Topics: Antisemitism, Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Interviews, Focus Groups, Orthodox Judaism
Abstract: Communal statistics and media reports reflect that there has been a resurgence of antisemitism. This paper explores whether this evidenced rise of antisemitism is effecting the Jewish community, in particular the Orthodox Jewish community. It elucidates the perceptions of Orthodox Jews in North London about the scale and significance of antisemitism. The study, which was informed by sociological framework, employed a qualitative approach using 28 semi-structured interviews and 5 focus groups. This article is important because it explores whether the perceptions of antisemitism were accentuated among this prime target group. This paper will first consider the shift in the manifestation of antisemitism which has been noted by Orthodox Jews. Second, this paper will consider the various contributory factors which influenced the framing of those varied perceptions.
Topics: Antisemitism, Hate crime, Focus Groups, Interviews, Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism, Jewish Identity, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Orthodox Judaism, Mental Health, Religious Belief, Trauma
Abstract: Records of antisemitic incidents in the UK have reached an all-time high in the last 3-5 years. I have used antisemitism to mean in this study: any form of hostility or prejudice towards Jews based on their identity. The main objective of this study is to explore a section of the Jewish community, which has been marginalised in research on antisemitism: The Orthodox Jewish community. Being most visible, as identifiable Jews, within the Jewish community, they are also the ones most frequently targeted. Drawing on qualitative data resulting from 28 interviews with Orthodox Jewish individuals as well as five focus groups with key stakeholder, this thesis explored the lived experienced of antisemitism within the Orthodox Jewish community. It investigated the types of antisemitic incidents, the impacts and meaning which participants attached to these incidents, the perceptions of antisemitism, the coping mechanisms which were adopted in order to respond to the climate of antisemitism and the perceptions of agencies which respond to antisemitism. The thesis generated four main findings. First, the pervasive nature of antisemitism and its prevalence within the lives of Orthodox Jews. Second, the awareness that there is a resurgence of antisemitism and that there has been a shift in its manifestation, making it more institutionalised and therefore powerful. Third, that despite the high prevalence rate of incidents among the community, most respondents chose to normalise and accept the victimisation. My thesis proposes that the reasons respondents were able to show agency and to accept the incidents is due to their strong religious identity and their close 3 community ties. Finally, this study offers recommendations to support the Orthodox Jewish community; to address in a practical way some remediable issues uncovered by this study.
‘Antisemitism is just part of my day-to-day life’: Coping mechanisms adopted by Orthodox Jews in North London
Topics: Antisemitism, Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism, Hate crime, Jewish Identity, Interviews, Focus Groups, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Mental Health, Religious Belief, Trauma, Orthodox Judaism
Abstract: This paper analyses the coping mechanisms which Orthodox Jews in North London have adopted in managing antisemitism. The study, which was informed by a sociological framework, employed a qualitative approach using 28 semi-structured interviews and five focus groups. The findings reveal that despite the high frequency of the victimisation, and despite the awareness among respondents that antisemitism has seen a resurgence in recent years, Orthodox Jews have managed to accept the victimisation. The way the Orthodox Jewish community has managed their victimisation of antisemitism is argued to be profoundly different from the dominant narratives of hate crime victims, in that by and large the majority of respondents accepted their victimisation. It proposes that respondents were able to show agency and to normalise the victimisation because of their strong religious identity and close community ties.