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Author(s): Hofman, Nila Ginger
Date: 2000
Abstract: My dissertation addresses the sociocultural processes which contribute to the construction of ethnocultural identity among Zagrebian Jews. I argue, contrary to the often essentialized perception of Jewish identity imposed by e.g. the Croatian government and Jewish international organizations, that Jewish identity in Zagreb is actively chosen in ways that are both idiosyncratic and contingent upon the surrounding sociocultural environment. At the heart of my argument is an appeal to the dynamic and contextual nature of identity negotiation, and the influence this has on the maintenance and survival of the Zagrebian Jewish community. In support of this, I have employed ethnographic methods to assess (i) the ways in which Jewish identity is negotiated by community members and (ii) the ways in which the meaning of Jewish community is sustained in Zagreb. With regards to (i), I conclude that Zagrebian Jews understand their identities in terms of symbolic ethnoreligiosity, i.e. in terms of feelings and nostalgic ideas about Jewish culture and tradition. With regards to (ii), I show that the history and development of Jewish identity in Zagreb can be traced through patterns of membership participation in various Jewish organizations prevalent in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These patterns reveal the predominantly secular nature of the Zagrebian Jewish community. In light of this, I argue that community for Zagrebian Jews is ultimately defined symbolically through various types of social interaction among members. It is for this reason that the recent attempts of both international Jewish organizations and the Croatian government to impose an essentialized image of Jewish identity on the community are at odds with, and ultimately destructive to, the secular and improvisatory self-images of the members themselves.
Date: 2016
Abstract: This is the first empirical study to explain the contested uses and meanings of ‘Yid’ in English football fan culture. A pertinent socio-political issue with important policy and legal implications, we explain the different uses of ‘Yid’, making central the cultural context in which it is used, together with the intent underpinning its usage. Focusing upon Kick It Out’s The Y-Word campaign film (which attempted to raise awareness of antisemitism in football by advocating a ‘zero tolerance’ policy approach to ‘Yid’), the complex relationship of Tottenham Hotspur with Judaism is unpacked. The origins of this complexity stem from Tottenham traditionally attracting Jewish fans due to nearby Jewish communities. As a consequence, Tottenham is perceived as a ‘Jewish’ club and their fans have suffered antisemitic abuse from opposing supporters who have disparagingly referred to them as ‘Yids’. In response, Tottenham fans have, since the 1970s, appropriated and embraced the term by identifying as the ‘Yid Army’. Critical analysis of fan forum discourse suggests that many Tottenham fans thought The Y-Word film failed to sufficiently understand or demarcate between the multiple meanings and intentions associated with use of ‘Yid’ as both an ethnic epithet and term of endearment. We call for an appreciation of the nature of language that acknowledges the fluidity and temporality of linguistic reclamation and ‘ownership’ in future policies to combat antisemitism.
Author(s): Gross, Martine
Date: 2012
Abstract: Dans la société française contemporaine, laïque et souvent considérée hostile aux regroupements sur une base « communautaire », le Beit Haverim (« Maison des Ami-e-s » en hébreu) représente une association originale. Créée à la fin des années 1970, ce groupe juif homosexuel parisien s’inscrit d’abord dans les transformations du mouvement homosexuel, dont il fait partie intégrante. Le Beit Haverim participe du mouvement actuel des associations « gay plus un » que décrit Elisabeth Armstrong1 dans son analyse de la construction identitaire gay depuis les années 1950 à San Francisco. Son développement renvoie aussi aux transformations du monde juif français, marqué par le questionnement sur la place du religieux dans l’identité juive. Alors que les lieux de socialisation juive, synagogues, centres culturels, n’autorisent pas une affirmation gay ou lesbienne, le Beit Haverim permet à ses membres non seulement de vivre leur homosexualité dans une dimension identitaire collective mais également d’y trouver un support pour une autre dimension identitaire, leur judéité. Les différents rituels proposés par l’association offrent à ses sympathisants de quoi forger un sentiment d’intégration et d’affirmation de leurs deux dimensions. Des « tea dance » calées sur le calendrier des fêtes juives jusqu’aux cérémonies d’union modelées sur le rituel du mariage juif traditionnel, l’entretien entre Franck Jaoui, son actuel porte-parole, et Martine Gross, chercheure qui fut aussi l’une des membres fondatrices de l’association, permet de retracer la place du rituel dans la construction de sociabilités et d’identités juives homosexuelles en France.
Date: 2001
Abstract: Research on the construction of lesbian and gay identity has represented this process as carrying considerable potential for in-trapsychic and interpersonal stress and conflict. This process may be rendered even more psychologically challenging for those whose identities feature salient components that are not easily reconciled with a lesbian or gay identity. An example of this is the simultaneous holding of Jewish and gay identities. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study of 21 Jewish gay men in Britain. Participants were interviewed about the development of their gay identity, the relationship between their gay identity and their Jewish identity, the psychological and social implications of holding these identities, and strategies for managing any difficulties associated with this. Data were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. All but one of the men reported experiences of identity conflict, arising mainly from the perceived incompatibility of Jewish and gay identities. This was said to have impacted negatively upon their psychological well-being. Those who had received negative reactions to the disclosure of sexual identity within Jewish contexts often attributed this to an anti-gay stance within Judaism and a concern with ensuring the continuation of the Jewish people. Various strategies were said to have been used to manage identity threat, including compartmentalizing Jewish and gay identity and revising the content or salience of Jewish identity. Recommendations are offered for psychological interventions which could help Jewish gay men manage identity conflict.
Author(s): Moulin, Daniel
Date: 2013
Abstract: The increasing diversity of societies is one of the most important educational issues of the globalised era. However, while some attention has been paid to the schooling experiences of racial, ethnic and immigrant minorities in Western societies, little research has been conducted with religious adolescents.
This thesis explores the complexities of religious adolescents’ experiences of English secondary schools. As an exploratory study, I employed an emergent research design carrying out loosely-structured, group and single interviews at eleven places of worship to investigate the schooling experiences of 99 adolescent Christians, Jews and Muslims. In order to interpret their reported experiences, I applied a theoretical model based on the Students’ Multiple World Framework in conjunction with concepts of religious identity negotiation and construction.
The interview data show how Christians, Jews and Muslims negotiate their religious identities in the context of the numerous challenges presented by secondary schools in a religiously plural and largely secular society. In classroom worlds participants perceived their religious traditions to be distorted, inaccurately or unfairly represented. In peer worlds participants reported that they could experience prejudice, and criticism of their beliefs. Christians, Jews and Muslims reported two principal management strategies in the face of these challenges, either: declaring their religious identity openly, or by masking it in public.
The findings of this study are highly relevant to debates about the role of religion in education, including those concerning faith and Church schools and the nature and purpose of the curriculum subject Religious Education.
Author(s): Gerson, Jane
Date: 2008
Abstract: Kosher food is not necessarily the same as 'Jewish' food. The thesis explores ideas of Jewish identity in Britain in relation to food, examining the period from the end of austerity in the mid-1950s until the beginning of the twenty-first century. The period starts with Britain's emergence from the strictures of rationing and the development of an era of abundance and choice that has led, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, to a complex and ambivalent relationship between food and society. The thesis explores food in relation to the histories of diverse British Jewish communities and individuals deploying a range of evidence including oral histories, memoirs, journalism and cookery books. It studies the practice of Jewish identity and food, looking at Jewish communities ranging from the strictly Orthodox to progressive Jews. Theories of place, displacement and circuitry in the context of a global food economy are central to the thesis as are ideas of memory, myth and ritual. The first two chapters study the religious, political and social context of kosher food practice in Britain, analysing relations between the ecclesiastical authorities, the kosher food industry and consumers in which issues of class and gender are pivotal. Non-Jewish responses to kosher food are also examined. The third chapter interrogates the culinary origins of Ashkenazi and Sephardi food in Britain in the context of the globalization of the food industry, questioning how this affects the 'Jewishness' of specific culinary practices. The final chapter investigates the meaning and development of Jewish food rituals with respect to Sabbath and festival observance. The thesis suggests that despite the particularity of Jewish practice in relation to food, and the specific circumstances of the Diaspora, the Jewish practice of identity through food should not be treated as exceptional. The concept of 'Jewish' food is as problematic and as valid as the identification of any other group with a specific cuisine.
Author(s): Bogen, Marthe
Date: 2015
Author(s): Leventhal, Robert
Date: 2011
Abstract: In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:
The influx of Jewish émigrés from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) since 1990 has altered the shape of Jewish life in Germany, and profoundly influenced the 105 Jewish communities of the Federal Republic. Between 1990 and 2005, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) had admitted 219,604 Jewish émigrés from the FSU, and could boast that it has the "fastest-growing Jewish population in the world." The restriction of the flow of Jewish émigrés from the FSU in 2005 as a direct result of new German immigration laws radically changed this situation. The intense immigration of Jews from the former Soviet States between 1990 and 2005 followed by a rather abrupt reversal in immigration policy reshaped the sense of Jewish community, memory, and identity in Germany. These shifts have placed pressure on both German-Jewish relations and relations within the Jewish communities. Certain basic assumptions concerning German-Jewish relations have been called into question on an unprecedented scale: the overwhelmingly positive view of Germany as an immigration destination for Jews; what it means to be Jewish in Germany; the very idea of a singular unitary Jewish community (Einheitsgemeinde) under the umbrella of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany) in post-Wall Germany; and, perhaps most significantly, the absolute, and hitherto unquestioned centrality of the Nazi Judeocide for the self-understanding of German Jews. Recent developments threaten both the unity of the Jewish communities themselves as well as the tremendous gains made in the ongoing, genuine public discussion of and confrontation with the Nazi past since the 1980s.

In this article, I suggest the sociocultural construction of a new Jewish identity or culture within the Jewish community in Germany and what might be referred to as a post-Holocaust sense of community, memory, and cultural identity within the Russian Jewish community, one that finds a powerful resonance in contemporary German culture more generally. The Jewish Museum of Munich, which was founded to be a museum of Jewish life in Munich and specifically not a Holocaust museum, is an example of precisely this sense of post-Holocaust identity formation and memory. The museum to be built in Cologne—scheduled to open in 2011 and designed by the same architects who designed Munich's museum, Wandel Hoefer Lorch & Hirsch—is another case in point. The simultaneous emergence of a new Russian Jewish émigré majority culture within the Jewish minority of Germany, and what I refer to as a "post-Holocaust sensibility," coincides with a broader marginalization and fragmentation of Jewish identity in Germany despite the growth in sheer numbers over the past two decades.

The approximately 10,000 Jews of Munich serve as both an exemplary model and as a demonstrative case-study of shifting Jewish identities in contemporary Germany. Like other Russian Jewish émigrés within Germany, they have their own complex histories and collective memories forged by years of repression and persecution under Stalinism and post-Soviet discrimination. In Munich, these émigrés have the additional task of becoming part of a Jewish community that has been especially challenged by historical precedents and recent developments within the community itself. Munich is a city of particularly conflicted postwar memory. Russian Jewish émigrés comprise approximately 75% of the Jewish population of Munich, and their integration into German society and the existing Jewish community is decisive if the Jewish community is to survive and grow. The official, stated intention at the outset of the programs enacted in 1991—the HumHAG (humanitärer Hilfsaktionen aufgenommene Flüchtlinge or Refugees Accepted as part of a Humanitarian Aid Program) and the so-called Kontingentflüchtlingsgesetz (Quota Refugees Act), which first made possible the mass immigration of Jews from the FSU into Germany—was ostensibly to rescue the Russian Jews from an oppressive situation, but the subtext was clearly to strengthen Germany's diminishing Jewish community of 28,000.

This study was conducted in the spring of 2007 with the assistance of advanced undergraduates fluent in German in the German Studies Program at the College of William and Mary as well as various members of the Jewish community very close to the situation: Rabbi Steven Langnas, Professor Michael...
Author(s): Kosmin, Barry A.
Date: 2016
Abstract: Launched by the American Jewish Joint Distribution
Committee’s International Centre for Community
Development (JDC-ICCD), and conducted by a research
team at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut, USA)
between June and August 2015, the Third Survey of
European Jewish Leaders and Opinion Formers presents
the results of an online survey administered to 314
respondents in 29 countries. The survey was conducted
online in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German
and Hungarian. The Survey of European Jewish Leaders
and Opinion Formers is conducted every three or four
years using the same format, in order to identify trends
and their evolution. Findings of the 2015 edition were
assessed and evaluated based on the results of previous
surveys (2008 and 2011).
The survey posed Jewish leaders and opinion formers a
range of questions about major challenges and issues that
concern European Jewish communities in 2015, and about
their expectations of how communities will evolve over
the next 5-10 years. The 45 questions (see Appendix) dealt
with topics that relate to internal community structures
and their functions, as well as the external environment
affecting communities. The questionnaire also included
six open-ended questions in a choice of five languages.
These answers form the basis of the qualitative analysis
of the report. The questions were organized under the
following headings:
• Vision & Change (6 questions)
• Decision-Making & Control (1 question)
• Lay Leadership (1 question)
• Professional Leadership (2 questions)
• Status Issues & Intermarriage (5 questions)
• Organizational Frameworks (2 questions)
• Community Causes (2 questions)
• Jewish Education (1 question)
• Funding (3 questions)
• Communal Tensions (3 questions)
• Anti-Semitism/Security (5 questions)
• Europe (1 question)
• Israel (1 question)
• Future (2 questions)
• Personal Profile (9 questions)

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