Abstract: Since the late 1980s, one of the world's largest Jewish populations has faced a unique dilemma: at the very time it has gained unprecedented freedoms, Soviet and post-Soviet Jewry has encountered political uncertainty, economic instability, and resurgent antisemitism. Jews in the former Soviet Union have been a population teetering simultaneously on the edge of decline and revival, and have had to decide whether to take advantage of the new opportunity to revive Jewish life and rebuild Jewish communities, live in the newly established states but disappear as Jews, or abandon their former homes and emigrate to Israel or elsewhere. Jewish Life after the USSR is the first book to study post-Soviet Jewry in depth. Its careful analyses of demographic, cultural, political, and ethnic processes affecting an important post-Soviet population also give insights into larger developments in the post-Soviet states. Contents: Introduction Jewish Life after the USSR: A Community in Transition Zvi GitelmanI. Jews and the Soviet Regime1. Religion, Israel, and the Development of Soviet Jewry's National Consciousness, 1967-1991 Yaacov Ro'i2. Nationalities Policy, the Soviet Regime, the Jews, and Emigration Theodore H. FriedgutII. Politics and Identity3. Thinking about Being Jewish in Russia and Ukraine Zvi Gitelman4. E Pluribus Unum? Post-Soviet Jewish Identities and their Implications for Communal Reconstruction Valery Chervyakov, Zvi Gitelman Vladimir Shapiro5. Russian Jews in Business Marshall I. Goldman6. Russian Antisemitism, 1996-2000 Robert J. BrymIII. Reconstructing Jewish Communities7. The Widening Gap Between Our Model of Russian Jewry and the Reality (1989-1999) Martin Horwitz8. From Leadership to Community: Laying the Foundation for Jewish Community in Russia Sarai Brachman Shoup9. Feasting, Memorializing, Praying, and Remaining Jewish in the Soviet Union: The Case of the Bukharan Jews Alanna Cooper10. The Revival of Academic Studies of Judaica in Independent Ukraine Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern11. Demography of the Jews in the Former Soviet Union: Yesterday and Today Mark ToltsIV. Jews and Russian Culture12. Jewish Converts to Orthodoxy in the Contemporary Period Judith Deutsch Kornblatt13. Jewish Artists in Russian Art: Painting and Sculpture from the 1960s to the 1990s Musya Glants14. Constructing Jewish Identity in Contemporary Russian Fiction Mikhail Krutikov.
Topics: Antisemitism, Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Attitudes to Jews
Abstract: Analyses two of the most recent polls concerning Russian Jews. The first survey was sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and was conducted between 12 January and 7 February, 1996, by ROMIR, one of Russia’s leading polling firms. The second survey was conducted by VCIOM, the oldest and perhaps most respected polling firm in the country, between 20 and 25 November, 1998, in the wake of Makashov’s speeches and the Duma’s failure to condemn them. Each poll surveyed a representative nationwide sample of about 1,600 Russian citizens. The two surveys allow us to reevaluate the optimistic and pessimistic interpretations of Russian antisemitism in the light of current developments. In particular, they provide us with an opportunity to examine what I want to call the “Makashov effect” – the polarization of opinion that occurs when political leaders legitimize antisemitism in a time of crisis. Understanding the Makashov effect will help us to assess the prospects for Russian antisemitism in the next couple of years