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Author(s): Leite, Naomi
Date: 2017
Abstract: How are local understandings of identity, relatedness, and belonging transformed in a global era? How does international tourism affect possibilities for who one can become?

In urban Portugal today, hundreds of individuals trace their ancestry to 15th century Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism, and many now seek to rejoin the Jewish people as a whole. For the most part, however, these self-titled Marranos ("hidden Jews") lack any direct experience of Jews or Judaism, and Portugal's tiny, tightly knit Jewish community offers no clear path of entry. According to Jewish law, to be recognized as a Jew one must be born to a Jewish mother or pursue religious conversion, an anathema to those who feel their ancestors' Judaism was cruelly stolen from them. After centuries of familial Catholicism, and having been refused inclusion locally, how will these self-declared ancestral Jews find belonging among "the Jewish family," writ large? How, that is, can people rejected as strangers face-to-face become members of a global imagined community - not only rhetorically, but experientially?

Leite addresses this question through intimate portraits of the lives and experiences of a network of urban Marranos who sought contact with foreign Jewish tourists and outreach workers as a means of gaining educational and moral support in their quest. Exploring mutual imaginings and direct encounters between Marranos, Portuguese Jews, and foreign Jewish visitors, Unorthodox Kin deftly tracks how visions of self and kin evolve over time and across social spaces, ending in an unexpected path to belonging. In the process, the analysis weaves together a diverse set of current anthropological themes, from intersubjectivity to international tourism, class structures to the construction of identity, cultural logics of relatedness to transcultural communication.

A compelling evocation of how ideas of ancestry shape the present, how feelings of kinship arise among far-flung strangers, and how some find mystical connection in a world said to be disenchanted, Unorthodox Kin will appeal to a wide audience interested in anthropology, sociology, Jewish studies, and religious studies. Its accessible, narrative-driven style makes it especially well suited for introductory and advanced courses in general cultural anthropology, ethnography, theories of identity and social categorization, and the study of globalization, kinship, tourism, and religion.
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): 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: 2014
Author(s): Leite, Naomi
Date: 2011
Abstract: This dissertation explores issues of identification, relatedness, and belonging on a global scale,
through an ethnographic study of Portugal’s urban Marranos (descendants of fifteenth-century
forced converts to Catholicism) and foreign Jews who travel from abroad to meet them.
Although not Jewish according to Jewish law, given centuries of intermarriage, Marranos are
nonetheless widely considered to be part of “the Jewish family,” “lost brethren” who should be
welcomed back to the Jewish people. Many Jews view them within the metanarrative of Jewish
destruction and survival, the “eternal spark” that remains despite the Inquisition’s attempted
elimination of Judaism from the Portuguese landscape. However, for numerous local reasons the
present-day Marranos are not welcomed by Portugal’s tiny normative Jewish community. As a
result, the urban Marranos, who feel strongly that they are Jews by descent, turn to foreign
Jewish travelers as sources of educational, spiritual, and material assistance in their bid to join
the Jewish world and attain recognition as Jews in the present.
Based on two years of fieldwork in Marrano organizations in Lisbon and Porto and traveling
alongside Jewish tourists and outreach workers, the dissertation undertakes a processual analysis
of the constitution of ancestral Jewish identity and of the role of transnational, cross-cultural
affective ties in affording a sense of global Jewish belonging. The primary questions driving this
work are, first, how and why do far-flung people come to feel that they are related to one
another, and what terms do they use to characterize and think through that feeling of relatedness?
Second, to what extent are their perceptions of essential connection disrupted or transformed by
face-to-face contact? By interrogating the cultural logics of kinship writ large—the language and
conceptual frameworks people use to articulate and make sense of their feelings of relatedness to
one another—and then examining how those logics play out “on the ground,” this study provides
a fine-grained ethnographic analysis of the mechanisms through which global and ancestral
imaginings become concretized in social interaction. Ultimately, I argue, physical proximity
remains the productive sphere for identification and belonging, even as global interconnection
provides new opportunities for encounter.
Date: 2004
Abstract: Following concerns from many quarters over what seemed to be a serious
increase in acts of antisemitism in some parts of Europe, especially in
March/April 2002, the EUMC asked the 15 National Focal Points of its Racism
and Xenophobia Network (RAXEN) to direct a special focus on antisemitism in
its data collection activities. This comprehensive report is one of the outcomes
of that initiative. It represents the first time in the EU that data on antisemitism
has been collected systematically, using common guidelines for each Member
State.

The national reports delivered by the RAXEN network provide an overview of
incidents of antisemitism, the political, academic and media reactions to it,
information from public opinion polls and attitude surveys, and examples of
good practice to combat antisemitism, from information available in the years
2002 – 2003.

On receipt of these national reports, the EUMC then asked an independent
scholar, Dr Alexander Pollak, to make an evaluation of the quality and
availability of this data on antisemitism in each country, and identify problem
areas and gaps. The country-by-country information provided by the 15
National Focal Points, and the analysis by Dr Pollak, form Chapter 1 and
Chapter 2 of this report respectively.

Finally, in the light of the information and analysis provided by this exercise,
the report concludes with a number of proposals for action to the EU and its
Member States on concrete measures to combat antisemitism, including legal
and educational measures, and recommendations for improving the monitoring
and recording of antisemitic incidents.