The Limmud mission, which emphasizes learning, diversity and community, has proven to be a compelling set of values. These values are central to international groups. Studies have shown that Limmud participants are highly likely to travel internationally and recognize that they are part of a global community. However, this is not enough. The question that needs to be addressed entails how being a member of an international community can help us strengthen the Jewish people.
Shifting the frame of reference from assimilation theory to globalization theory and the information technology revolution, Laguerre argues that Jewish neighborhoods are not simply transnational social formations, but are fundamentally transglobal entities. Connected to multiple overseas diasporic sites, their interactions reach beyond their homelands, and they develop the logic of their social interactions inside this larger network of relationships. As with all transglobal communities, there is constant movement of people, goods, communications, ideas, images, and capital that sustains and adds vibrancy to everyday life. Since all are connected through the network, Laguerre contends that the variable shape of the local is affected by and affects the global.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Tables, and Maps
1. Neighborhood Globalization
2. Paris’s Jewish Quarter: Unmade, Remade, and Transformed
3. Berlin’s Jewish Quarter: The Local History of the Global
4. London’s Jewish Neighborhoods: Nodes of Global Networks
5. Residential Districts Versus Business Districts
6. The Jewish Quarter as a Global Chronopolis
7. Paris’s City Hall and the Jewish Quarter
8. Heritage Tourism: The Jewish Quarter as a Theme Park
9. The Jewish Quarter, Other Diasporic Sites, and Israel
10. Information Technology and the Jewish Neighborhood
11. Neighborhoods of Globalization
Conclusion: Global Neighborhoods in the Global Metropolis
The new Jewish diaspora of a "heterogeneous people who thrive in secular societies" is here to stay, asserts Boston Globe journalist Tye (The Father of Spin). As these diverse Jewish communities have become not merely way stations but enduring homes, they have begun to remake Judaism itself. Tye tells this intriguing story through sketches of people and of life in seven cities. In Dsseldorf, he finds an Orthodox rabbi invoking a more pluralistic Judaism to educate Russian refugees. In Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, a fervent Lubavitcher Hasidic rabbi has energized a dormant community. In Buenos Aires, a Jewish polity fragmented by economic setbacks and anti-Semitic attacks has begun to revive with new models of worship and organization. In Paris, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews have forged ties that could serve as a model for their fractious brethren in Israel. Tye's chapter on Dublin, where the Jewish community is dying, may at first seem anomalous, but, he argues, their determination to reestablish their "Gaelic brand of Judaism" elsewhere is a testament to the ability of Jews to survive wherever they may be. His two American chapters focus on Boston, where the Jewish community has fused learning, spirituality and social justice, and Atlanta, where rival denominations work with considerable amity. Yet Tye's optimism might have been better contextualized by a broader survey. Though the author understandably had to winnow his examples from many compelling possibilities, readers may wonder about Jewish communities in such places as Melbourne, Montreal and Johannesburg. While not a breakout book, Tye's presentation of a new diaspora may intrigue a broad Jewish audience.
In this fascinating study, based on extensive field work in the major Israeli communities of New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Sydney, Steven J. Gold looks at emigrants' reasons for leaving - existing links abroad, political and economic dissatisfaction at home, the lure of world-class career opportunities and cultural environments in global cities, and in the case of the Sephardim (or Israelis of non-European origin) often a feeling of being treated as second-class citizens. He also examines the tensions, compromises, and satisfactions involved in their relations with Israelis who have not left and with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the countries in which they settle. In the final chapter, Gold talks to Israeli men and women who after years as emigrants have made the decision to return. The end result is a major contribution not just to the study of the Israeli diaspora but also to our wider understanding of migration and transnational identity.
Part I defines Judeo-Spanish, discusses the various names used to refer to the language, and presents a brief history of the Eastern Sephardim. The next part describes the language and its survival, first by examining the Spanish spoken by the Jews in pre-Expulsion Spain, and followed by a description of Judeo-Spanish as spoken in the Ottoman Empire, emphasizing the phonology, archaic features, new creations, euphemisms, proverbs, and foreign (non-Spanish) influences on the language. Finally, Harris discusses sociological or nonlinguistic reasons why Judeo-Spanish survived for four and one-half centuries in the Ottoman empire.
The third section of Death of a Language analyzes the present status and characteristics of Judeo-Spanish. This includes a description of the informants and the three Sephardic communities studied, as well as the present domains or uses of Judeo-Spanish in these communities. Current Judeo-Spanish shows extensive influences from English and Standard Spanish in the Judeo-Spanish spoken in the United States, and from Hebrew and French in Israel. No one under the age of fifty can speak it well enough (if at all) to pass it on to the next generation, and none of the informants' grandchildren can speak the language at all. Nothing is being done to ensure its perpetuation: the language is clearly dying.
Part IV examines the sociohistorical causes for the decline of Judeo-Spanish in the Levant and the United States, and presents the various attitudes of current speakers: 86 percent of the informants feel that the language is dying. A discussion of language and Sephardic identity from a sociolinguistic perspective comprises part V , which also examines Judeo-Spanish in the framework of dying languages in general and outlines the factors that contribute to language death. In the final chapter the author examines how a dying language affects a culture, specifically the role of Judeo-Spanish in Sephardic identity.
Foreword - Joëlle Aflalo and Gad Boukobza
Introduction - Eliahu Birnbaum
Summary of the Deliberations - Benjamin Myers
Jews in Europe - Ami Bouganim
Think Tank Participants
Sandra Lustig and Ian Leveson
PART I: OVERARCHING QUESTIONS
Chapter 1. A New Role for Jews in Europe: Challenges and Responsibilities
Chapter 2. European Models of Community: Can Ambiguity Help?
Clive A. Lawton
Chapter 3. Concepts of Diaspora and Galut
Chapter 4. ‘Homo Zappiens’: A European-Jewish Way of Life in the Era of Globalisation
Chapter 5. Israel and Diaspora: From Solution to Problem
PART II: INNER-JEWISH CONCERNS: REBUILDING AND CONTINUITY
Chapter 6. Left Over – Living after the Shoah: (Re-)building Jewish Life in Europe. A Panel Discussion
Chapter 7. Debora’s Disciples: AWomen’s Movement as an Expression of Renewing Jewish Life in Europe
Lara Dämmig and Elisa Klapheck
Chapter 8. A Jewish Cultural Renascence in Germany?
Y. Michal Bodemann
PART III: THE JEWISH SPACE IN EUROPE
Chapter 9. The Jewish Space in Europe
Chapter 10. Caught between Civil Society and the Cultural Market: Jewry and the Jewish Space in Europe. A Response to Diana Pinto
Ian Leveson and Sandra Lustig
Chapter 11. ‘The Germans Will Never Forgive the Jews for Auschwitz’. When Things Go Wrong in the Jewish Space: The Case of the Walser-Bubis Debate
Notes on Contributors