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Author(s): Pignatelli, Marina
Date: 2020
Abstract: Jews who remained or returned to Portugal after the Expulsion (1496) and Inquisition (1536–1821) adopted and preserved different strategies to resist total assimilation, forced conversion and antisemitism. Today, Jewish communities are small and shy. At the same time, however, many Portuguese insist on an identification with a Jewish matrix. In parallel, there is an unprecedented effort to revitalize Jewish cultural memory in the public and private spheres. This article critically discusses the broad notion of Jewish identity and its representations in present day Portugal. It gives a succinct account of its existing Jewish communities, their power interrelationships and the categorizations used to label who is identified as a Jew. The article examines the making of cultural Jewish heritage and its paradoxes, considering the variety of agents involved and their agendas. While it will be argued that Jewish identity is certainly multidimensional, there are, at the same time, several contemporary native Jewish tangible and intangible cultural traces that are being neglected in the systematization process of Jewish memory and traditions in Portugal. Given the homogenizing tendencies of globalization and the particularizing local reactions to such trends, the present article describes and reflects on how the Jewish past in Portugal is intertwined with the present, and how the plural ways of perceiving Jewish identity and its cultural manifestations can be understood in a glocal frame, in terms of both discursive and material Jewish traditions. Based on a qualitative approach and a collaborative ethnographic method, the article analyzes how the Portuguese matrix of Jewish culture remains part of the Sepharad imaginary while it is subjected to the constraints of time and space.
Author(s): Paolo, Mendes Pinto
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: The 2015 Spanish and Portuguese nationality laws for descendants of Sephardi Jews are unusual in their motivation to redress wrongs committed more than half a millennium ago. Both have enabled descendants of those Sephardi Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, or forced to convert to Christianity, to claim citizenship status through naturalization. The laws have elicited ancestral and contemporary stories that speak to the personal and social meanings applicants give to these citizenships. Through extensive oral histories with fifty-five applicants across four continents, we examine our narrators’ views on the laws’ deep roots in a genealogical concept of belonging, based on familial and biological heritage and the persistent criterion of the bloodline. We argue that the responses of Sephardi applicants complicate traditional notions of genealogical inclusion, unveiling instead a multiplicity of meanings attached to identity, belonging, and contemporary citizenship. While Spain and Portugal’s offer of what we call “restorative citizenship” requires the demonstration of biological and genealogical certainties, we argue that those seeking Spanish or Portuguese nationality complicate, expand, and sometimes subvert state constructions of citizenship as well as transform their own identities and belonging. More than recuperating a lost Spanish or Portuguese identity, many Sephardi descendants are discovering or deepening their ties to ancestral history and culture. Sephardi genealogy is also being mobilized in a contemporary global and European context in which citizenship and belonging are no longer defined exclusively by nation state territoriality, but rather through claims to new hybrid, multiple, and flexible identities.
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
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: 2015
Abstract: My presentation will draw on the oral history of the Portuguese Jewish Community in XXI century using family histories and life stories of three generations in Portugal, particularly from the Jewish Community of Lisbon. The images that you are seeing here are from the synagogue of Lisbon, called “Shaaré Tikva” or ‘Gates of Hope’, from the beginning of the XX century, that has a symbolic meaning in the history of the Portuguese Jewish Community, in a country that is mainly Catholic by religion. This synagogue is a reflex of the social and historical relationship that was developed over centuries: the synagogue is in one of the main streets of the capital city, but at the time it could not be visible from the street because it was not Catholic. Today I will present the outcome of an anthropological, sociological and historical study over three generations of Portuguese Jews, especially focused on the history of the Sephardim and Ashkenazim in and out of Portugal from the XV century until the present day. I used an ethnographic methodology, doing an extensive ethnographic fieldwork for two years, that allowed me to do an oral reconstruction of their life stories and family memories until modern times, debating issues such as nation, belonging, religion and the meaning of being a Portuguese Jew nowadays. The reconstruction of their history is done taking in account the national and transnational narratives of Europe, Middle-East, Africa and America. It is my intention to contribute for an understanding of the national identity in Portugal and within Europe in a time when questions such as the right of belonging or living is becoming an important part of the public and private discourses.
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