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Date: 2016
Date: 2011
Abstract: Au carrefour des études de genre, de la sociologie des religions, et de la sociologie politique, cette recherche explore la dimension locale des conflits religieux sur le genre à partir du cas du judaïsme français des années 2000 et la fabrique organisationnelle du genre et de l'identité juive dans les synagogues non orthodoxes en France, qui se caractérisent notamment par l'ouverture du rituel aux femmes. L'approche ethnographique permet d'analyser les dispositifs de socialisation (comme l'organisation de l'espace, du rituel, de la prise de parole, de la formation religieuse, de la mobilisation pour le développement de la synagogue) qui contribuent à la production locale du genre. En particulier, cette thèse montre comment la perception de la division sexuée du travail dans l'organisation, l'appropriation des débats religieux sur le genre, la légitimité de mobilisations locales pour la participation des femmes au rituel, dépendent de la position de chaque organisation dans les concurrences religieuses. Dans une configuration où la place des femmes dans l'espace religieux est utilisée comme marqueur symbolique entre courants religieux en concurrence pour la définition de l'identité juive (configuration que l'on propose d'appeler plus généralement politisation religieuse du genre) la participation répétée au rituel et aux activités de la synagogue engendre un intérêt pratique pour le genre, qui se traduit notamment par une fierté égalitaire masculine et par une injonction féminine à la justification. Si les travaux sur genre et religion ont surtout abordé les contextes religieux conservateurs, cette recherche explore la normativité des contextes religieux égalitaires
Date: 2017
Date: 2018
Abstract: Problems of religious and ethnic identity are especially pertinent for people of Jewish heritage in post-Soviet states. Radical changes of the 20th century made the society more secular, put distinctions between definitions of being “Jew” and “Judaist”; the number of mixed marriages grew, and the young generations now learn traditions not from parents but from public lectures in Jewish communities. In this paper we have tried to find out what has brought young people to the Jewish community of Smolensk, why they choose to remain there, and whether they consider themselves Jewish. We have been especially interested in understanding
how much does religious identity influence the choice of ethnic identity, and vice versa.

The research is based on 8 in-depth interviews collected during Sefer Center’s trip to Smolensk Oblast in 2016. The interviewees
were selected according to the following criteria: regular visits to the synagogue (twice a month or more) and age between 14 and 35.

The working hypothesis is that the number, the frame of mind, and the identity of the young people who visit the synagogue are influenced by the following factors: 1) ethnic and religious identity of the family members and close people of the respondents and their disposition towards various confessions and ethnicities; 2) the rabbi’s policy in ethnic issues and traditions, how loyal he is to rule bending and now active he is in attracting the youth to the synagogue; 3) the environment: the influence of historically significant places of Smolensk Oblast and memories of remarkable historical events that occurred on its territory.

After analyzing the data we have drawn the following conclusions. The main reason for the interviewees to choose the Jewish identity is the prevailing of such identity in their parents. For those whose parents are both Jewish this argument is sufficient. If only parent is Jewish, a young person starts seeking for additional arguments to “allow” himself/herself be Jewish. Such reasons may be their sympathy towards Judaism and/or Jewish customs and the feeling of one’s “distinction”. Sometimes for the final integration into the Jewish environment the interviewees conduct Giyur or circumcision, the latter being not only for religious reasons. If the young people don’t feel such sympathies or don’t perform the special rituals for integration, they leave the community because they don’t feel enough “Jewishness” to remain there. The forming of one or another religious identity depends mostly on which identity is considered the right one in the family. Also, in contrast to ethnic identity, religious identity changes more often and is dependent on the person’s environment and period of time.

Thus, the working hypothesis has been confirmed in a number of points. 1) The forming of identities is indeed influenced by the identities of parents and social circles of the interviewees and the rabbi’s policy towards the youth and other members of the community. 2) It is also influenced to a lesser extent by which religious and ethnic identity is prevalent and considered normal in a particular region. Historical events and places have basically no influence on the identity formation.
Date: 2018
Abstract: The article considers the features of the correlation of ethnic and religious identifiers in the process of “revival” of the activities of the Jewish community of Perm in the post-Soviet period. Both types of identifiers which due to the specificity of Judaism as a nationally oriented religion analyzed as significant in the process of defining of phenomenon of the community. The main problem is that the cultural component of Judaism is the most important consolidating factor in the construction of the Jewish community. At the 1990’s. the community was a consolidated group, where Judaism is the connecting element. The cultural component of this system comes to the fore, and activities in this area contribute to the position of the community in the intercultural and urban space. Mass public events attested relevance of the cultural component of Judaism. Social and cultural activity had due to enter the Jewish community into the social space of the city, legitimizing its activity. Change of eras of the turn of the 1990s has contributed rise of appeal to the cultural component of the Jewish tradition. At the same time, cultural identity did not always fully coincide with the confessional one. Interviews with members of the community confirmed that the “revival” took place in Jewish cultural life, and the religious component played the role of an external occasion for the consolidation of the community. The emergence of religion from the “social ghetto” facilitated the observance of rites and norms of cult practice, accelerated the process of legitimizing the ethno-confessional community. The cultural component of Judaism is also a factor of internal communication in the community. The number of Jews who visited religious events and do not attend prayers, indicates the relevance of events that emphasize national identity. Getting a free meal by the older generation is also an economic factor that contributes to the consolidation of the community. The cultural activities of the community described by the respondents testify to the inclusion of Judaism in the inter-confessional sphere of the city. Project activity gives an opportunity to familiarize the population with Jewish culture, contributes to the regulation of interethnic relations within the society, and the formation of tolerant attitudes towards representatives of different faiths. Members and representatives of the Jewish community actively participate in religious events, which take place both in the walls of the synagogue and on city sites. The development and implementation of projects aimed at increasing the religious literacy of the population contributes to the formation of a tolerant society.
Author(s): Brown, Melanie
Date: 2012
Abstract: The Jewish community of Dublin has been in existence for 400 years. Nowadays, many Dublin Jews are descended from Lithuanians who settled in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth century. Most Dublin Jews are integrated into Dublin society, yet little is known of cultural practices specific to Dublin’s Jewish community. This dissertation focuses on the practice of liturgical music in Terenure synagogue, one of Dublin’s two remaining Orthodox synagogues. While music is an integral part of all synagogue services throughout the year, the musical repertoire of the Sabbath morning service has been selected as representing the music which is most commonly experienced by practicing Orthodox Jews in Dublin. Much of the music in Dublin’s Orthodox synagogue has been retained as part of a Lithuanian oral tradition. However, the Dublin Jewish community is currently undergoing a demographic shift, owing to the emigration of Dublin-born Jews coupled with migration into Dublin of Jews from a variety of social, cultural and national backgrounds. As the profile of the Jewish community changes, there is evidence of a gradual shift in the musical tradition of the synagogue. Here there is an attempt to preserve part of the Lithuanian musical tradition for the future. Ethnographic fieldwork has been conducted among all sections of the Jewish community of Dublin in order to obtain information regarding the history, culture and identity of Dublin Jews. This has provided insight into the oral tradition which has retained the music of the Orthodox synagogue thus far. Other sources of information have included archives and further published/unpublished resources. The research has also involved recording, transcribing and analysing examples of liturgical Jewish music performed in Dublin. This has resulted in a comprehensive historical account of the Dublin Jewish community together with a discussion on Irish Jewish identity. Such material provides a background for the corpus of music which has been collected from various contributors. As well as recordings, this features six fully transcribed versions of the main sections from the Orthodox Sabbath service performed by five individuals, and a discussion on performance practice within the synagogue. It also includes examples of congregational singing which also forms a significant part of the service. Considerations are given to issues including emotion, identity, transmission, gender and the role of the congregation in the performance of music within the Orthodox synagogue of Dublin. The findings reveal that musical performance in the synagogue assists in promoting a sense of community among those who participate. Orthodox Jewish liturgical music and the way it is disseminated whether in the synagogue or other setting also provides a link with the past, dialogue with the past being an integral part of broad Jewish culture. Prior to this, little has been documented regarding the music of the Orthodox Dublin synagogue; therefore this research provides a basis on which further study of the topic may be conducted.
Author(s): Samson, Maxim G. M.
Date: 2018
Date: 2017
Abstract: Faith schools represent controversial aspects of England’s educational politics, yet they have been largely overlooked as sites for geographical analysis. Moreover, although other social science disciplines have attended to a range of questions regarding faith schools, some important issues remain underexamined. In particular, contestation within ethnic and religious groups regarding notions of identity have generally been ignored in an educational context, whilst the majority of research into Jewish schools more specifically has failed to attend to the personal qualities of Jewishness. The interrelationships between faith schools (of all kinds) and places of worship have also received minimal attention. In response, this investigation draws upon a range of theoretical approaches to identity in order to illustrate how Jewish schools are implicated in the changing spatiality and performance of individuals’ Jewishness. Central to this research is a case study of the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS), England’s only pluralist Jewish secondary school, with more extensive elements provided by interviews with other stakeholders in Anglo-Jewry. Parents often viewed Jewish schools as a means of attaining a highly-regarded ‘secular’ academic education in a Jewish school, whilst also enabling their children to socialise with other Jews. In the process, synagogues’ traditional functions of education and socialisation have been co-opted by Jewish schools, revealing a shift in the spatiality of young people’s Anglo-Jewish identity practices. Furthermore, JCoSS, as well as many synagogues, have come to represent spaces of contestation over ‘authentic’ Jewishness, given widely varying conceptualisations of ‘proper’ Jewish practice and identity amongst parents, pupils and rabbis. Yet, although JCoSS offers its pupils considerable autonomy to determine their practices, such choice is not limitless, revealing an inherent dilemma in inclusivity. The thesis thus explores how different manifestations of Jewishness are constructed, practised and problematised in a school space (which itself is dynamic and contested), and beyond.
Author(s): Wiens, Kathleen
Author(s): Illman, Ruth
Date: 2018
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.
Date: 2017
Abstract: This study, which was produced by JPR on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, takes an in-depth statistical look at synagogue membership figures in the UK. Synagogue membership data have been gathered and analysed consistently over several decades, and constitute the best measure of Jewish communal affiliation in the UK that exists. They provide the only consistent indicator of patterns of Jewish affiliation and belonging over time, and are thus of particular interest to community leaders and planners.

The report, authored by JPR researchers Dr Donatella Casale Mashiah and Dr Jonathan Boyd, finds that despite the fact that there are now 454 synagogues in the UK – the largest number ever recorded – synagogue membership numbers have dropped below 80,000 households for the first time since records began. Indeed, there has been a 20% decline over a quarter of a century, and a 4% decline since the last such report was published in 2010.

However, the overall decline masks important developments at a denominational level. Critically, the sector that has declined most sharply is central Orthodoxy – broadly understood as the United Synagogue, the Federation and various independent modern Orthodox synagogues dotted around the country – which collectively have seen a 37% drop since 1990. This decline is partly due to disaffection, but it has also been driven considerably by natural decrease – more members dying than being born.

In contrast, membership of strictly Orthodox synagogues is growing. Indeed, it has grown dramatically over time – by 139% since 1990. A generation ago, the strictly Orthodox comprised 4.5% of all synagogue members households; today they comprise 13.5%. This growth is driven almost exclusively by demographic forces – particularly, high birth rates in this sector of the community.

Taken as a whole, Liberal, Reform and Masorti figures have been fairly stable over time. Liberal and Reform have both declined slightly since 1990, whereas Masorti has grown, albeit from a lower base. But this overall picture of stability is somewhat misleading: in reality, Liberal and Reform synagogues are both losing members at a similar rate to the central Orthodox ones, but unlike those central Orthodox ones, they are also attracting members from their religious ‘right’ to offset those losses.
Date: 2016
Date: 2013
Abstract: Este año se conmemora en España el Bicentenario de la Constitución de Cádiz de 19 de
marzo de 1812. Durante estos dos siglos muchas cosas han cambiado y muy
particularmente, en las relaciones entre el Estado y las confesiones
religiosas. Con la vigente Constitución de 1978 queda razonablemente resuelto
uno de los problemas permanentes en la historia del constitucionalismo español
como es la llamada “cuestión religiosa”. El reconocimiento de la libertad
religiosa ha traído consigo un pluralismo religioso que se refleja en una diversidad
de confesiones en la sociedad española que, progresivamente, van adquiriendo
una mayor presencia social. En nuestro país los judíos son una minoría
religiosa que no supera los 40.000 miembros. En Baleares, la población judía
está perfectamente integrada en la sociedad junto al resto de religiones y
comparte las mismas inquietudes que el resto de ciudadanos. Al coincidir en
este año 2012 otras conmemoraciones como la del XXV aniversario de la sinagoga
de Palma de Mallorca y el XX aniversario del Acuerdo suscrito entre el Estado
español y la Federación de Comunidades Judías de España, se presenta en este
libro un estudio del régimen jurídico y la evolución histórica de la Comunidad
judía de las Islas Baleares. El libro constituye, pues, una importante aportación científica que recoge trabajos de
representantes de la Comunidad Judía balear, de representantes de la Administración pública balear y de profesores expertos de diferentes Universidades españolas.

Contenido:

La libertad religiosa en España: IsidoroMartín Sánchez
La federación de comunidades judías de España y su acuerdo de cooperación con el Estado español
de 1992 (XX Aniversario): Marcos González Sánchez
Breve historia de la presencia judía en Mallorca: J. Maíz Chacón
Los chuetas como segmento escindido de la comunidad judeoconversa de Mallorca: P. de Montaner
La comunidad judía en las Islas Baleares. Un punto y seguido permanente en la historia (estudio
socio-jurídico): Abraham Barchillón Gabizón
XXV Aniversario de la inauguración de la sinagoga
de Palma de Mallorca: David Kaisin
Date: 2012
Abstract: La presente tesis doctoral constituye un estudio sociológico en profundidad de las comunidades judías contemporáneas de Cataluña y los entramados institucionales que se han erigido en torno a ellas. Todo el trabajo que se presenta tiene su origen en la siguiente pregunta de investigación: ¿por qué en los últimos veinte años aproximadamente se ha producido un proceso tan significativo de transformación y diversificación institucional y comunitaria en el caso de la colectividad judía de Cataluña sin que haya tenido lugar un gran crecimiento de esta población? El objetivo general de la investigación, concretado en diferentes objetivos específicos, es el de realizar un estudio sociológico en profundidad de las comunidades judías contemporáneas de Cataluña y de sus procesos de diversificación institucional y comunitaria a través del análisis de sus dinámicas de construcción y transmisión identitaria. La aproximación teórica general desde la que se ha elaborado esta investigación es la de la sociología de la religión, aunque ha sido necesario incorporar elementos de otros enfoques, como el análisis de las identidades nacionales, así como también aspectos específicos sobre la historia del judaísmo. Además, la multidimensionalidad que caracteriza tanto la identidad como la vivencia judías obligan a abandonar los esquemas analíticos tradicionales basados en supuestos derivados del cristianismo con el fin de ofrecer una comprensión más completa del objeto de estudio. Desde una perspectiva comprensiva, que se centra no sólo en los hechos objetivos, sino en la interpretación que las personas hacen de ellos, se ha elaborado un marco teórico que sirve de esquema de interpretación para entender la realidad empírica catalana. Éste se estructura en torno a un hilo conductor que hace referencia a los procesos de construcción y transmisión identitaria, a su concreción a nivel vivencial y comunitario y a su interconexión con el exterior de las comunidades. Es decir, partiendo de las ideas teóricas referidas a las concepciones del judaísmo y de la identidad judía (nivel simbólico), se llega a las formas concretas de vivir y experimentar esta pertenencia (nivel práctico), y, finalmente, de proyectarlas, tanto hacia dentro de la propia colectividad judía, como hacia fuera de ésta, hacia el entorno no judío (nivel práctico y simbólico). Del mismo modo, se incorpora la traslación institucional (nivel institucional) en que estas concepciones, vivencias y proyecciones se materializan. La propuesta metodológica que mejor se ajusta a las características del objeto de estudio y a los objetivos concretos planteados es una de carácter eminentemente cualitativo. Más concretamente, se ha planteado el enfoque narrativo como el eje central de la propuesta metodológica, ya que permite captar las narraciones que las personas elaboran de su propia experiencia, y éste se ha complementado con otras aportaciones. De este modo, la tesis, que consiste en un estudio de caso (la colectividad judía catalana) con comparación de subcasos (las cuatro comunidades judías), articula de forma complementaria tres técnicas de recogida de la información: las entrevistas en profundidad, las observaciones directas, y el análisis de documentación diversa. Las aportaciones más significativas de la tesis son las siguientes: - La constatación de una fuerte diversificación institucional y comunitaria del mundo judío catalán en los últimos veinte años, que se ve plasmada en un trabajo de mapeo que identifica y caracteriza las comunidades, entidades y asociaciones judías existentes en Cataluña en la actualidad. - La explicación de esta diversificación a través del análisis de las diferentes concepciones, vivencias y proyecciones del judaísmo y de la identidad judía encontradas entre la población objeto de estudio. - La identificación de las principales divergencias entre comunidades judías, erigidas principalmente en torno a diferencias religiosas y a la mutua concesión o denegación de legitimidad. - La conclusión de que los procesos de transformación institucional y comunitaria que han sido estudiados constituyen, en definitiva, la consolidación de la colectividad judía institucionalizada o, dicho de otro modo, la institucionalización de la diversidad