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Date: 2021
Abstract: With Finnish independence in 1917, long-awaited legislative reforms were put in force in the country. Jews gained the right to obtain Finnish citizenship. The same year, the Finnish Parliament implemented the Civil Marriage Act (CMA), allowing the country’s Jewish citizens to marry non-Jews without converting to Christianity. In 1922, the constitutional right to freedom of religion was affirmed in the Freedom of Religion Act (FRA), granting the right to practice religion in public and private and allowing Finnish citizens to refrain from belonging to any religious community altogether. The FRA also addressed the question of children whose parents belonged to different religious congregations or who were unaffiliated. The FRA defined the religious affiliation of children after their father; this was, however, against the Orthodox Jewish law (halakhah) that the local Finnish Jewish communities wished to follow, which traced a child’s religious affiliation matrilineally.

Due to the small size of the Jewish marriage market and to the secularizing tendencies of the Jewish congregations, the number of intermarriages started to grow in the early twentieth century, and soon, they became a characteristic phenomenon of Finnish Jewish realities. This resulted in a growing number of halakhically non-Jewish children. Thus, the communities faced several challenges in terms of their administration and everyday practices.

This article-based dissertation provides an overview of Finnish-Jewish intermarriages from 1917 until the present by analyzing archival materials together with newly collected semi-structured ethnographic interviews. The interviews were conducted with members of the communities who are partners in intermarriages, either as individuals who married out or as individuals who married in and converted to Judaism. The key theoretical underpinning of the study is vernacular religion, which is complemented by relevant international research on contemporary interreligious Jewish families.

The results of the study show that while most informants understand Jewish law flexibly and rarely consider themselves “religious,” the differences between the practices of intermarried men and women are remarkable. Whereas women employ creativity and “do Judaism” to establish practices they consider meaningful for their Jewishness and Jewish identity, men tend to draw on their cultural heritage and often refrain from creative practices. The study also indicates that the adult conversion of women is far more common than that of men, making conversion a gendered phenomenon in the Finnish Jewish communities. Most informants of this study “do Judaism” in various ways and often choose to perform certain traditions to strengthen their connection to Judaism and ensure Jewish continuity through their children. Intermarried members and converts form a large part of the Finnish Jewish communities, and thus the results shed light on patterns that can be assumed to characterize multiple Finnish Jewish households.
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: 2017
Abstract: From the Foreword:

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Education Research Project aims to provide an overview of empirical research on teaching and learning about the Holocaust (TLH) with a cross-cultural and multilingual perspective. The outcomes include transferring knowledge between various regions and countries, intensifying dialogue between scholars and educational decision makers and enhancing networking among researchers.

To fulfill these aims, in 2012 the IHRA established a Steering Committee and tasked a team of researchers with skills in a large range of languages. Early in the process, the decision was made to focus upon research which deals with deliberate efforts to educate about the Holocaust and to limit the search accordingly. This decision
meant there was a focus on both teaching and learning. The teaching focused on school settings – although there is also some explicit instruction at museums and sites of memory. Certainly, learning takes place in both school settings and museums/ sites of memory. This focus meant that some areas of scholarship are generally not
included in this collection. Firstly, non-empirical work, which is extensive and important, was beyond the scope of this research. Secondly, analyses of materials such as curricula, films, and textbooks were also beyond the scope.

The Education Research Project culminated in the publication of volume 3 of the IHRA book series Research in Teaching and Learning about the Holocaust: A Dialogue Beyond Borders, edited by Monique Eckmann, Doyle Stevick and Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs. The book is available in hard copy for purchase and as a free PDF download.

The second outcome is this set of eight bibliographies. These eight 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). The research team identified almost 400 studies resulting in roughly 640 publications in fifteen languages that are grouped in the following eight language sets:
German, Polish, French, the languages of the Nordic countries, Romance languages other than French (specifically Spanish, Portuguese and Italian), East-Slavic languages (Belarussian, Russian and Ukrainian), English and Hebrew.

The bibliographies presented here contain titles in the original language and translations in English, as well as abstracts in English that were either written by the original authors, written by the research team or its contributors (or translated into English by the team). This set of bibliographies provides a unique tool for researchers
and educators, allowing them to gain insight into educational research dealing with teaching and learning about the Holocaust, not only in their own language, but also in languages they are not familiar with. We hope that this publication and these abstracts will provide a tool that facilitates research across language borders and contributes to further exchange, discussion and cooperation between researchers and educators as well as the creation of international and cross-language networks.
Date: 2020
Date: 2004
Date: 2020
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): Vuola, Elina
Date: 2019
Author(s): Echikson, William
Date: 2019
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: 2016
Author(s): Muir, Simo
Date: 2009
Abstract: Artikkelin tarkoituksena on kuvata sosiolingvistisestä näkökulmasta Helsingin juutalaisten kontakteja ja kielenvaihtoja ja analysoida joitakin juutalaisten etnolektisen puheen ilmiöitä. Artikkeli tarkastelee tätä kenttää etnolektin yleisten määritelmien sekä jiddišinjälkeisen juutalaisen etnolektin (Post-Yiddish Jewish Ethnolect) käsitteen valossa.

Artikkelin ensimmäinen osa tarkastelee Helsingin juutalaisen yhteisön muodostumista, juutalaisen yhteisön monikielisyyttä ja yhteisössä tapahtuneita kielenvaihtoja jiddiaistä ruotsin kautta suomeen. Myös venäjän, saksan ja (nyky)heprean kielellä on on ollut roolinsa yhteisön monikielisyydessä. Vastoin yleistä käsitystä, Helsingin juutalainen yhteisö säilytti jiddišin kielen verrattain pitkään ruotsin ja suomen rinnalla. Jiddišin kielellä oli tärkeä sija kulttuurielämässä sekä uskonnollisessa toiminnassa. Artikkeli pohtii myös eri tekijöitä, jotka johtivat lopulta jiddišin kielen syrjäytymiseen.

Artikkelin toinen osa tarkastelee lehdissä ja juutalaisissa revyyteksteissä esiintyviä vanhan juutalaisruotsin ja juutalaissuomen parodioita. Nämä osoittavat omalta osaltaan, että valtaväestöllä oli selvä kuva siitä, mitkä olivat juutalaisruotsin tai juutalaissuomen ominaispiirteet ja että Helsingin juutalaisten kielelliseen repertoaariin kuului jiddišinvaikutteinen varieteetti. Myös tänä päivänä on havaittavissa ryhmänsisäisessä kanssakäymisessä niin ruotsin kuin suomenkin kielessä erityinen etnolektinen rekisteri, jota voidaan käyttää tunnusmerkkisissä tilanteissa (marked situations). Tämä etnolektinen rekisteri esiintyy erityisesti tilanteissa, joissa etnisen ryhmäidentiteetin rooli on keskeinen. Artikkeli tarkastelee ilmiötä kirjallisten ja suullisten lähteiden avulla ja tuo esille sen keskeisiä piirteitä.
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)
Date: 2013
Abstract: The aim of this study is to analyze how ethnic-boundary drawing has been influenced in the urban
context by the turbulent events of twentieth-century Europe. The analysis is specifically applied to the
social boundaries of the small Helsinki Jewish community from the early twentieth century until the
In the period covered by this research, Helsinki evolved from a multilingual and heterogeneous
military town of the Russian empire into the capital of an independent nation. As one of the few
Eastern European Orthodox Jewish communities not destroyed in the Holocaust, the history of the
Helsinki Jewish community offers a different set of spatial contexts that make this history an
empirical case study of changing ethnic relations from one generation to another.
My study suggests that empirical materials can be used as clues for teasing into existence the
long-vanished practices of boundary-drawing done at various times in the past. Collecting and
organizing information in archives is always guided by decisions that reflect the contemporary ideas
of relevant and meaningful social categories. Consequently, as Jews ‘in Finland’ became Finnish
Jews, the ethnic background subsequently lost its distinction in the archival material; in short, the
sources gradually became “mute” in this respect. My research strategy is to focus on questions
concerning the economic aspects of social boundaries, for example, whether the members of the
Helsinki Jewish congregation were entrepreneurs or were self-employed.
I have operationalized occupational status to analyze changes in the social position of the
community. The occupational titles were collected from three different cross-section years and
organized by using a Historical International Classification of Occupations (HISCO) Scheme. By
combining the occupational titles with the data on the Jewish-owned companies, I have established a
set of descriptive statistics. Supported by the findings of this empirical material, my study analyzes
how the concept of Finnish Jews has taken shape over the entire period of this study.
Contemporaries writing about the Jews of Finland did not use concepts of ‘ethnic boundaries,’ but
nevertheless considered questions related to economic aspects as the key elements in modern
societies. Such questions were a constant theme in modern economic antisemitism with a major
influence on Jewish policies, such as the restriction of Jewish occupations in Finland until 1918,
which in turn influenced the (counter-)narratives of Jewish business. This is what makes the Jewish
occupations so interesting – and also makes discussing them such a sensitive issue.
The community is an important part of the history of Helsinki, but it has only been accepted as a
part of the larger Finnish society since the Second World War. During this process, Jews were clearly
less frequently categorized as Jews and more frequently categorized by the professions they
In this study I have contextualized different aspects of what has been selected and written down as
Finnish-Jewish history. This involves discovering the political positions of its various authors. All
histories on the Finnish Jews have been written during the post-Second World War period and, in
consequence, are unavoidably viewed through post-Shoah/Cold War lenses. In these writings, the
national and transnational aspects are totally severed and become, indeed, mutually exclusive.
The Jewish history of Helsinki is often told as a collective story, where each generation faces
similar challenges and options. In this way, the past has been described as a joint striving for all
Finnish Jews. In reality, wide economic differences have played an important role in what is
ultimately a business-oriented community. In this narrative, the Jewish history has been reduced to a
bare minimum in order to serve as a collective story. Consequently, in the histories of the city of
Helsinki, Jews have either been described as poor, or they have not been remembered at al
Author(s): Kahan, Semy
Date: 2007
Abstract: The second half of the 20th century has been a period of increasing assimilation for the Jews at the same time as they have gained the acceptance of their environment in nearly all countries. One of the most striking expressions of this has been a rapidly rising tendency toward mixed marriages. This tendency has created a serious concern about the future of the Jewish people and a growing debate both regarding the following questions: Is it worth to reach out to the mixed-marriage families in order to try and prevent them from growing further apart from Judaism? Would it be preferable to concentrate on people who have not yet taken the step over the mixed marriage-line and try to prevent this phenomenon, or is it best to work simultaneously in both directions? Another debated question is how to effectively use the teaching of Judaism to the young generation as a prophylactic for assimilation. The growing assimilation has lead to greater investment in this area with an increasing amount of Jewish schools and other forms of Jewish instruction, and researchers have estimated the efficiency of Jewish education.

The Finnish Jews are also touched by the tendencies and problems mentioned above. As to mixed marriages, their frequency is among the highest in the world, but despite this, a very high percentage of the children in the Jewish community in Helsinki receive Jewish instruction within the framework of a primary and a secondary school of 9 classes and a preschool starting from 4 years of age. The community gives a very high priority to the school and invests important economical and human resources for this purpose. The school has about 100 pupils. Their profile has in the last years become significantly more heterogenic as several families have joined the community, especially from Israel, but also from Russia and a few other countries. This has lead to changes in the study program of the school and a more systematic evaluation of the program. The governors of the school have expressed their interest for conducting a study, which among other things would give a better understanding about the Jewish identity of the students, compared with the background of their homes’ Jewishness, as well as other questions connected to the Jewish objectives of the school.

This research intends to give an idea about The students and their parents regarding the following aspects: Jewish identity and way of life; Attitudes towards and expectations of the Jewish education in the school; Relations to the non-Jewish surroundings (friends, Jewish self-esteem, the attitudes of the surrounding world); Contacts with the non-Jewish parent’s family; Attitude towards Israel; Influence of the home in parallel with the school education; Motivation of parents in choosing the Jewish school for the children; Attitude of parents towards their children’s friends; Motivation of parents to participate in a study program of Jewish topics; Comparison of the data between Finnish-Jewish families and families which have immigrated into Finland. The population of the study will include pupils of the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th classes and their parents, as well as the pupils of 12th class and their parents. .
Date: 2016
Abstract: The conditions of social life that are reflected in the conditions leading to the formation of the individual’s identity may be changing due to the influences of postmodernity. In Finland today, Jews form a small minority group within the borders of secularized Lutheranism. How does the Finnish Jewry cope with the constant transformation of social values in this context? How does Jewishness appear in their self-perception and in their daily lives? The purpose of this thesis is investigate how members of the Jewish Community of Helsinki view Judaism in their own lives and in their community and how do they observe the rules of the Halakhah – the Jewish law. This work provides an introduction to traditional perspectives of the questions that are often topics of debates in postmodern Jewish communities. In one sentence: How do they Jew in public and private life in modern Finland?

The research was put into practice by combining quantitative and qualitative methods, including a quantitative questionnaire that was distributed to all 777 adult members of the community and personal interviews with 8 individuals among them. Both the qualitative and the quantitative research questions explored issues of Jewish life and traditions as well as attitudes towards the most common Jewish issues in contemporary Finland.

The results showed that the vast majority of the respondents strongly identify as Jews. They have loyalty towards their Jewish heritage, but also feel a strong sense of belonging to Finland. They are generally lenient towards Halakhah, and despite being members of the Modern-Orthodox community, they do not necessarily live orthodox Jewish lifestyles according to the traditional – orthodox – perspective.
Author(s): Larsson, Julia
Date: 2014
Abstract: Tavoitteet. Suomessa asuu pieni juutalainen vähemmistö, jonka olemassaoloa on jo pitkään uhannut ennen kaikkea sen jäsenten voimakas assimiloituminen. Suomen juutalaiset nuoret aikuiset, jotka melkein poikkeuksetta elävät seka-avioliitoissa, ovat seuraavan juutalaisen sukupolven kasvattajia. Siksi tässä tutkimuksessa pyritään ymmärtämään ja kuulemaan juuri näiden nuorten aikuisten käsityksiä juutalaisuudestaan ja kaksoisidentiteetistään. Toisin sanoen tutkimuksen avulla halutaan saada selville, mitä juutalaisuus merkitsee heille, jotka jatkavat juutalaisen vähemmistön perintöä. Maamme juutalaisten tapoja ja asenteita on aikaisemmin tutkinut Lundgren (2002) sekä Ruotsissa ja Tanskassa Dencik (1993, 2002). Työllä pyritään myös jatkamaan maassamme alkanutta keskustelua vähemmistöjen identiteettineuvotteluista ( Kuusisto 2011, Klingenberg 2014, Rissanen 2014).

Menetelmät. Tämä laadullinen monitapaustutkimus toteutettiin lähettämällä kysely postitse kaikille 137 vuosina 1976-1986 syntyneille Helsingin juutalaisen seurakunnan jäsenille. Kyselyyn vastasi 28 nuorta aikuista. Juutalaisuuden merkitystä Suomen juutalaisille nuorille aikuisille tutkittiin laadullisin keinoin, induktiivisella lähestymistavalla, joskin teoriaohjaavalla tutkimusotteella. Kaksoisidentiteettiä ja siten vastaajien akkulturaatioasenteita lähestyttiin Dencikin (1993) diasporajuutalaisen identiteettiä kuvaavan mallin avulla.

Tulokset ja johtopäätökset. Aineistolähtöisen sisällönanalyysin avulla selvisi, että juutalaisuus merkitsi vastaaajille ennen kaikkea Dencikin (1993) mallin Juutalaisuutta kokemuksien ja elämyksien tulkitsijana sekä yhteenkuuluvuutta kansaan. Tähän juutalaisuuden osa-alueeseen liittyi vastaajien itsensä sanoittamana juutalaisuuden kokeminen saamisena ja antamisena, elämäntapana sekä voimakkaana yhteenkuuluvuuden tunteena muihin juutalaisiin. Kaksoisidentiteetti puolestaan näyttäytyi tasapainoisena kokonaisuutena, jossa ollaan ennen kaikkea suomenjuutalaisia, toisin sanoen, vastaajat kokivat olevansa ensisijaisesti juutalaisia, joiden kotimaa on Suomi.
Date: 2009
Abstract: The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights presents its 5th brief
update of its 2004 report “Manifestations of anti-Semitism in the EU”. The
overview contains the latest governmental and non-governmental
statistical data covering 2001 to 2008 for those EU Member States that
have official or unofficial data and statistics on anti-Semitic incidents. The
Agency collects regularly publicly available official and unofficial data and
information on racism and xenophobia in the EU Member States through
its Racism and Xenophobia Network (RAXEN) with a special focus on

The Agency’s data collection work shows that most Member States do not
have official or even unofficial data and statistics on anti-Semitic incidents.
Even where data exist they are not comparable, since they are collected
following different methodologies. For some countries, RAXEN National
Focal Points provide the Agency with lists of cases collected either ad hoc
by civil society organisations or through the media with varying degrees of
validity and reliability. Detailed data and incidents lists are presented in the
FRA electronic database, Info_Portal at
The Agency’s regular review of data collection systems indicates that most
Member States have a serious problem of underreporting, particularly in
reference to official systems of data collection that are based on police
records and on crime and law statistics, because not all anti-Semitic
incidents registered officially are categorised under the label “antiSemitism”
and/or because not all anti-Semitic incidents are reported to the
official body by the victims or witnesses of an incident.

A complementary problem to underreporting is misreporting and overreporting:
This could be the case in unofficial data collection carried out by
organisations that do not provide information concerning their