Topics: Demography, Main Topic: Demography and Migration, European Union, Aliyah, Emigration, Immigration, Israeli Expatriates, Intermarriage
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.
Topics: Jewish Organisations, Jewish Community, Jewish Identity, Surveys, Jewish Leadership, Antisemitism, Affiliation and Belonging, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: This survey was given to participants in the 3rd General Assembly of European Jewry, which was held in Budapest in May 2004. Participants were asked how many Jews participate in community programs in their respective cities; the programs and activities their Jewish community offers; and how they believe their community could be more effective in attracting more members.
Transcending Locality, Creating Identity — A Diasporic Perspective on the Mediterranean: the Jews of Gibraltar
Topics: Diaspora, Globalisation, Comparisons with other communities, Ethnicity, Ethnography, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: In this article I offer a comparative view on two merchant diasporas residing in the British crown colony of Gibraltar: the Sindhi Hindus and the Sephardic Jews. Diasporic groups have often been defined through their relationship to their homeland and/or place of residence. Based on fieldwork among these two groups I argue that their identifications, their culture and their social structure cannot be understood by focusing solely on local life and on the relationship to the homelands. A complete understanding must take account of a third spatial connection: the links between the individual communities that create a new and unique field of discourse, symbols and practice. This third connection is emblematic for the working of pre– and postmodern capitalist networks. The article examines this issue in relation to religion, education, politics and other arenas of life in Gibraltar and wider diasporas, drawing upon anthropological concepts of boundaries and borders, which are here conceived as ‘zones–in–between’. The research demonstrates how both local and global changes since 1945 have resulted in the contrasting paths taken by Sindhis and Jews in Gibraltar.