Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Jewish Community, Diaspora, Sephardi Jews
Abstract: Since the ancient times, Jews used to be in a diasporic situation. While embracing new elements, being in and out of their borders, in and out of their communities and regarding social, political and economical factors of the place they lived in, the Jewish people were reconsidering and reconstructing their ethnoreligious and cultural identity. In this paper, the contemporary Jewish identity will be explored, —both individually and collectively— in the context of the pluralistic city of Thessaloniki, Greece. Which are the components that their identity is compromised of? On the one hand, how does the factor of their recent Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) origin influence their identitarian reference? On the other hand, how does the current state of Israel remodel and form new identitarian aspects of them? And finally, how does the Greek context affect their personal, communal and national identity? Living in a Greek secular state, where the majority of its citizens regard themselves as Orthodox Christian believers, what relations might be shaped between the non Jews and the Jews? How do the Jews perceive their self identity? By using empirical data of fieldwork, the writer will endeavor to attribute the diasporic paths of the long term indigenous, Greek, Jewish identity —both national and religious— in the geographical place of the city of Thessaloniki.