenon and importance of local Jewish festivals in Poland and present-day Ukraine, focusing in detail on two specific festivals: the annual festival “Encounters with Jewish Culture,” held in Chmielnik, Poland, and the biannual Bruno Schulz Festival in Drohobych, Ukraine. The analysis explores ways that the memory of Polish Jews—and more specifically the figure of the absent Polish Jew—can function as a central element in the construction of new, communal Polish and Ukrainian narratives since the fall of Communism.
Author(s): Wynn, Natalie
Date: 2015
Abstract: This paper will investigate the construction and ongoing renegotiation of Jewish identity in the Irish context from the late nineteenth century to the present day, considering how some of the key elements that have shaped modern Irish identity have impacted on the consciousness of Ireland’s tiny Jewish minority.

Jewish immigration to Ireland, which peaked between 1890 and 1905, coincided with the crystallisation of an Irish identity with a strong foundation in the beliefs and values of Roman Catholicism. Consequently, the emerging discourses of Irish nationalism, in particular the struggle for independence and the complex Irish relationship with Britain, have had a major influence on the formation of a specific Irish-Jewish identity. The impact of Irish nationalism, sectarianism and anti-Jewish prejudice in a still-evolving Irish society will be explored in terms of Jewish perception and identity formation on both the individual and the collective levels. After a brief introduction, I will outline my findings on the Jewish relationship with Irish nationalism, before exploring the way in which Irish-Jewish identity has tended to be presented to the wider world. Issues to be considered will include the significance of variations in nuance between different representations of Irish-Jewish identity and belonging; the role of communal narrative in shaping the consciousness of the individual; and the question of why, in the post-modern era, it should be necessary to keep searching for, re-/presenting and justifying the identity of a minority within a minority to the world at large. Throughout, the focus will remain on the need for a fresh approach to the sources and the issues at hand, in order to create a more holistic, objective and inclusive history of the Jewish experience in Ireland.
Author(s): Illman, Ruth
Date: 2017
Abstract: This article focuses on religion and change in relation to music. Its starting point is the argument that music plays a central role as a driving force for religious change, as has recently been suggested by several researchers of religion. Music is seen to comprise elements that are central to contemporary religiosity in general: participation , embodiment, experience, emotions, and creativity. This article approaches the discussion from a Jewish point of view, connecting the theoretical perspective to an ethnographic case study conducted among progressive Jews in London with special focus on music, religious practice, and change. The article outlines the ongoing discussion on religion and change by focusing on features of individualism, personal choice, and processes of bricolage, critically assessing them from an inclusive point of view, focusing on individuals as simultaneously both personal and socially as well as culturally embedded agents. The analysis highlights a visible trend among the interviewees of wanting to combine a radically liberal theology with an increasingly traditional practice. In these accounts musical practices play a pivotal yet ambiguous role as instigators and insignia of religious change. As a conclusion, insights into more 'sonically aware religious studies' are suggested. We need a kind of … something that retains the tradition; that holds on to these precious traditions and rituals, the music and all the rest – but with an open mind and a much more questioning and open approach to Jewish law. In these words Rebecca 1 expresses what she strives to achieve in her work as an innovative yet historically perceptive and liturgically informed can-1 The names of the persons interviewed have been anonymised, and common Jewish names are used as aliases. See the reference list for or more detailed information about the ethnographic research material and research method.
Author(s): Almog, Yael
Date: 2018
Author(s): Wynn, Natalie
Date: 2017
Author(s): Janicka, Elżbieta
Date: 2015
Abstract: The text refers to the space around the Nathan Rapoport’s Monument to the Fighters and Martyrs of the Ghetto and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews POLIN in Warsaw (Poland). The site of death – at the heart of the former Warsaw Ghetto – has now become a site overloaded with other symbolic messages. Two main symbolic centers (the 1948 Monument and the 2013 Museum) are today encircled by ten other, additional memorials. The message emerging from the content as well as the proportion of commemorations is that Polish solidarity with the Jews was a fact and it stood the test of terror and death brought by the Germans. Although it does not undermine the veracity of the few and isolated exceptions, such a version of events is drastically different from the actual facts. Both symbolic centers are perceived as emblems of Jewish minority narrative. Additional artefacts are a message formulated by the Polish majority. They constitute a kind of symbolic encirclement, block. Emphasizing the dominant majority’s version of the events in this place is in fact a symbolic pre-emptive action. It is meant to silence the unwanted narrative or suppress even the mere possibility that it might emerge. What turns out to be at stake in the dominant Polish narrative about the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish relations is the image of Poland and the Poles. This shows not only the topographic and symbolic situation but also the socio-cultural context of the functioning of the new Museum.
Author(s): Gershenson, Olga
Date: 2015
Abstract: In 2012, a new Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center opened in Moscow – an event unthinkable during the Soviet regime. Financed at the level of $50 million, created by an international crew of academics and museum designers, and located in a landmark building, the museum immediately rose to a position of cultural prominence in the Russian museum scene. Using interactive technology and multimedia, the museum's core exhibition presents several centuries of complex local Jewish history, including the Second World War period. Naturally, the Holocaust is an important part of the story. Olga Gershenson's essay analyzes the museum's relationship to Holocaust history and memory in the post-Soviet context. She describes the museum's struggle to reconcile a Soviet understanding of the “Great Patriotic War” with a dominant Western narrative of the Holocaust, while also bringing the Holocaust in the Soviet Union to a broader audience via the museum. Through recorded testimonies, period documents, and film, the museum's display narrates the events of the Holocaust on Soviet soil. This is a significant revision of the Soviet-era discourse, which universalized and externalized the Holocaust. But this important revision is limited by the museum's choice to avoid the subject of local collaborators and bystanders. The museum shies away from the most pernicious aspect of the Holocaust history on Soviet soil, missing an opportunity to take historic responsibility and confront the difficult past.

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