Search results

Your search found 261 items
Previous | Next
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year View all 1 2 3 4 5 6
Home  / Search Results
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.
Date: 2021
Abstract: This qualitative study aimed to address current gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the relationship between modern antisemitism and Holocaust denial and distortion from a regional perspective. This inquiry
focuses on four post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe known as the Visegrád Four. Focus group research was conducted in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to explore how secondary antisemitism is manifested in Holocaust denial and distortion and how secondary and Israel-focused antisemitism (i.e. new antisemitism) can lead to Holocaust denial and distortion in the region.

More specifically, the focus group research was meant to explore: (1) how focus group participants in the Visegrád countries contextualize topics related to Holocaust denial and distortion; (2) how these arguments are framed and justified; (3) how narratives of Holocaust denial and distortion are linked to Holocaust remembrance; (4)
how such narratives are embedded in the discussion on Israel-focused antisemitism; (5) how Holocaust distortion and new antisemitism can reinforce each other in these narratives; and (6) how social settings can give rise to manifestations of antisemitism, including Holocaust denial and distortion.

Drawing on the findings of this research, policy workshops were organized in each Visegrád country to formulate practice-oriented proposals that could inform policy development. The results of the qualitative research and the discussions in these workshops will contribute to the formulation of region-specific survey questions
that can serve as a basis for further research on modern antisemitism in the Visegrád countries.

This report summarizes the qualitative research, its key findings and the resulting proposals to combat Holocaust denial and distortion in the region.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Overt state-sponsored antisemitism ended in Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union. Antisemitic attitudes, however, remain prevalent in Europe, and some European political actors have instrumentalized antisemitism for political gain. This report examines both the conscious use of antisemitism in European politics and the calculated tolerance of antisemitism, demonstrating that the oldest hatred remains a modern political tool.

Unlike antisemitic incidents of violence, vandalism, or insults, the political use of antisemitism does not target Jews themselves. Instead, antisemitic propaganda targets domestic or foreign audiences as a means of gaining political support. Demonstrating tolerance for antisemitism is another tactic of attracting political support. Polling data shows that these strategies have a rational basis. ADL’s 2019 Global 100 survey of antisemitic attitudes found that one in four Europeans polled harbored antisemitic beliefs.

Antisemitic propaganda has as its goal to energize and attract followers. Antisemitic propaganda is also used to tarnish political opponents in the eyes of a specific audience by intimating that someone is Jewish, supportive of Jewish causes or of the State of Israel. Other times, political opponents are slandered as antisemites or Nazis to diminish their reputations with specific audiences. Each of these techniques will be covered in this report, which focuses on the conscious choice of instrumentalizing or tolerating antisemitism for political gain. Antisemitic rhetoric by political actors as an indicator of bias is a much broader topic, and this report does not cover those instances.

The broad categories of the politicization of antisemitism include (1) politically motivated accusations of, or uses of, antisemitism against political opponents; (2) political appeals to antisemitic beliefs among the public, including the conspiracy theories about Jewish control of government, economy, media; and (3) tolerance of antisemitism within political movements as a strategy for increasing popular support. This list not exhaustive of the political instrumentalization of antisemitism, but this report provides illustrative examples from recent years in these broad categories.

Why is this report important? While violent antisemitic attacks receive wide publicity – and rightly so – the politicization of antisemitism can also severely impact Jewish communities. The British Jewish community provides a compelling example.

In January 2015, 11% of British Jews were considering emigrating, according to a poll by the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. That survey was conducted before Jeremy Corbyn, widely regarded within the British Jewish community as an antisemite himself, was even a leadership candidate for the Labour party. In September 2018, after antisemitism had become a serious problem in the Labour party under Corbyn, the Jewish Chronicle poll found that 39% of British Jews were considering emigrating. And in an October 2019 poll by the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, just prior to the UK General Election, 47% of British Jews said they would “seriously consider” leaving the UK if Jeremy Corbyn were to win the election.

Had Jeremy Corbyn won, leading a major party widely recognized as tolerating antisemitism among its members, and had even 30% of British Jews emigrated as a result of that single event, that number of roughly 90,000 Jews would have been similar to the total of all the French Jews who left France over the past 20 years.

The sections below are select examples of the different ways in which antisemitism has been instrumentalized for political gain by various actors. The purposes and tactics vary substantially, but have the common element of politicizing antisemitism:

The Russian government instrumentalized antisemitism in the forms of propaganda and “false flag” operations to influence domestic and foreign public opinion in its conflict with Ukraine.
Polish political campaigns used overt antisemitic rhetoric during elections to win votes.
The Hungarian government used coded antisemitism in political campaigns against EU migration policies.
The UK Labour party consciously tolerated antisemitism to widen its political support from far-left radicals.
Ukrainian nationalists glorified World War II era fighters to promote nationalist narratives, while trivializing their involvement in the Holocaust.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party trivialized the Holocaust as part of their appeal to “Holocaust fatigue” among German voters.
Other political actors have engaged in similar acts of politicization, and their absence from this report is not indicative of any assessment. The cases below are simply the most blatant examples of the types of politicization to be highlighted.
Author(s): Kalhousová, Irena
Date: 2019
Abstract: This thesis analyses three Central European countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary - and their relations with Israel. I chose these three Central European countries because they share the same geopolitical space and historical experience. These three Central European countries and Israel are geographically distant, face different geopolitical threats, and have only a few policy issues in common. Nonetheless, ‘the question of Israel’ has been very much present in the foreign policies of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Building on constructivism and IR scholarship that engages with memory studies, this thesis explores the process of national identity re-formation and its impact on the formulation of national interest. Specifically, it focuses on: a) past legacies, institutionalized in collective memory and expressed in narratives, which linger over and constrain policy choices; b) the role of decision-makers with a special focus on their role in national identity re-formation in times when a policy is in transition and when a new regime must establish its legitimacy. I look at the historical roots of the relations of the three Central European countries with Israel. I do so by analysing the role of the Jewish question in the nation-building process of Polish, Czech, and Hungarian nations. Further, I argue that as the three former Communist countries started to re-define their relations with Israel, the legacy of the Jewish question has had a significant impact on the formulation of their foreign policies towards the Jewish state.
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: 2020
Abstract: Az antiszemitizmus elleni küzdelem jelentôs része az antiszemita incidensek elôfordulásának nyomon követése. A Tett
és Védelem Liga egyik célja, hogy a társadalom szélesebb köreiben felhívja a figyelmet az antiszemitizmusra. Ennek elsôdleges eszköze a közéletben elôforduló gyûlölet-bûncselekményekkel kapcsolatos folyamatos és szakmailag megalapozott monitoringtevékenység. Az antiszemita incidensekre és egyéb gyûlöletcselekményekre vonatkozó információk gyûjtése és elemzése hiányában sem a zsidó közösségek, sem az egyének számára nem lehet valós védelmet biztosítani. Az adatgyûjtés eredményét a Tett és Védelem Liga – Magyarországon együttmûködésben a Tett és Védelem Alapítvánnyal – havi rendszerességgel közzéteszi havi jelentések formájában, az egyes országokra/régiókra vonatkozó megállapítások összefoglalóját pedig féléves és éves jelentésben publikálja. A jelentések kétféle cselekménnyel foglalkoznak: antiszemita gyûlölet-bûncselekményekkel és gyûlölet motiválta incidensekkel.
A jelentések mindkét cselekményt összefoglalóan ‘gyûlöletcselekményeknek’ nevezik. Az antiszemita gyûlölet-bûncselekmények és az egyéb típusú gyûlölet-bûncselekmények közötti fô különbség az antiszemita motiváció megléte. Az egyes országok eltérô törvényei és jogszabályi alkalmazásai következtében változó, hogy a büntetôjog szerint
mely antiszemita incidensek számítanak bûncselekménynek. Elôfordulnak olyan gyûlölet motiválta cselekmények is, amelyek ugyan felzaklatják a zsidó közösséget, mégsem tekinthetôek bûncselekménynek, például a szólásszabadság égisze alatt. Az általános áttekintés megszerzése és az idôbeli változások vizsgálata érdekében a Tett és Védelem Liga szerint mindkét típusú cse lekmény dokumentálására szükség van. A minél szélesebb körû monitorozás érdekében a Tett és Védelem Liga többféle forrást alkalmaz. Az események regisztrálásán kívül, az egyes incidensek különbözô
jellemzôit is számba vesszük. A dokumentálás során rögzítjük a cselekmények helyszínére, elkövetôjére (amennyiben ismert), célpontjára és (esetleges) következményeire vonatkozó adatokat, valamint megkülönböztetjük egymástól az eltérô cselekménytípusokat. Ebben a féléves jelentésben a 2020. januártól júniusig terjedô idôszak monitoringtevékenységének eredményeit foglaljuk össze.

2020. év elsô 6 hónapjában a Tett és Védelem Alapítvány összesen 16 antiszemita gyûlöletcselekményt detektált. Ezek
közül 4 esetben rongálást, 11 esetben gyûlöletbeszédet, illetve 1 esetben diszkriminációt azonosítottunk. Támadás és fenyegetés ez év elsô felében nem történt.
Date: 2018
Abstract: The fight against antisemitism through the means of education should begin from as early an age as possible. Various informal, educational projects exist that work towards this goal, using a number of different methods. However, these projects often operate separately and on an ad hoc basis in educational institutions, hence they lack an overarching concept or idea for the students. This makes the projects less efficient, and their short and long term impact becomes more difficult to evaluate. Generally speaking, Jewish history and religion are not part of the national curriculum in secondary schools. In the rare cases when aspects of Judaism are taught, the main focus is on the Holocaust, which often has a negative and counterproductive effect. For this reason, the main objective of the New World project was to educate students on topics such as Hungary’s role in the Holocaust (which is still not fully accepted by Hungarian society), prejudices, radicalisation and Jewish identity.

With the professional leadership and support of the Tom Lantos Institute, a complex educational project was realised. Its components build on each other, following a single line of thought: it incorporates the performance of the play New World, a subsequent drama-based pedagogical session and finally, 2-3 weeks later, an informal educational class led by the Haver Foundation. Each step of the programme was evaluated using a variety of methods such as mini-interviews, participants’ reports and questionnaires. Following a short literature review, this report intends to give a summary of the concept, structure, conclusions and results of the project. The report is dedicated to participants and leaders of similar initiatives, as well as to a wider audience of individuals interested in the topic.