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Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: This chapter analyses the intersections between Judaism, conversion, belonging, and gender, through the lived material practice of the tallit. Conversion to a religious tradition is not merely a change in mind set, but rather implies the learning, performance and negotiation of a religious habitus. This is especially the case with conversions to Judaism, or giyur, which focuses on the learning of practices and commitment to synagogue life. Such process of ‘self-making’ is directly related to questions of gender and the possibility of taking on certain objects and tasks. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this chapter traces how conversion materialises in daily ritual practice for women in various Jewish communities in the specific ritual use of the prayer shawl, or tallit. Gender equality has been one of the prime topics by which liberal Judaism came to distinguish itself from orthodoxy in the Netherlands. A symbol of this difference is the use of the tallit by women, both in the local Dutch context as well as internationally. Historically, women have been excluded from Shul life, and wearing a tallit, as is permitted in liberal synagogues, can be revolutionary as a marker of inclusion. For converted women in the Jewish diaspora of the Netherlands, wearing the tallit in service can be a confirmation of their Jewishness, but is more often met with ambivalence. Some don’t practice, because they do not want to disturb the status quo, or because they see value in gender segregation in shul. Others do, for equally varied reasons, from political quests for emancipation, to pious desires for submission and devotion. As a compromise, specific forms of ‘women’s tallit’ have entered the synagogues, worn by women who do so out of pious desire. This chapter starts from these various prayer shawl practices, to trace broader questions of belonging. It asks not only how this object is used, but also which types of gender discourses, pious desires, and notions of agency are expressed through the use (or lack thereof) of a tallit.
Author(s): Ichau, Elke
Date: 2021
Abstract: This dissertation is concerned with present-day representations of Jews, with a focus on mainstream media. Research objectives are two-fold: first, to examine the ways Jews are constructed as Other in (1) traditional, offline mainstream media, (2) online environments, specifically in (a) comment fields under news content, and (b) SNS, and (3) offline group discussions with young people; second, to explore the relationship between the consumption of news and information through different channels and attitudes towards Jews in adolescents. This research builds on Social Identity Theory and Social Representations Theory, and insights from the literature on media representations of ethnic minorities, antisemitism, and hate speech. It employs a multi-method approach, including quantitative and qualitative content analysis, discourse analysis, text mining, and survey methods. The research questions are addressed in five studies: (1) a longitudinal (2006-2016), quantitative content analysis of the television news coverage of the Jewish minority in Belgium; (2) a semantic network analysis of the word "jew" in online reader comments under news content shared on the Facebook page of a leading Flemish news outlet; (3) a qualitative content analysis and co-occurrence network analysis of Instagram posts annotated with the hashtags #jew, #jewish, and #jews; (4) a cross-sectional survey study into the relationship between news consumption through different channels and attitudes towards Jews in adolescents; (5) a focus group study into perceptions and representations of Jews among non-Jewish youth. Findings point to substantial differences in representations of Jews between news media discourse on the one hand, and the "general public" on the other. Furthermore, attitudes towards Jews in adolescents are predicted by education and religious affiliation, rather than news consumption.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Throughout 2021, JPR researchers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky analysed the responses of over 16,000 European Jews in 12 European countries who participated in the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights survey conducted by JPR and Ipsos in 2018. The result of their hard work and innovative approach is ‘The Jewish identities of European Jews’, a study into the what, why and how of Jewish identity.

The report finds some extraordinary differences and similarities between Jews across Europe, including:

European Jews are much more likely to see themselves as a religious minority than an ethnic one, yet fewer than half of all Jewish adults across Europe light candles most Friday nights;
Jewish identity is strongest in Belgium, the UK, France, Austria, Spain and Italy, and weakest in Hungary and Poland;
The memory of the Holocaust and combating antisemitism played a more important part in people’s Jewish identity than support for Israel, belief in God or charitable giving. Rising perceptions of antisemitism may have stimulated a stronger bond with Jewish peoplehood;
Only about half of all Jews in Europe identify with a particular denomination, although there are significant differences at the national level;
Higher proportions of younger Jews are religiously observant than older Jews;
Belgium has the largest proportion of Jews identifying as Orthodox in its Jewish population, followed by the UK, Italy, France and Austria;
Spain has the largest proportion of Jews identifying as Reform/Progressive, followed by Germany and the Netherlands;
Levels of attachment to the European Union among European Jews are higher than, or very similar to, levels of attachment among their fellow citizens in the countries in which they live
Date: 2021
Abstract: The Fifth Survey of European Jewish Community Leaders and Professionals, 2021 presents the results of an online survey offered in 10 languages and administered to 1054 respondents in 31 countries. Conducted every three years using the same format, the survey seeks to identify trends and their evolution in time.

Even if European Jewish leaders and community professionals rank antisemitism and combatting it among their first concerns and priorities, they are similarly committed to expanding Jewish communities and fostering future sustainability by engaging more young people and unaffiliated Jews.

The survey covers a wide variety of topics including the toll of COVID-19 on European Jewish communities and a widening generational gap around pivotal issues. Conducted every three years since 2008, the study is part of JDC’s wider work in Europe, which includes its partnerships with local Jewish communities and programs aiding needy Jews, fostering Jewish life and leaders, resilience training.

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.
Date: 2016
Abstract: Objective: To explore determinants of participation in breast cancer screening in orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, and to uncover their opinions and attitudes towards screening, and thereby to detect ways to optimize participation. Study design: Focus group discussions were performed during the last months of 2011 and the first half of 2012 to explore motivation to participate or not in breast cancer screening. Groups consisted of five to seven women. Inclusion criteria were: being female, considering oneself as orthodox Jewish, aged between 50 and 69 years. Results: Three focus group discussions with in a total of 20 women had taken place. All participants in the focus group discussions had a screening mammography taken on a regular base. All participants agreed that the social cohesion between Jewish orthodox women and the importance that is given to healthcare within the Jewish tradition are important contributors to their participation in a breast cancer screening program. Pain, lack of information during the exam, lack of confidence in the quality of the exam, perceived problems when the examining doctor/technician is male, and fear of the results are mentioned as barriers. The participants, however, state that these were not important enough to result in non-participation. Barriers could be diminished by information sessions specifically aimed at orthodox Jewish women. Conclusion: This qualitative research demonstrates a generally positive attitude of orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, towards mammographic breast cancer screening. Increased and repeated structured information sessions are likely to improve breast cancer awareness in this population.
Date: 2020
Date: 2021
Abstract: Background: The importance of community involvement in the response against disease outbreaks has been well established. However, we lack insights into local communities’ experiences in coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This study explored both the impact of, and response to, COVID-19 within the Orthodox Jewish communities of Antwerp (Belgium) during the first lockdown period (March 2020 – May 2020).

Methods: We conducted an explorative qualitative study using a participatory approach. First, we performed a community mapping to identify relevant stakeholders. Through the active involvement of a community advisory board and based on qualitative interviews with key-informants and community members, we elicited lived experiences, attitudes, and perceptions towards COVID-19. Interviews were conducted both face-to-face and using online web conferencing technology. Data were analyzed inductively according to the principles of thematic analysis.

Results: Government-issued outbreak control measures presented context-specific challenges to the Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp. They related mainly to the remote organization of religious life, and practicing physical distancing in socially and culturally strongly connected communities. Key informants described how existing community resources were rapidly mobilized to adapt to the outbreak and to self-organize response initiatives within communities. This included the active involvement of community and religious leaders in risk communication, which proved to be of great importance to facilitate coverage and uptake of pandemic control measures while protecting essential community values and traditions. Creating bottom-up and community-adapted communication strategies, including addressing language barriers and involving Rabbis in the dissemination of prevention messages, fostered a feeling of trust in government’s response measures. However, unmet information and prevention needs were also identified, such as the need for inclusive communication by public authorities and the need to mitigate the negative effects of stigmatization.

Conclusion: The experiences of Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp demonstrate a valuable example of a feasible community-centered approach to health emergencies. Increasing the engagement of communities in local decision-making and governance structures remains a key strategy to respond to unmet information and prevention needs.
Date: 2017
Abstract: How is the Holocaust taught in schools? How do students make sense of this challenging subject? How are people affected by visits to Holocaust memorial sites?

Empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust that tackles these and other questions has grown rapidly over the past fifteen years, a period marked by the professionalization and expansion of the field. In 2013, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) decided to carry out a study to establish a picture of this emerging field of research. A multilingual expert team mandated to collect and review research in fifteen languages identified nearly 400 studies resulting in more than 600 publications. Three years of work resulted in the book "Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: A Dialogue Beyond Borders" (March 2017), which carries the field beyond anecdotal reflections and moral arguments.

Download a pdf copy of the publication

This systematic review includes research conducted in most IHRA Member Countries as well as several non-member countries. The multilingual focus of the project enables cross-cultural analyses and the transfer of knowledge between various regions and countries. The book’s two parts present the research first by language and then by selected themes. This innovative transnational, trans-lingual study reflects IHRA’s core mission: to shape and advance teaching and learning about the Holocaust worldwide.

The second outcome is a set of bibliographies in fifteen languages. These bibliographies comprise references to empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust. They also include abstracts or summaries of most of publications. Each bibliography includes research from a single language or related group of languages (both geographically related or linguistically related).
Date: 2020
Abstract: This study, the first to assess mortality among Jews around the world during the COVID-19 crisis, draws on data from a wide variety of sources to understand the extent to which Jews were affected by coronavirus in different parts of the world during the first wave of the pandemic, March to May 2020.

The first section describes the methods of quantification of COVID-19 mortality, and explains why measuring it using the excess mortality method is the most effective way to understand how Jewish communities have been affected. The second section presents data on Jewish mortality during the first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, drawing particularly on data provided to JPR by Jewish burial societies in communities all over the world. It does so in a comparative perspective, setting the data on Jews alongside the data on non-Jews, to explore both the extent to which Jews have been affected by the COVID-19 epidemic, and how the Jewish experience with COVID-19 compares to the experience of non-Jewish populations.

The immediate impression is that there is not a single ‘Jewish pattern’ that is observable everywhere, and, with respect to the presence of excess mortality, Jewish communities, by and large, followed the populations surrounding them.

The report cautions against speculation about why Jews were disproportionately affected in some places, but rule out two candidate explanations: that Jewish populations with particularly elderly age profiles were hardest hit, or that Jews have been badly affected due to any underlying health issue common among them. They consider the possibility that Jewish lifestyle effects (e.g. above average size families, convening in large groups for Jewish rituals and holidays), may have been an important factor in certain instances, noting that these are unambiguous risk factors in the context of communicable diseases. Whilst they suggest that the spread of the virus among Jews “may have been enhanced by intense social contact,” they argue that without accurate quantification, this explanation for elevated mortality in certain places remains unproven.

The report also includes a strongly worded preface from Hebrew University Professor Sergio DellaPergola, the Chair of the JPR European Jewish Demography Unit, and the world’s leading expert in Jewish demography. In it, he stresses the importance of systematically testing representative samples of the population at the national and local levels, and, in Jewish community contexts, of routinely gathering Jewish population vital statistics. He states: “If there is one lesson for Jewish community research that emerges out of this crisis it is that the routine gathering of vital statistics – the monitoring of deaths, as well as births, marriages, divorces, conversions, immigrants and emigrants – is one of the fundamental responsibilities community bodies must take.”
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.
Date: 2019
Abstract:
Antisemitisme.be recense, depuis l’année 2001, les actes antisémites commis sur l’ensemble du territoire belge et, chaque année, publie un rapport sur l’antisémitisme en Belgique.Dans ce document, vous découvrirez la liste de tous les incidents recensés, notre méthodologie de travail, ainsi qu’une analyse de l’année écoulée.
Les incidents recensés et analysés dans ce rapport sont ceux qui nous ont été communiqués ou qui ont fait l’objet d’une plainte pour racisme. Les chiffres repris dans cette analyse reflètent bien sûr une tendance et non une photographie exacte dans l’antisémitisme en Belgique.

Tant que les membres de la Communauté juive se sentiront, à juste titre, en insécurité, tant que les institutions juives auront besoin d’être protégées, tant qu’ils ne pourront pas circuler comme tout citoyen belge en toute sécurité lorsqu’il arbore un signe apparent de judaïté (kippa, étoile de David…), l’antisémitisme devra être combattu et les autorités politiques devront y mettre tous les moyens.


Sinds 2001, identificeert Antisemitisme.be antisemitische handelingen in het hele Belgische grondgebied, en publiceert jaarlijks een verslag over antisemitisme in België.

In dit document vind u onze werk methodologie en een analyse van het afgelopen jaar.

Incidenten geïdentificeerd en geanalyseerd in dit verslag zijn ofwel gecommuniceerd of dat het onderwerp van een klacht over racisme zijn geweest. De cijfers in deze analyse, zijn zeker als gevolg van een trend, maar geven niet een nauwkeurig beeld van antisemitisme in België.

Antisemitisme kan niet worden gekwantificeerd in aantallen, maar ook door de ernst van de incidenten, zoals de tragische ervaring die de Joodse gemeenschap zaterdag 24 mei, jl. heeft mee moeten maken.

Zolang de leden van de Joodse gemeenschap zich terecht onveilig voelen, de Joodse instellingen beschermd moeten worden, ze niet in staat zijn om veilig te bewegen net als elke andere Belg wanneer ze enig duidelijk teken van joodse identiteit (Kippa, Ster van David, …) dragen, moet antisemitisme bestreden worden en de politieke autoriteiten moeten alle middelen in deze strijd zetten.
Date: 2012
Abstract: Cet ouvrage dirigé par Jacques et Ygal Fijalkow découle du colloque qui s'est tenu en 2011 à Lacaune sur le thème des voyages de mémoire de la Shoah (colloque soutenu par la Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah). Enseignants, personnels des musées mémoriaux, témoins de la Shoah, acteurs institutionnels, experts et universitaires y livrent leurs regards et leurs analyses sur les voyages d'étude sur la Shoah.

Enseigner la Shoah n’est pas chose facile. Tous les enseignants le savent. Dans le souci de développer des formes nouvelles d’enseignement, certains ont trouvé une solution : sortir de la classe et aller avec leurs élèves sur des lieux de mémoire. Cette façon de faire, dans un contexte de développement des voyages en général, est en plein développement.Du côté des pouvoirs publics, la formule a plu et les soutiens arrivent de sorte que le nombre de voyages augmente d’année en année. Le succès aidant, un débat est né : qu’apportent véritablement ces voyages de mémoire aux élèves qui y participent ?

C’est sur cette toile de fond que cet ouvrage a été rédigé. On y trouvera des éclairages sur ce qu’apportent les institutions spécialisées dans ce domaine. On pourra y voir également comment les choses se passent, aussi bien lors de la préparation que sur les lieux de mémoire eux-mêmes. Et ceci en France mais aussi chez nos voisins anglais, belges, espagnols, italiens, suisses, ainsi qu’en Israël. Le cas d’Auschwitz est privilégié, mais d’autres lieux sont également examinés.
Date: 2020
Date: 2019
Abstract: This report, produced by Professor P. Weller and Dr. I. Foster of the University of Derby, United Kingdom, is based on two phases of research conducted in six OSCE participating States—Belgium, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Poland and the United States of America—between December 2016 and May 2018. The research took various forms, including focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, observations, as well as desk research based on published literature. A detailed bibliography of works consulted is provided in an appendix to the report. The report provides background information about the history of anti-Semitism in each of the countries studied, along with recent statistics concerning reported anti-Semitic incidents in each country. The report does not compare how significant an issue anti-Semitism is in these participating States; rather, it presents an overall pattern of evidence to identify a range of key challenges with at least some relevance for teaching about and addressing anti-Semitism in classroom contexts across the OSCE region as a whole, and thus provides the basis for recommendations that could inform the development of teacher resources to meet those challenges in any OSCE participating State, not just the ones studied for this report. The research has made clear that, while the incidence, frequency and forms of anti-Semitism may vary over time, it remains a reality in OSCE participating States. However, there is relatively little published research on anti-Semitism among young people as such, and even less that is specifically focused on teaching about anti-Semitism and/or addressing it in classroom contexts. Therefore, the primary research that informs this report makes a clear contribution to understanding anti-Semitism as it currently exists in a number of OSCE countries, albeit subject to certain limitations in terms of methodology, which are noted in the report’s appendices.
Author(s): Echikson, William
Date: 2019
Date: 2011
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.