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Date: 2014
Abstract: The article examines intercultural perception during the Hasidic pilgrimage in Ukraine on the examples of Uman and Medzhybizh. Pilgrimage is defined as a form of religious tourism, which is specifically expressed in the role of the sacred - the pilgrims do not need encounters with the Other (cross-cultural interaction), they search for the direct presence by the sacred object. Taking into account the closed character of this religious community, methodical emphasis of the research was made on semi-structured interviews with the locals (24 interviews in Medzhybizh, 10 interviews in Uman) and several Hasids (1 in Medzhybizh and 2 in Uman), as well as annual observations in Uman during the pilgrimage period in 2009-2012. The research gives ground to assert the existence of the conceptual differences in the perception of pilgrims by the locals of two mentioned settlements. Two basic topics are revealed in the perception of the phenomenon of pilgrimage: violation of the residents' comfort zone (leading theme in interviews with the locals) and a source of income for the population of Ukraine (one of the basic themes in interviews with the Hasids). The findings suggest that local residents perceive pilgrims mostly under the phase of «culture shock» or «honeymoon» phase, according to the three-phase concept of cross-cultural perception, offered by Furnhem and Bochner. This is facilitated by the multiplying image of an «eccentric pilgrim» in Ukrainian mass media and, at the same time, short-term nature of pilgrimage, closeness of the Hasidic community and consistent policy of mutual segregation. It is suggested that personal contacts with pilgrims affect more positive perception of pilgrimage, in a whole. Pilot interviews with the Hasids reveal that residents are perceived by pilgrims rather fragmentary: as landlords of apartments or representatives of the local Jewish community. Spatial isolationism, which accompanies the pilgrimage, narrows the possibilities for cross-cultural interactions.
Author(s): Gidley, Ben
Date: 2014
Abstract: On 12 June 2014, three Israeli teenagers were abducted in the West Bank, against a backdrop of heightened tension between the Israeli state and Palestinian forces, including a renewal of settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The abduction was followed by days of escalating violence, including a massive Israeli policing operation in the West Bank, the murder of a Palestinian teenager after the bodies of the kidnapped Israelis were found, and increasing numbers of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel. A series of Israeli air strikes on targets in Gaza on the night of 30 June'1 July marked the start of sustained Israel’s military engagement, and Operation Protective Edge was launched on 8 July, comprising initially of airstrikes on targets associated with rocket fire (with around 200 people killed in the strikes), followed by ground engagement a week later. De-escalation began on 3 August, with Israel withdrawing ground troops from Gaza, and an open-ended ceasefire concluded this round of the conflict on 26 August. In total, over 2100 Palestinians were killed (with estimates of civilians ranging between 50% and 76% of the losses), along with 66 Israeli combatants, 5 Israeli civilians and 1 Thai national. There were demonstrations against Israel’s prosecution of the conflict across the world, including several in the UK, as well as other manifestations of protest, such as public calls for and acts of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. There were some reports of antisemitic content in some of these demonstrations, against a broader context in which antisemitic incidents spiked dramatically. Over 130 antisemitic were recorded by the Community Security Trust (CST) in July, making it the highest monthly total since January 2009 (a previous period of war in Gaza and Israel’s Operation Cast Lead). This short report examines the 2014 protests, exploring the extent and degree of antisemitism in the anti'Israel protests, as well as the reporting of this antisemitism and its impact on the Jewish community. It focuses in particular on the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge. The research questions which this report attempts to address are: • What were the predominant discourses in the UK protests relating to Operation Protective Edge? • Were antisemitic discourses present? If so, how prevalent were they? • Are UK protests relating to Operation Protective Edge comparable in scale and in discourse to protests relating to other conflicts? • How do these issues relate to mainstream and Jewish media reporting on the conflict and on the demonstrations? • How do these issues and their media representation affect Jewish feelings about antisemitism?
Date: 2014
Abstract: Acknowledging that legislation and policy are technologies of power used to organize societies and influence how individuals construct themselves as subjects, this study examines the intersections of transnational discourses, the politics of memory, and post-Soviet reforms for tolerance and Holocaust education in contemporary Lithuania. Using a multi-sited, anthropological approach based on 2 years of fieldwork, the central focus of this study is how policies, programs, and discourses adopted for EU and NATO accession were appropriated by individuals on the ground. What this study finds is that while the historical facts of the Holocaust are generally not in debate, what tolerance and Holocaust education mean in contemporary Lithuanian identity and collective memory is still widely debated. The implications of these findings suggest that, even in resistance, Holocaust and tolerance education have been incorporated into local discourses about how Lithuanians view themselves as democratic citizens. Furthermore, while many studies about post-Soviet educational policies for tolerance and Holocaust education focus on local attitudes, pedagogical methods, or regional historical circumstances, this study takes the intersections of transnational policy discourses and national educational reforms as its starting point to examine not only what tolerance and Holocaust education mean to individuals in the local context, but what they mean in western policy conversations as well. The aim of this dissertation is to contribute comprehensive qualitative research to better understand how international policy conversations about education, memory, and politics are representative of international and transnational negotiations of power.
Author(s): Tzadik, Efrat
Date: 2014
Abstract: For many years anthropologists have researched other cultures. They were separate from the group they researched (Peirano, 1998). In recent years, anthropologists have started to conduct their research ‘at home’. Researching one’s own culture raises many questions regarding the position of the researcher in the field. It differs from a simple participatory observation since the researcher does not leave his or her own field, but belongs culturally to the field being studied, and as such gains access to more intimate topics. This special position the researcher has the advantage of being familiar with the field, but it may also cause conflicts and obstacles. This paper will reveal to the reader some of the experiences in the field and the mechanisms used to deal with these conflicts. In this chapter I situate myself as a Jewish Israeli woman seeking to explore my own community within the context of Jewish Israeli women in the Belgian Diaspora. Utilising the participatory observation approach I explore the questions concerned in "insider-outsider" research and the ethical considerations that underpin social science research of this kind. My starting point involves questions of "self" and identity before attempting to discuss my community; drawing on appropriate theorists, I explicate my particular religious-ethnic grouping with reference to the experiences, views and roles of women in this group. The chapter analyses the challenges faced by an anthropologist in conducting participatory observation into her own peer group, and in its conclusion will explain some of the mechanisms an anthropologist can incorporate in order to overcome these challenges. Looking into my own culture and conducting research into my own surroundings stemmed from the need to understand the steps leading to a person’s decision to migrate. I wanted to understand my own experience as an immigrant.
Date: 2014
Abstract: На основе архивных данных, региональной периодики и материалов работы автора в еврейской
общине Челябинска рассматривается ее история в 1989–2002 гг., а также наиболее значимые тенденции ее развития: языковая среда и специфика идентичности еврейского населения Челябинска,
создание культурно-просветительских и благотворительных организаций, возрождение традиционных институтов еврейских общин. Не последнюю роль в рассматриваемых процессах играли связи с
Израилем, международными благотворительными еврейскими организациями («Джойнт», «Сохнут»,
«Хабад Любавич Ор-Авнер»), которые оказывали общине помощь для удовлетворения культурных и
образовательных потребностей. Исследование еврейских общин в рамках диаспорной традиции перспективно для понимания как антропологии еврейских общин в бывшем СССР, так и иных феноменов, связанных с образом жизни в диаспоре.
Date: 2014
Author(s): Rüthers, Monica
Date: 2014
Abstract: Jews and Gypsies are marginal men in the cultural topographies of Europe. During the past 25 years, both minorities underwent a process of festivalization. Jewish Culture Festivals and Klezmer music as well as Gypsy Music Festivals and Balkan Beats became highly popular. Jewish and Gypsy spaces were established and serve as tourist borderzones for the encounters of "Europeans" with their exoticized Other. A new European folklore emerges, successfully blending kitsch and terror, remembrance and the romanticized nomadism of post-modern lifestyles. Two case studies of the Jewish Culture Festival in Kazimierz and the Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer reveal telling asymmetries. After 1989, the imaginary Jews were located in the former Jewish districts of Central European cities such as Cracow, Prague and Budapest or Czernowitz. The Holocaust became the foundation of a common European culture of remembrance, a new European tradition. Gypsies are revered as musicians, yet reviled as people. The very same regions of Jewish encoded "Central Europe" shifted eastward on the mental maps as soon as the Roma were concerned. Europeans are in fear of a Roma "invasion" from the East. The European ambivalence towards its Others is symptomatic of a community striving to imagine itself. In this process, to have or have not a common European history plays a pivotal role. The imaginary Jews seem to embody a common multicultural "European" past, whilst the Roma "come from India". They are represented as belly-dancing Orientals and used for drawing boundaries excluding non-Europeans.
Author(s): Salamensky, S. I.
Date: 2014
Abstract: A “Jew-themed” restaurant provides its patrons with broad-brimmed black hats with foot-long sidecurls to wear, and the menu has no prices; patrons must bargain, or “Jew,” the staff down. A play billed as a tribute to a lost Jewish community ends in a gag: Death throws back his shroud to reveal an open-brain-pate wig, à la the horror flick Nightmare on Elm Street. In a “traditional Jewish wedding dance,” “Jewish wealth” is represented by a local luxury: vacuum-packed juice boxes. In parts of the world where Jews, once populous, have nearly vanished because of oppression, forced exile, and genocide, non-Jews now strive to re-enact what has been lost. In this essay, I will consider three general cases of what I term “Jewface” minstrelsy and

“Jewfaçade” display, in Krakow, Poland; the village of Hervás in western Spain; and Birobidzhan, capital city of Russia’s far-eastern Jewish Autonomous Region, which is known as Birobidzhan as well. Jewface-resembling the “blackface” prevalent in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries-is the practice of music, dance, theatre, and/or extra-theatrical types of performance, primarily by non-Jews, intended to convey notions of historical Jewish life and culture. Jewfaçade involves architectural and decorative constructions, again mainly by nonJews, meant to evoke ideas of the Jew in similar ways. Ruth Ellen Gruber, the team of Daniela Flesler and Adrian Pérez Melgosa, and other journalists and scholars have documented what Michael Brenner has called “Jewish culture without Jews” in Poland and Spain, as well as elsewhere in Europe (Brenner 1997: 152). However, no comparative study has been made, and no scholar has approached this topic with regard to Birobidzhan. I will provide brief overviews of Jewface and Jewfaçade activities in Krakow, Hervás, and Birobidzhan. I will then demonstrate the ways in which the notions of the figure of the Jew and of local Jewish history are performed, or acted out in these three comparative geographical contexts. These cases, as, in conclusion, I will argue, represent three very different approaches to public memory and memorialization with regard to the Jew, and perhaps in regard to troubled historical legacies more generally.