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Date: 2016
Date: 2016
Abstract: Although different patterns of political participation among self-aware minority groups have spurred much debate in the academic circles, especially in stable democracies, this issue remains understudied in the newer post-communist societies and notably so the post-conflict countries of former Yugoslavia. Much of the existing research conducted in established democracies has demonstrated that increased levels of national minority political involvement are directly related to democratic development, but that these groups are shunning more traditional forms of engagement, notably political party membership in favour of direct engagement through informal participation. Nevertheless, there is very little understanding of what national minority political participation represents in post-conflict states, as much scholarly research has termed it as underground, invisible or inexistent. Despite this, there is evidence that in these states formal political participation of national minority groups is still strong, but it remains unknown to what degree this occurs, what factors influence this behavior and to what degree is this behavior present among autochthon minority groups. As active political participation of national minorities plays an important role in the democratization and stabilization of such societies, this represents an important gap in our knowledge. This thesis aims to investigate the level of conventional political participation and the trigger factors for such engagement of two significant, yet contrasting national minority groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), namely Jews and Poles. To do this, a mixed-method approach embedded in the transformative paradigm is employed, combining qualitative and quantitative findings of fieldwork. The thesis assesses eight indicators of formal political participation and reveals whether we can observe new trends when it comes to conventional engagement of these two, but also whether their influence remains limited due to their inability to formally participate in the government. It finds that both groups are political communicators, which choose to opt out of political party membership or financial support to electoral campaigns, because they feel alienated from formal politics due to constitutional limitations. However, this exit from the highest forms of political participation is not coupled with total disengagement, as both groups are actively engaged in other forms of formal political activism. This thesis concludes that new trends of political behaviour are emerging among the two observed groups, and especially so among their youth.
Author(s): Kucia, Marek
Date: 2016
Abstract: Drawing upon developments in cultural and social memory studies and Europeanization theory, this article examines the Europeanization of Holocaust memory understood as the process of construction, institutionalization, and diffusion of beliefs regarding the Holocaust and norms and rules regarding Holocaust remembrance and education at a transnational, European level since the 1990s and their incorporation in the countries of post-communist Eastern Europe, which is also the area where the Holocaust largely took place. The article identifies the transnational agents of the Europeanization of Holocaust memory—the European Union’s parliament, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the United Nations. It analyzes chronologically the key Holocaust-related activities and documents of these agents, highlighting East European countries’ varied and changing position towards them. It examines synchronically the outcome of the Europeanization of Holocaust memory by these transnational agents—a European memory of the Holocaust—identifying its key components, discussing the main aspects, and illustrating the impact of this process and outcome upon the memory of the Holocaust in the East European countries. The article argues that the Europeanization of Holocaust memory has significantly contributed to the development of Holocaust memory in Eastern Europe, although other agents and processes were also involved.
Date: 2016
Abstract: This research contributes to the understanding of the process of reconstructing the memory of Jews in contemporary Poland. Focusing on a case study of a town in southern Poland, Mszana Dolna, the study analyses how Jewish/non-Jewish relations and the history of the Jews of the town are remembered by the current inhabitants of Mszana, as well as by Holocaust survivors and their families. The research is based on an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of memory, using in depth oral history interviews, archival and other written materials, as well as participant observation as sources of analysed data. The study concentrates on the memory of the life in Mszana before, during and after the war in terms of the coexistence of two communities, Jewish and non-Jewish ones. Focusing mainly on the annual commemoration of the shooting of the Jews of Mszana in August 1942 by non-Jewish members of the community and their participation in the educational programmes, the research elucidates the process of regaining the Jewish heritage of the town by non-Jewish inhabitants and incorporating it into the past of the community of Mszana. Identifying the variety of levels of interactions between Jews and non-Jews before the war, it argues that the interrupted coexistence of both groups in Mszana resulted in the void which remained after the destroyed Jewish community. The memory of Jews found its place in the oral history for several decades. Through examining the forms of remembrance of the Jews in Mszana, this study attempts to illustrate the transition of the memory of Jews from private sphere of life to the public discourse on the Jewish inheritance of the town.
Date: 2016
Date: 2016
Abstract: Objective: To explore determinants of participation in breast cancer screening in orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, and to uncover their opinions and attitudes towards screening, and thereby to detect ways to optimize participation. Study design: Focus group discussions were performed during the last months of 2011 and the first half of 2012 to explore motivation to participate or not in breast cancer screening. Groups consisted of five to seven women. Inclusion criteria were: being female, considering oneself as orthodox Jewish, aged between 50 and 69 years. Results: Three focus group discussions with in a total of 20 women had taken place. All participants in the focus group discussions had a screening mammography taken on a regular base. All participants agreed that the social cohesion between Jewish orthodox women and the importance that is given to healthcare within the Jewish tradition are important contributors to their participation in a breast cancer screening program. Pain, lack of information during the exam, lack of confidence in the quality of the exam, perceived problems when the examining doctor/technician is male, and fear of the results are mentioned as barriers. The participants, however, state that these were not important enough to result in non-participation. Barriers could be diminished by information sessions specifically aimed at orthodox Jewish women. Conclusion: This qualitative research demonstrates a generally positive attitude of orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, towards mammographic breast cancer screening. Increased and repeated structured information sessions are likely to improve breast cancer awareness in this population.
Author(s): Yakimenko, Svetlana
Date: 2016
Abstract: Since 1989 Project Kesher has worked bringing women together, creating a network of Jewish women, helping women who knew nothing or very little about what it means to be Jewish, not only to become Jewish, but to create and strengthen Jewish community life in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. We shared success and analyzed the changes. We felt that we were one people.

Due to the present political crises we lost our vision as one Jewish people, we became divided. It was clear Project Kesher needed to take action. We started with International Skype calls. Every evening one woman from Russia, one from Ukraine, one from Belarus, one from Israel called a woman in another country: talking, sharing our love and support, wishing peace. When women started calling each other again and restoring broken relationships we saw that “KESHER” – connection – is working.

One day when there was a serious military clash in the area where she lived one of our leaders proposed to read Tehilim (Psalms), as prayers for peace. Soon more than one hundred women were reading Psalms, creating a chain of peace. Such a spirit of peace prevailed even at a time when the air was filled with war.

In Russia there are refugee families from different regions of the Ukraine. Sometimes they lost everything. Project Kesher women’s groups in cooperation with other Jewish organizations collected clothes, foot-wear as well as school-bags, school record books, sketchbooks, colored paper, paperboard, plasticine, pencil boxes, paints and markers for refugee children. Project Kesher activists also actively participated in organizing camps for refugees in Kharkiv and the Dnipropretrovsk region (Ukraine).

In times of conflict the wish to live in peace is not enough. Women needed instruments for conflict resolution. Project Kesher developed a unique leadership training program with the aim to enable the participants to conduct trainings in conflict resolution themselves in Jewish communities and partner organizations and to engage in mediation. These trainings are often based on Jewish tradition and text study.

A special event is Project Kesher’s Global Women’s Seder that was celebrated in 2015 for the 21st time. No less than 2500 members of 140 Project Kesher women’s and youth groups in 110 cities and five countries – Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Russia and the Ukraine – participated this year. The participants spoke about peace and declared that they intended to do everything possible to maintain peace in their families and in society. With the energy it sets free Project Kesher continues to initiate positive changes.
Author(s): Vrzgulová, Monika
Date: 2016
Date: 2016
Abstract: Der Fachkräfteaustausch "Commitment without Borders – Transnational Network against Antisemitism" zwischen Deutschland und der Türkei ist ein Partnerprojekt von KIgA und den Organisationen Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfi (TOG) und Karakutu („Blackbox“) aus Istanbul. Das Projekt befasst sich mit den unterschiedlichen Erfahrungen, Herausforderungen und Chancen von historisch-politischer Bildung zum Holocaust und der kritischen Auseinandersetzung mit Antisemitismus in beiden Ländern.

Im gegenseitigen Austausch erkunden Praktiker_innen aus Wissenschaft, außerschulischer Bildung und Gedenkstättenpädagogik die Geschichte und Gegenwart von Vorurteilen, Diskriminierung und politischer Gewalt sowie der Erinnerungskulturen in den jeweiligen nationalen Kontexten. Im Rahmen gemeinsamer Studienreisen, Workshops und Fachtagungen setzen sie sich mit aktuellen Diskursen auseinander, lernen pädagogische Akteure, Ansätze und Methoden kennen und entwickeln gemeinsam Handlungsstrategien. Erste Ergebnisse aus dem gemeinschaftlichen Lern- und Arbeitsprozess werden in Form der vorliegenden Publikation zugänglich gemacht.

Im ersten Kapitel mit dem Titel "Theorie Antisemitismus und Holocaust Education – Hintergründe und Diskurse" vermitteln Projektteilnehmer_innen Einblicke in Diskurse und zeigen die unterschiedlichen gesellschaftlichen Voraussetzungen in der Türkei und in Deutschland auf.

Das zweite Kapitel mit dem Titel "Praxis Einblicke in die pädagogische Arbeit" umfasst die Darstellung einiger der Methoden, die im Laufe des Projektes durchgeführt, diskutiert und bearbeitet wurden. Der Auswahl liegt der Wunsch nach Vermittlung einer möglichst großen Diversität von pädagogische-didaktischen Zugängen wie auch inhaltlichen Bezügen des Themenfelds zugrunde.

Das dritte Kapitel mit dem Titel "Reflexionen Rückblicke auf das Projekt und Ausblicke in die Zukunft" bezieht sich auf den diskursiven und produktiven Charakter des Projekts. Es spiegelt die kritischen Reflexionen und intensiven Diskussionen zu den im Laufe des Projektes vorgestellten, angedachten und besprochenen Inhalten und gibt somit einen vertieften Einblick in die partnerschaftliche Arbeit und den intensiven Austausch.

Die Publikation schließt mit einem Serviceteil, in dem sich die Projektpartner in beiden Ländern vorstellen.
Date: 2016
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2016
Abstract: Using an integrated archival and ethnographic approach, this study investigates how the growing Haredi Jewish minority and the UK government negotiate their positions in the context of healthcare services in Manchester as one of the few sites where they directly engage. Low-level uptake of certain maternal and infant health interventions has led to claims that Haredi Jews are ‘hard to reach’ or a ‘non-compliant community.’ This thesis critically engages the above outlook by exploring how responses to healthcare services should be framed.
Rather than evading the NHS altogether, as the ‘hard to reach’ label implies, Haredi Jews in Manchester selectively negotiate healthcare services in order to avoid a cosmological conflict with the halachic custodianship of Jewish bodies. Maternal and infant care is situated as a particularly sensitive area of minority-state relations in which competing constructions of bodily protection are at play. Whilst maternal and infant care has historically formed part of the state’s strategy to govern the population, it is increasingly being seized as a point of intervention by Haredi rabbis, doulas, and parents when attempting to reproduce the Haredi social body.
Following Roberto Esposito’s (2015 [2002]) theoretical elaboration of ‘immunitas’ the present work depicts the margins as giving rise to antonymic conceptions of ‘immunity’ as a means of protecting collective life. Interventions that the state regard as protecting the health of the nation can, in turn, be viewed as a threat to the life of the Jewish social body. Immunity at the margins can be characterised by an antonymic fault of both the Haredim and the state to understand each other’s expectations of health and bodily care. The margins of the state illustrate how responses to healthcare interventions can be entangled within a struggle of integration, insulation, and assimilation for minority groups in ways that are contiguous over time.
Author(s): Hochberg, Gil Z.
Date: 2016
Author(s): Sapiro, Philip
Date: 2016
Abstract: This thesis presents an investigation into the population geography of Jewish residents of England and Wales in the twenty-first century. The aims of the study are to understand the spatial distribution of the group; identify whether there are distinct differences between groupings in different parts of the country; identify whether the demographics and nature of these groups is changing over time; and to examine whether the pattern for Jews is similar to those for other minority groups of comparable size. Most importantly, the thesis theorises what the patterns found may mean for the demographic future of Anglo-Jewry. The results provide a clearer foundation for organisations responsible for the social welfare of Jewish groups in various parts of the country. In addition, as Jews have been present in Britain in significant numbers for longer than other minority groups, it provides useful insights into future trajectories for more-recently arrived groups. Thus, the findings provide an improved basis for policy formulation by the public authorities with wider responsibilities for combating disadvantage and improving social cohesion. Building on an understanding of the history of Jewish settlement in Britain, and existing demographic studies, the analysis presented takes advantage of the inclusion of a question on religion in the 2001 and 2011 censuses. The principal data sources are census outputs, including Special Migration Statistics, individual microdata, and the Longitudinal Study. The analysis investigates the heterogeneity of the group through the development of a novel geodemographic classification methodology that addresses weaknesses in other approaches and the particular needs of small, unevenly distributed sub-populations. It finds evidence of seven distinct classes, with a strong spatial clustering to their distribution. The spatial distribution of Anglo-Jewry is examined in the context of other minority groups, including previously under-studied Arabs and Sikhs; that analysis finds a strong commonality to the pattern for Jews and some other small groups – their trajectories demonstrating a tension between the benefits of group congregation (apparently driven by religion, even in sub-populations defined by ethnic group) and a desire for suburbanisation. It also identifies the strong impact of geographic scale when drawing conclusions based on distribution indices. The underlying drivers of internal migration, an important contributor to changes in spatial distribution, are examined using logistic regression, having first legitimated the use of (post-move) census-derived characteristics in migration analysis. The assessment finds a broad consistency in underlying determinants of migration and, for the Jewish group, an absence of a group penalty inhibiting the propensity to move home, present for other small groups. The patterns of recent internal migration are analysed using spatial interaction modelling and multi-nominal logistic regression; longer term (1971 onwards) patterns are also examined. Based on these analyses, and allowing for potential future patterns of births and longevity, population trends found through an innovative application of the 2011-based geodemographic analysis to 2001 census data are extrapolated to produce estimates of the Jewish population of England and Wales for future decades. The novel approach used takes account of group heterogeneity and absence of group-specific fertility and mortality data. The projection demonstrates an increasing Jewish population, in contrast to the reduction seen during the second half of the twentieth century, but with a growing proportion being found in strictly orthodox enclaves, which gives rise to a number of societal and policy implications.