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Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: JPR’s COVID-19 survey looks at how Jews have been impacted by the pandemic in terms of their health, jobs, finances, relationships and Jewish lives. The findings are being shared in a series of short reports looking at key policy issues, and this one focuses on the issue of how comfortable Jews feel about attending Jewish activities and events in person.

Drawing on survey responses from July 2020, it finds that whilst Jews situate themselves across the full length of the ‘comfort scale’ (running from very comfortable to very uncomfortable), there is a clear leaning towards the uncomfortable end.

Unsurprisingly, those who are uncomfortable are likely to be in older age bands and/or suffering from health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the virus. Similarly, those who have had the virus and continue to suffer from secondary symptoms (i.e. ‘Long COVID’) also tend to be uncomfortable about attending events in person.

However, there are some interesting exceptions. The most elderly appear to feel more comfortable than average, and the youngest age bands (those aged 16-24) feel more uncomfortable than average. Those who have had COVID-19 and recovered feel more comfortable than those who have not. And those who have experienced job losses, or have been furloughed, are rather less comfortable than those whose working loves have remained reasonably stable.

It is also very striking to see that, denominationally, the Strictly Orthodox feel most comfortable about attending in-person events, whereas non-synagogue members feel most uncomfortable. Members of other ‘mainstream’ denominations cluster together in between. However, people’s level of religiosity is actually a slightly better predictor than denomination of how comfortable they feel about attending community activities or events in person – those with strong religiosity are most likely to feel comfortable, and those with weak religiosity most likely to feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps most interestingly, there is an important relationship between how comfortable people feel about attending community activities and events in person, and their general state of mental health. Those showing signs of psychological distress feel notably less comfortable than others.

Brief details about the methodology used in the survey are contained in the report. A more detailed methodological is being prepared and will be available shortly.
Author(s): Dart, Jon
Date: 2020
Author(s): Allington, Daniel
Date: 2020
Author(s): Bolton, Matthew
Date: 2020
Abstract: This article analyses the British left’s response to allegations of antisemitism within the UK Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. It uses as its foil a collection of essays on the topic written over the course of the Corbyn era for leading online outlets of the contemporary Anglo-American left, and given away as a free e-book by Verso, the world’s biggest leftist publisher, during the 2019 British election campaign. On the basis of this collection, the article suggests that the Labour antisemitism crisis was the culmination of a long process of political and theoretical degeneration within the left. It argues that the tendency to reduce of the question of antisemitism to that of class “interests,” with antisemitism understood primarily as an “instrument” used by the powerful to divide the “oppressed,” leaves many leftists unable to comprehend the possibility of exterminatory antisemitism as an end-in-itself. The appeal of this approach lies in the apparent alibi against antisemitism it provides for those on the left, like Corbyn, whose interests supposedly coincide with those of “the oppressed,” and means that accusations of antisemitism within the left can be similarly denounced as cover for the underlying ‘interests’ of those making the accusation. The article argues that the insistence that the State of Israel is “a racist endeavour,” a claim which lay at the heart of the Labour antisemitism dispute, rests upon an arbitrary and ahistorical rejection of the notion of Jewish peoplehood. This critique itself draws upon a long history of right-nationalist and liberal-republican antisemitism in which Jews were viewed as an illegitimate “anti-nation,” and in its partiality is radically distinct from a critique of the nation-state as such. The article suggests that this same partiality and ahistoricity reappears in the inability of a class instrumentalist perspective to apprehend the intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, relationship between Israel and antisemitism, and the genocidal antisemitism of the Holocaust in particular.
Author(s): Ehsan, Rakib
Date: 2020
Abstract: In late 2019, the Henry Jackson Society commissioned polling organisation Savanta ComRes to undertake a survey involving a weighted sample of 750 British Muslims. Respondents were asked about their perspectives on a number of topics. These included: other faith groups; prominent geopolitical players; and the perceived level of Jewish global control. This represents one of the most systematic and comprehensive surveys into the socio-political attitudes –
both domestic and international – of British Muslims. According to the study:

- When compared with their perception of other faith groups, British Muslims have the least favourable attitude towards Jewish people.
- The only people viewed less favourably by British Muslims than Jewish people are those belonging to no religious group (atheists/non-believers).
- British Muslims who are more socially integrated through their friendship groups, have a more favourable view of both Jews and the State of Israel.

These are a number of observations of significance:

-A December 2019 ICM Unlimited poll found that 18% of the general population felt Jews have disproportionate influence over business and finance. In this survey of British Muslims, 34% were of the view that Jews have too much control over the global banking system.
- The same ICM poll found that 15% of the general population felt Jews have disproportionate influence in politics. In this Savanta ComRes poll, 33% of the British Muslim respondents were of the view that Jews have too much control over the global political leadership.
- On the matter of ‘dual loyalty’, the ICM survey found that 24% of the general population believed British Jews were more loyal to Israel than to the UK. The corresponding figure for British Muslims, in this survey by Savanta ComRes, is 44%.
- When compared to British Muslims who are not university-educated, British Muslims who are university-educated are more likely to agree with the view that British Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the UK, along with holding the broader belief that Jews have too much global control.
- The majority of British Muslims who report that they attend a mosque at least 3-4 times a week, believe British Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the UK – 55%. The corresponding figure for British Muslims who very occasionally or never attend a mosque is 34%
Author(s): Staetsky, Daniel
Date: 2020
Abstract: Since the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, concerns have been expressed that Jews have been disproportionately affected, with mortality levels among them abnormally high. Initial hypotheses arguing that this could largely be explained by geographical and age factors were both proven and challenged by a June 2020 paper published by the Office for National Statistics. It showed that Jews were more likely to be affected because of their above average age profile and where they tend to live (London and other urban centres), but that even after accounting for these and other socio-demographic variables, they were still found to be disproportionately vulnerable.

This short paper draws on existing evidence to investigate why this might be the case. In particular, it explores whether the long-established above average health profile of Jews in the UK has shifted in such a way as to result in elevated levels of mortality from COVID-19, and whether behavioural factors – particularly in the most Orthodox parts of the community – affect the numbers in any significant way. In brief, it finds that there has been no such change in the fundamental health status of British Jews, and that regardless of any specific issues within haredi communities, the vast majority of COVID-19 related deaths among Jews have occurred in the mainstream, non-haredi sector.

Its key conclusions are as follows:
1) Even though Jewish mortality from COVID-19 is high as it is for other Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, Jews are a completely different case and should be analysed and understood as such;
2) The high mortality levels found among Jews is not caused in any significant way by any particular developments occurring in the strictly Orthodox (haredi) population;
3) Elevated mortality among Jews may in part be due to the interconnected and contact-rich social and religious lives that Jews have, but further analysis is required to confirm this.
Author(s): Tollerton, David
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: In this article, we conduct a comprehensive study of online antagonistic content related to Jewish identity posted on Twitter between October 2015 and October 2016 by UK-based users. We trained a scalable supervised machine learning classifier to identify antisemitic content to reveal patterns of online antisemitism perpetration at the source. We built statistical models to analyze the inhibiting and enabling factors of the size (number of retweets) and survival (duration of retweets) of information flows in addition to the production of online antagonistic content. Despite observing high temporal variability, we found that only a small proportion (0.7%) of the content was antagonistic. We also found that antagonistic content was less likely to disseminate in size or survive for a longer period. Information flows from antisemitic agents on Twitter gained less traction, while information flows emanating from capable and willing counter-speech actors—that is, Jewish organizations—had a significantly higher size and survival rates. This study is the first to demonstrate that Sampson’s classic sociological concept of collective efficacy can be observed on social media (SM). Our findings suggest that when organizations aiming to counter harmful narratives become active on SM platforms, their messages propagate further and achieve greater longevity than antagonistic messages. On SM, counter-speech posted by credible, capable and willing actors can be an effective measure to prevent harmful narratives. Based on our findings, we underline the value of the work by community organizations in reducing the propagation of cyberhate and increasing trust in SM platforms.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Written by the world’s leading Jewish demographer, Professor Sergio DellaPergola, and Dr Daniel Staetsky, Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, this report shines a light on the demography of Jewish in Austria today, and presents in-depth analysis of fertility rates, age distribution data, patterns of Jewish identity, migration and intermarriage rates to predict Austrian Jewry’s future. It demonstrates, through careful and methodical analysis, that the population is projected to grow.

Whilst the Austrian Jewish population is small, its projected growth constitutes an important finding in European Jewish demography. The Jewish population of Europe has declined dramatically over the past century and a half, particularly as a result of mass migration and the Holocaust. Yet today, in several European countries, demographers are beginning to see signs of growth, driven particularly by high birth rates in the strictly Orthodox population. This study provides an important example of this phenomenon.

The report is a publication of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, an initiative established in 2019 to produce new data to support Jewish community planning across Europe. Funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, the Unit is working to produce country-specific reports annually, and this study about Austria is the first of these.

The report draws on three major sources of data: the 2001 Austrian Census, comprehensive records of the Austrian Jewish community and a survey carried out by a JPR/Ipsos consortium in 2018 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Key findings include:

Today the core Jewish population of Austria is estimated to be just above 10,000. The ‘core Jewish population’ consists of people who would explicitly identify themselves as Jews. This is the highest number of Jews observed in Austria since the 1960.
According to the Israeli Law of Return – which uses a broader definition to determine who is entitled to migrate to Israel and immediately apply for Israeli citizenship – the eligible Jewish population in Austria is currently about 20,000.
The core Jewish population constitutes 0.1% of the total population of Austria. 64% of all Austrians are Roman Catholics, 17% are unaffiliated in religious terms, and 8% are Muslims.
The Jewish population of Austria is growing and may reach 11,000-12,000 by the mid-2030s.
About 86% of all Austrian Jews reside in Vienna. Only 19% of all Austrians live in Vienna
The average number of children that a Jewish woman in Austria is expected to have in her lifetime is 2.5; strictly Orthodox Jewish women have 6–7 children per woman, on average, while non-strictly Orthodox Jewish women typically have about 2. The average among Austrian women in general is 1.5.
Migration has been a powerful factor of growth in the Austrian Jewish population. Jews born in Israel constitute about 20% of Jews in Austria today.
About 78% of Jewish households in Austria are affiliated with the Jewish community through membership of its representative organisation. Compared to other communities around the world, this is a very high level of affiliation.
About 30% of Jews in Austria identify as ‘Orthodox’ or ‘Traditional’ and 19% as ‘strictly Orthodox.’ 15% identify as ‘Reform/Progressive’ and 19% as ‘just Jewish.’ Austrian Jewry has one of the highest proportions of strictly Orthodox Jews of all European Jewish communities.
Due to their high fertility, the strictly Orthodox represent the main engine of population growth for the Jewish community as a whole. For the same reason, their share in the Jewish population is expected to increase significantly in the medium term.
About two thirds (70%) of partnered Austrian Jews have a Jewish partner.
About 70% of all Jewish children of compulsory school age in Austria attend Jewish schools. While 100% of strictly Orthodox Jews attend Jewish schools, among the non-strictly Orthodox uptake is still significant – about 52%.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Growing up Jewish in Poland presents the findings of a study about the developmental trajectories of 17 children and adolescents from 14 families living in Poland who attended the Lauder-JDC International Jewish Youth Camp Szarvas (Hungary) for the first time at the time of the study (2015-2018). Resorting to a longitudinal analysis, the present study aims to examine what happens, over a period of three years, to a group of Jewish boys and girls that have experienced a Jewish summer camp for the first time in summer 2015. The study focused on the role that the summer camp itself plays in shaping a proactive Jewish life but also analyzed more globally other aspects that influence Jewish participation. What are the main factors that affect Jewish participation both on the kid’s and on the parents’ perspective? What are the possible “Jewish” trajectories of 13-to-16-year-old teenagers in Central Eastern Europe? Do they keep connected with Jewish life? If yes, how? What’s their scale of values? What are their priorities, their hopes, and their perceived future as they make their way from teenagehood to young adults?

The main methodological feature of this study lies in it being a qualitative, longitudinal, observational cohort study. In contrast to most studies that explore development retrospectively, this study involved interviewing first-time Szarvas campers and their families over a longer period, with up to three consecutive interviews per family over a period of three years. To our knowledge, this research experience is unique in Jewish Europe.
Author(s): Verschik, Anna
Date: 2020
Abstract: Aims and Objectives/Purposes/Research Questions:
Studies on incomplete first language(L1) acquisition emphasize restricted input, the low prestige of heritage/immigrant/minority lan-guages, and age of acquisition as significant factors contributing to changes in L1. However, it is notalways clear whether it is possible to distinguish results of incomplete acquisition and contact-induced language change. This article deals with two Yiddish–Lithuanian bilinguals who acquiredboth languages at home (recorded in 2010 and 2011). The focus of the article is the absence of theYiddish past tense auxiliary in both informants and the replacement of Yiddish discourse-pragmaticwords by their Lithuanian or English equivalents in the speech of the second informant.
Design/Methodology/Approach:
Qualitative analysis of the speech of two Yiddish–Lithuanianbilinguals.
Data and Analysis:
Two sets of recordings analyzed for the past tense use and other featuresmentioned in Yiddish attrition studies.
Findings/Conclusions:
Restricted input is to be considered as a factor inany case. However, it isargued that phenomena reported in the heritage language literature are often the same as in thecontact linguistic literature: impact on non-core morphosyntax, prosody, and word order areusually mentioned as primary candidates of contact-induced structural change. Based on purelylinguistic phenomena, it is not possible to distinguish between the results of acquisition under theconditions of limited input and in other contact situations where limited input is not necessarily thecase. Many features of the informants’ Yiddish are a result of Lithuanian impact.
Originality:
Yiddish–Lithuanian early bilingualism is extremely rare nowadays. The data andanalysis contribute to a general understanding of the interplay between contact-induced languagechange and limited input.
Significance/Implications:
Unlike what is often presumed, it is not always possible to makecomparisons to monolinguals or balanced bilinguals because monolingual speakers of Yiddish donot exist
Date: 2020
Author(s): Topolski, Anya
Date: 2020
Abstract: In this contribution, Topolski argues that the erasure and denial of Europe’s race–religion constellation can help us understand how it has been possible to resurrect the divisive, exclusionary and problematic myth of a ‘Judaeo-Christian’ tradition in Europe. While this term can be, and has been, used in diverse and contradictory ways in the past few decades, Topolski is most interested in how it masks Islamophobia. To do this, she turns to Europe’s denied race–religion constellation. She contends that we cannot understand European racism, past or present, without making the race–religion constellation visible, and that its invisibility today is not accidental. Next, Topolski wants to show how the current resurrection of the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ serves to mask and conceal the race–religion constellation. The focus is thus on the exclusion of religions that have not assimilated to the accepted secularized norms of white Christianity, particularly its Aryan/Protestant form, and how this exclusion is connected to the race–religion constellation. In the final part, Topolski explains how the latter might serve the collapsing European project, as well as struggling nation-states, as a scapegoat mechanism to blame Europe’s Others for problems Europe has itself created. This leads to their further exclusion and a lack of tolerance in terms of practice and rituals (which might be connected). For these reasons, Topolski argues we need to reject the use of the term ‘Judaeo-Christian’ and make visible the hidden race–religion constellation.
Author(s): Jansen, Yolande
Date: 2020
Author(s): Kalmar, Ivan
Date: 2020
Author(s): Sherwood, Yvonne
Date: 2020
Author(s): Salner, Peter
Date: 2020
Abstract: This study discusses anti-Semitism in Slovakia after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The introductory section presents an overview of the most destructive manifestations of anti-Semitism during 1918-1920, the Holocaust, and the Communist era (1948-1989). Anti-Semitism in Slovakia is less aggressive than in many other countries of the European Union. Physical violence is especially rare, and even the defacement of Jewish sites (particularly cemeteries) is typically motivated by vandalism, rather than by anti-Semitism. The most frequent expression of prejudice against Jews takes the form of verbal insults. These are predominantly used by children, who hear them from their families. Children (and adults) generally view these words as a regular part of the language culture and do not attribute a pejorative context to them. Between 1990 and 2019, anti-Semitism became embedded in the ideological equipment of certain political parties. In the process, it has moved from the margins of society to its center. Although I have examined different aspects of anti-Semitism in Slovakia in the past,2 it was only while writing this study that I could more thoroughly consider the various manifestations of this phenomenon in the current democratic milieu. Jews in Slovakia3 welcomed the Velvet Revolution of 1989 with the hope that it would usher in a brighter future. At the same time, some members of the community—especially the older generation—voiced concerns that the newfound freedom of expression would once again allow people to fulfill the adage that every change is a change for the worse. The history of Slovakia in the 20th century provides at least three examples which affirm this unfortunate Jewish experience.
Author(s): Graham, David
Date: 2020
Abstract: This report, published in conjunction with the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town, contains a detailed demographic assessment of the South African Jewish population and the results of the 2019 Jewish Community Survey of South Africa – the largest and most extensive study of its kind ever undertaken. The fieldwork for the survey generated a final sample of 4,193 individuals (aged 18 and over) living in 2,402 unique households. Accounting for everyone living within those households, the report draws on data on 5,287 individuals.

Authored by JPR Senior Research Fellow Dr David Graham, the report finds that the Jewish population of the country has declined over the past twenty years, mainly as a result of migration, but also due to the natural ageing of the population. Jews have emigrated from South Africa in significant numbers since the 1960s; the study speculates that the South African Jewish diaspora may now be larger than the Jewish population living in South Africa.

However, despite the numerical decline, the report demonstrates that the South African Jewish community is remarkably vibrant and resilient. Overall, Jewish identity in South Africa appears to be stronger, and more religious, than in either Australia or the UK and the community remains very close-knit.

The study finds significant differences between the Jewish communities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, with 48% in Johannesburg self-identifying as either Orthodox or strictly Orthodox, compared with 22% in Cape Town. In Cape Town 40% self-describe as Progressive or Secular, compared with 18% in Johannesburg.

The report explores South African Jews' sense of belonging to the country and sense of satisfaction with their lives, as well as their attitudes to issues such as unemployment, government corruption and crime levels, anti-Israel sentiment and antisemitism. It also contains new data on synagogue membership and Jewish school enrolment.

The study is designed to provide an up-to-date set of empirical data to help Jewish community leaders plan for the future, including those involved in social care, health and welfare, education, religious life and combating antisemitism.
Author(s): Plen, Matthew
Date: 2020
Abstract: Jewish social justice education is an active and growing field of practice, encompassing a diverse range of agendas and practices: teaching Jewish texts and values around issues of refugees, human rights and environmental justice; organising members of the Jewish community to oppose the occupation of the Palestinian territories and support the Israeli Left; advancing gender equality and LGBT+ inclusion within the community through informal education and training; engaging Jewish students in volunteer service-learning projects to alleviate poverty in the developing world; building inter-faith coalitions to work on local agendas such as housing, crime and healthcare; encouraging a culture of charitable giving and volunteering among Jewish young people; and mobilising Jews in the national and international political arenas around issues such as gun violence, climate change, immigration, hate crime and antisemitism. Yet Jewish social justice education remains an under-researched and under-theorised phenomenon. This theoretical lacuna has practical implications for the thousands of educators and activists across the world who are attempting to achieve social justice ends through the medium of Jewish education but have no well thought-out rationale as to what this might mean and, consequently, cannot know if it has any chance of success. This thesis explores possible theoretical foundations for Jewish social justice education by creating a hermeneutical dialogue between Freirean critical pedagogy, Catholic models of social justice education, Jewish social justice literature and interviews with thinkers and practitioners who consider themselves to be part of the Jewish social justice education enterprise. After drawing out and analysing the philosophical, political and educational themes that emerge from this dialogue, I propose three possible directions a coherent normative theory of Jewish social justice education could take: ‘Jewish politics in a renewed public sphere’, ‘Jewish education for relational community building’ and ‘Jewish critical pedagogy for cultural emancipation’.