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Author(s): Barth, Theodor
Date: 2010
Abstract: Travelogue – On the Contemporary Understandings of Citizenship among European Jews – title and subject of Theodor Barth’s thesis – encompasses six books with ethnography based on a multi-sited fieldwork, in Central- & Eastern European Jewish communities.


The books are concerned with aspects of their own conditions of production, from fieldwork research to writing, alongside the ethnographic subject of the Travelogue: the conditions of Jewish communities (mainly in cities of Central and Eastern Europe) in the last half of the 1990s (1995-99).

The books root the model experiments developed throughout the Travelogue in different ethnographic contexts.

Book 1 (Spanning the Fringes – Vagrancy to Prague) is a traveller’s tale with quite contingent, serendipitous, and very short-term trips to sample Jewish life in St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kiev, Bucharest, Sofia, and Budapest.

Book 2 (The Minutes of the ECJC) is a commentary and analysis around a conference which the candidate attended in Prague in 1995 of the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC). It focuses on the political work and changing strategies of the ECJC. This book establishes some of the terms of the problems of community-Jews in Europe.

Book 3 (The Zagreb Almanach) is a description and analysis of the candidate’s stay with the Jewish community of Zagreb, focusing on a place, a green room, the community centre itself—this is the closest to a traditional site of community living in his ethnographic research.

Book 4 (The Books of Zagreb and Sarajevo) provides a contemporary and contextualized reading of a key Jewish ritual complex—the Passover Seder and its text, the Haggadah. This is a cultural object for systematic iteration and commentary, on which to articulate in depth a number of his insights gained more diffusely from observation. Among all the books, book 4 is the one intensive piece in which the textual analysis defines a process through which the candidate intends to sensitise the reader to how pattern can emerge from details.

Book 5 (Thirteen Kisses—a Manual of Survival From Sarajevo) relates a testimonial account of how the activist group La Benevolencija functioned in Sarajevo humanitarian relief during the Bosnian War of 1992-95. The candidate hopes to demonstrate a slow transition from wartime testimonials in the presence of an anthropologist, to recognition in the urban commonwealth in the aftermath of the war. He also invites the reader to consider the particularities of survivor testimonies and contrast these to how the war-zone was perceived from the outside.

Book 6 (The Account of the Lifeline) provides an understanding of a search and accountability model developed by La Benevolencija—in co-operation with the Joint—during the war in Bosnia (1992-95). It consolidates and expands the account of the Jews in Sarajevo and their humanitarian actions, through the candidate’s work on archives of the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) in Paris.

The six books of the Travelogue are rounded up in three concluding sections, containing 1) a synopsis of the findings across the books (Frames – Modeling Disordered Systems), 2) an account for the process of visual modeling throughout the books (Design – Choices and Aggregates), 3) a bibliographic presentation in which various sources influenced the conceptual choices and experiments that are made throughout the manuscript are discussed (Bibliography: Reflective Readings). In this way, the candidate hopes to retrace his steps from the findings, via the crafting of the volume back to the ranks of colleagues and readers.
Author(s): Rock, Jonna
Date: 2019
Abstract: This study analyzes issues of language and Jewish identification pertaining to the Sephardim in Sarajevo. Complexity of the Sarajevo Sephardi history means that I explore Bosnia-Herzegovina/Yugoslavia, Israel and Spain as possible identity-creating factors for the Sephardim in Sarajevo today. My findings show that the elderly Sephardic generation insist on calling their language Serbo-Croatian, whereas the younger generations do not really know what language they speak – and laugh about the linguistic situation in Sarajevo, or rely on made-up categories such as ‘Sarajevan.’ None of the interviewees emphasize the maintenance of Judeo-Spanish as a crucial condition for the continuation of Sephardic culture in Sarajevo. Similarly, the celebration of Jewish holidays is more important for the maintenance of identity across the generations than speaking a Jewish language. At the same time, the individuals also assert alternative forms of being Bosnian, ones that encompass multiple ethnicities and religious ascriptions. All the youngest interviewees however fear that the Sarajevo Sephardic identity will disappear in a near future. Unique characteristics of Sarajevo Sephardim include the status of the Sephardim and minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina given (1) the discriminatory Bosnian Constitution; (2) the absence of a law in Bosnia on the return of property; (3) the special situation wherein three major ethnic groups, and not just a single, ethnically homogeneous ‘majority,’ dominate the country; (4) the lack of a well-developed Jewish cultural infrastructure. Despite all of this, a rapprochement between the Sarajevo Jewish Community members and their religion and tradition is taking place. This phenomenon is partly attributable to the Community’s young religious activist and chazan, Igor Kožemjakin, who has attracted younger members to the religious services.
Author(s): Rock, Jonna
Date: 2018
Abstract: This article highlights issues pertaining to the Sephardim ([-im] is the masculine plural Hebrew ending and Sepharad is the Hebrew name for Spain. Sephardim thus literally means the Jews of Spain) in Sarajevo from the time of their arrival in the Ottoman Empire in the late fifteenth century until the present day. I describe the status quo for the Sephardi minority in post-Ottoman Sarajevo, in the first and second Yugoslavia, and in today’s post-Communist Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The objective is to shed light on how historic preconditions have influenced identity formation as it expresses itself from a Sephardic perspective. The aim is moreover to generate knowledge of the circumstances that affected how Sephardim came to understand themselves in terms of their Jewish identification. I present empirical findings from my semi-structured interviews with Sarajevo Sephardim of different generations (2015 and 2016). I argue that while none of the interlocutors conceive of Jewish identification as divergent from halachic interpretations of matrilineal descent, they moreover propose other conceptions of what it means to be Jewish, such as celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, and other patterns of socialization. At the same time, these individuals also assert alternative forms of being Bosnian, one that includes multiple ethnicities, and multiple religious ascriptions. This study elucidates a little-explored history and sheds light on the ways in which historical conditions have shaped contemporary, layered framings of identification among Sarajevo’s current Jewish population. This article is relevant for those interested in contemporary Sephardic Bosnian culture and in the role and function of ideology in creating conditions for identity formation and transformation.
Date: 2020
Abstract: This detailed and thorough report is rapidly becoming the ‘must-read’ study on European Jews, taking the reader on an extraordinary journey through one thousand years of European Jewish history before arriving at the most comprehensive analysis of European Jewish demography today.

Written by leading Jewish demographers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky, the Chair and Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit respectively, it explores how the European Jewish population has ebbed and flowed over time. It begins as far back as the twelfth century, travelling through many years of population stability, until the tremendous growth of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, followed by the dramatic decline prompted by a combination of mass migration and the horrors of the Shoah. Extraordinarily, after all this time, the proportion of world Jewry living in Europe today is almost identical to the proportion living in Europe 900 years ago.

Using multiple definitions of Jewishness and a vast array of sources to determine the size of the contemporary population, the study proceeds to measure it in multiple ways, looking at the major blocs of the European Union and the European countries of the Former Soviet Union, as well as providing country-by-country analyses, ranging from major centres such as France, the UK, Germany and Hungary, to tiny territories such as Gibraltar, Monaco and even the Holy See.

The report also contains the most up-to-date analysis we have on the key mechanisms of demographic change in Europe, touching variously on patterns of migration in and out of Europe, fertility, intermarriage, conversion and age compositions. While the report itself is a fascinating and important read, the underlying data are essential tools for the JPR team to utilise as it supports Jewish organisations across the continent to plan for the future.
Author(s): Dajč, Haris
Date: 2017
Abstract: Once one of the most numerous and prosperous minorities in Yugoslavia, the number of Jews declined from over 80,000 to 15,000 in the years aer WW2. is number further decreased due to migration to Israel in the first post-war years, and further impoverishment took place because of confiscation and restitution of the majority of private and communal Jewish property, and enforced renouncing of Yugoslav citizenship. e first multi-party elections in Yugoslavia brought to power nationalist elements in all republics, which was followed by civil war, and the breaking of socialist Yugoslavia. Jews of Yugoslavia found themselves on different warring sides. Fragmentation on all confronted sides made the Jewish community even more vulnerable. A huge majority of former Warsaw Pact members aer the Berlin wall fell passed laws for restitution of property taken by the state in post WW2 period. Jews of Yugoslavia, in several new states, had promises from state offi cials that their property would be restituted and errors made half a century ago would be rectified. e only case where such a promise came true was Serbia. In 2011 Serbia passed General Restitution Law concerning individuals, therefore also Jews. In 2006 Serbia passed Law on property of the religious communities that also included Jewish community and that helped restitution of the Jewish communal property. e state of Serbia is the only state in the region that passed the Jewish Lex Specialis that concerns on Jewish property with no successor but also unclaimed Jewish property in February 2016. Croatia passed a General Restitution Law in 1996, and amended it in 2002, but it only affects property nationalized aer May 1945. at Law is limited to direct successors who are Croatian citizens or citizens of countries which have bilateral agreements with Croatia. Due to very high taxes, in some cases reaching 25% of property value, a lot of Jewish requests remained unsolved. Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the rare European countries that did not pass such a law. Moreover, the BIH constitution declares three constituent nations: Serbs, Croats and Bosnians, while others as minorities cannot be nominated for state positions, according to chapters IV and V of the BIH constitution (Sejdić and Finci v. Bosnia and Herzegovina). is paper aims to give insight into the economic power of Jews just before the breakdown of Yugoslavia, and the current economic situation of Jewish communities in Serbia, Croatia and BIH, with a special emphasis on their economic, legal and social position in the last two decades. is restitution issue is very important for it shows how much goodwill states have for helping their local Jewish communities. e research material is obtained from local Jewish communities, periodicals, reports, interviews, conferences, scientific journals and statistical data of all three states and various Jewish organization. Facing the past, admitting and rectifying remain open issues in those countries, and they are excellent indicators of the progress achieved in the last 25 years.
Author(s): Kosmin, Barry A.
Date: 2018
Abstract: The Fourth Survey of European Jewish Community Leaders and Professionals, 2018 presents the results of an online survey offered in 10 languages and administered to 893 respondents in 29 countries. Conducted every three years using the same format, the survey seeks to identify trends and their evolution in time.

The survey asked Jewish lay leaders and community professionals questions regarding future community priorities, identifying the main threats to Jewish life, views on the safety and security situation in their cities, including emergency preparedness, and opinions on an array of internal community issues. Examples include conversions, membership criteria policies on intermarriage, and their vision of Europe and Israel.

The respondents were comprised of presidents and chairpersons of nationwide “umbrella organizations” or Federations; presidents and executive directors of private Jewish foundations, charities, and other privately funded initiatives; presidents and main representatives of Jewish communities that are organized at a city level; executive directors and programme coordinators, as well as current and former board members of Jewish organizations; among others.

The JDC International Centre for Community Development established the survey as a means to identify the priorities, sensibilities and concerns of Europe’s top Jewish leaders and professionals working in Jewish institutions, taking into account the changes that European Jewry has gone through since 1989, and the current political challenges and uncertainties in the continent. In a landscape with few mechanisms that can truly gauge these phenomena, the European Jewish Community Leaders Survey is an essential tool for analysis and applied research in the field of community development.

The Survey team was directed by Dr. Barry Kosmin (Trinity College), who has conducted several large national social surveys and opinion polls in Europe, Africa and the U.S., including the CJF 1990 US National Jewish Population Survey.
Date: 2013
Abstract: Despite the Holocaust’s profound impact on the history of Eastern Europe, the communist regimes successfully repressed public discourse about and memory of this tragedy. Since the collapse of communism in 1989, however, this has changed. Not only has a wealth of archival sources become available, but there have also been oral history projects and interviews recording the testimonies of eyewitnesses who experienced the Holocaust as children and young adults. Recent political, social, and cultural developments have facilitated a more nuanced and complex understanding of the continuities and discontinuities in representations of the Holocaust. People are beginning to realize the significant role that memory of Holocaust plays in contemporary discussions of national identity in Eastern Europe.

This volume of original essays explores the memory of the Holocaust and the Jewish past in postcommunist Eastern Europe. Devoting space to every postcommunist country, the essays in Bringing the Dark Past to Light explore how the memory of the “dark pasts” of Eastern European nations is being recollected and reworked. In addition, it examines how this memory shapes the collective identities and the social identity of ethnic and national minorities. Memory of the Holocaust has practical implications regarding the current development of national cultures and international relationships.

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction
John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic
1. "Our Conscience Is Clean": Albanian Elites and the Memory of the Holocaust in Postsocialist Albania
Daniel Perez
2. The Invisible Genocide: The Holocaust in Belarus
Per Anders Rudling
3. Contemporary Responses to the Holocaust in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Francine Friedman
4. Debating the Fate of Bulgarian Jews during World War II
Joseph Benatov
5. Representations of the Holocaust and Historical Debates in Croatia since 1989
Mark Biondich
6. The Sheep of Lidice: The Holocaust and the Construction of Czech National History
Michal Frankl
7. Victim of History: Perceptions of the Holocaust in Estonia
Anton Weiss-Wendt
8. Holocaust Remembrance in the German Democratic Republic--and Beyond
Peter Monteath
9. The Memory of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Hungary
Part 1: The Politics of Holocaust Memory
Paul Hanebrink
Part 2: Cinematic Memory of the Holocaust
Catherine Portuges
10. The Transformation of Holocaust Memory in Post-Soviet Latvia
Bella Zisere
11. Conflicting Memories: The Reception of the Holocaust in Lithuania
Saulius Sužied<edot>lis and Šarūnas Liekis
12. The Combined Legacies of the "Jewish Question" and the "Macedonian Question"
Holly Case
13. Public Discourses on the Holocaust in Moldova: Justification, Instrumentalization, and Mourning
Vladimir Solonari
14. The Memory of the Holocaust in Post-1989 Poland: Renewal--Its Accomplishments and Its Powerlessness
Joanna B. Michlic and Małgorzata Melchior
15. Public Perceptions of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Romania
Felicia Waldman and Mihai Chioveanu
16. The Reception of the Holocaust in Russia: Silence, Conspiracy, and Glimpses of Light
Klas-Göran Karlsson
17. Between Marginalization and Instrumentalization: Holocaust Memory in Serbia since the Late 1980s
Jovan Byford
18. The "Unmasterable Past"? The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Slovakia
Nina Paulovičová
19. On the Periphery: Jews, Slovenes, and the Memory of the Holocaust
Gregor Joseph Kranjc
20. The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Ukraine
John-Paul Himka
Conclusion
Omer Bartov
Contributors
Index
Author(s): Kosmin, Barry A.
Date: 2016
Abstract: Launched by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s International Centre for Community Development (JDC-ICCD), and conducted by a research team at Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut, USA) between June and August 2015, the Third Survey of European Jewish Leaders and Opinion Formers presents the results of an online survey administered to 314 respondents in 29 countries. The survey was conducted online in five languages: English, French, Spanish, German and Hungarian. The Survey of European Jewish Leaders and Opinion Formers is conducted every three or four years using the same format, in order to identify trends and their evolution. Findings of the 2015 edition were assessed and evaluated based on the results of previous surveys (2008 and 2011). The survey posed Jewish leaders and opinion formers a range of questions about major challenges and issues that
concern European Jewish communities in 2015, and about their expectations of how communities will evolve over the next 5-10 years. The 45 questions (see Appendix) dealt
with topics that relate to internal community structures and their functions, as well as the external environment affecting communities. The questionnaire also included six open-ended questions in a choice of five languages. These answers form the basis of the qualitative analysis of the report. The questions were organized under the following headings:• Vision & Change (6 questions)
• Decision-Making & Control (1 question)
• Lay Leadership (1 question)
• Professional Leadership (2 questions)
• Status Issues & Intermarriage (5 questions)
• Organizational Frameworks (2 questions)
• Community Causes (2 questions)
• Jewish Education (1 question)
• Funding (3 questions)
• Communal Tensions (3 questions)
• Anti-Semitism/Security (5 questions)
• Europe (1 question)
• Israel (1 question)
• Future (2 questions)
• Personal Profile (9 questions)
Author(s): Sion, Brigitte
Date: 2016
Abstract: The goals of the Foundation in conducting this survey were manifold:
we aimed to generate a comprehensive picture of the Jewish museum
landscape across Europe, and to identify the most pressing issues,
challenges and needs faced by these institutions. We wanted to learn about
the mission, philosophy and methodology of Jewish museums, and better
understand their role and position in the cultural and educational realm at
large. We were also interested in the level of professionalization of Jewish
museums, both in staff training, collection preservation and cataloguing,
management, and the ways in which Jewish museums communicate and
arrange partnerships with one another. With a better understanding of
these issues, we want now to assess the resources needed and the funding
priorities for the next five to ten years.

The questionnaire was sent to 120 institutions in 34 countries and we
received 64 completed forms from 30 countries. The questions addressed
eleven broad topics: organisation, collections, permanent and temporary
exhibitions, facility, visitor services, public programmes, visitor
demographics, marketing and PR, finances, future plans and needs.

This diverse sample enabled us to get, for the first time, a quasicomprehensive
picture of the Jewish museum landscape in Europe, from
small community museums to landmarks of “starchitecture;” from
institutions boasting thousands of rare objects to others mostly text
panels- or technology-based; from museums employing scores of
professional staff and interns to synagogues-turned-exhibition halls run by
volunteers for a few hours a month. That was precisely the challenge: the
large and numerous discrepancies between institutions, depending on their
location, their financial and human resources, their political and economic
context, the type of visitors they receive, and other contextual
considerations.

The results point to four major findings:
1. Transition from museums to multi-purpose hubs;
2. Lack of collaboration and partnerships;
3. Tension between particularistic and universalistic missions;
4. Increasing need to serve a diverse audience.