Translated Title: Promised Land: Reform Judaism in Russia and State of Israel
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Reform/Liberal/Progressive Judaism, Demography, Emigration, Aliyah, Attitudes to Israel
Translated Title: Russian Jews in the context of the Russian world: from religiosity to ethnicity and back?
Translated Title: Reform Judaism in Russia: Constructing a 'New Jew'
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Reform/Liberal/Progressive Judaism, Jewish Identity, Post-1989
Abstract: Реформистский иудаизм – относительно молодое течение. В России оно получило распространение в последние четверть века и в настоящее время представляет собой одну из попыток создания новой еврейской самоидентификации. Основываясь на собственном полевом материале, автор предлагает предварительные наблюдения и выводы, касающиеся этого течения.
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Ethnicity, Post-1989, Soviet Jewry, Assimilation, Interviews, Surveys
Abstract: For many centuries, ‘being a Jew’ was equivalent to ‘performing the ceremonial laws of Judaism’. Thus, ethnic and confessional principles coincided and reinforced the cultural identity of Jewry as an entity. Strong self-identification and in-group solidarity supported the high ‘ethnic temperature’ of this group. The processes of secularisation, which first took place in modern Europe and then spread to other regions, led, therefore, to the ‘cooling’ of the Jewish ethnic temperature. This process has its roots in different periods of Russian history and resulted in deep changes in Jewish identity.
Translated Title: In Search of the Self: Studying Jewish Identity
Translated Title: On the Collective Memory of Russian Jews at the Turn of the Century
Topics: Main Topic: Identity and Community, Jewish Identity, Christianity, Religious Belief, Religious Observance and Practice, Conversion, Ethnicity, Secularity
Abstract: For many centuries the attitude towards baptised Jews within Jewish society was extremely negative, as baptism was perceived as apostasy. This attitude persists to this day, even though many Jews have abandoned Judaism and a secular Jewish identity has emerged. After seven decades of Soviet rule, during which a new Soviet, wholly secular Jewish identity, was constructed, Jewish identity in the former Soviet Union (FSU) is based mainly on the ethnic principle. As a result of an almost total detachment from Judaism, some Soviet and former‐Soviet Jews have converted to Russian Orthodoxy. Moreover, we can see the formation of a paradoxical Russian Orthodox Jewish self‐identification in post‐Soviet Russia. This processes, its trends and peculiar features are poorly studied, a matter this paper intends to remedy.
Translated Title: Reformist Judaism in Contemporary Russia: Consequences of Contacts
"Lost Jews," "Chimeras," or "the Hope of the Nation"? Jews, Russia, Mixed Marriages, and Historical Memory Revisited
Abstract: Elena Nosenko-Shteyn focuses on the problem of Jewish assimilation through the lens of complex, qualitative survey research with people of mixed ethnic heritage in Russia. She has divided her 112 interlocutors into four basic groups: those already fully "Russian" in their self-image and values; those "cosmopolitan" or "international" enough to accept Jewish roots without prioritizing them; those who have "dual" or "transitional" identities that are often situational or fluid; and those who are "new Jewish," ready to embrace with renewed vigor the religion and customs of their ancestors.
. «Быть или чувствовать?» Основные аспекты формирования еврейской самоидентификации у потомков смешанных браков в современной России
Translated Title: "To Be or to Feel?" The Main Aspects of the Forming of the Jewish Identity among Mixed Marriage Descendants in Contemporary Russia
Abstract: Книга посвящена изучению формирования еврейской самоидентификации у потомков смешанных семей в современной России и построена на материале опросов, проводившихся автором в Москве и Петербурге. Автор выделяет несколько типов этнической самоидентификации у людей частично еврейского происхождения и анализирует различные факторы, в той или иной мере влияющие на ее становление.
Translated Title: "Russian Jews": "Real" or "Invented" Community
Abstract: A profound transformation of the cultural memory in the former Soviet Union has resulted in deep changes in the cultural identities of all Soviet—and ex-Soviet—ethnic and religious groups. This transformation led to a change of perceptions about sacred and profane spaces and the connections of these spaces to the urban landscape. As a result of complex historical and cultural processes, contemporary Russian Jewry is a highly heterogeneous community and its perception of traditional Jewish sacred places— synagogues, cemeteries, saints’ tombs—is that they have lost their function. During the Soviet era these places had often not been considered by Jews as sacred. Moreover, non-Jewish sacred places, like Christian churches, had, paradoxically,in some cases, become Jewish sacred places. The so-called Jewish renaissance in post-Soviet Russia has led to a revived interest in Judaism and Jewish traditions. Therefore, Jewish communal centers, philanthropic and youth organizations, centers for economic support, leisure time activities and places for Jewish sentiments and memories function as Jewish sacred places. This inversion of sacred and profane spaces, typical of post-modern culture, is visible, especially in small urban centers, where there are no synagogues and where the role of secular or semi-secular Jewish organizations is growing. In this article I will try to demonstrate the specifics of Jewish sacred and profane spaces in modern Russian urban centers.