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Author(s): Salamensky, S. I.
Date: 2013
Author(s): Salamensky, S. I.
Date: 2014
Abstract: A “Jew-themed” restaurant provides its patrons with broad-brimmed black hats with foot-long sidecurls to wear, and the menu has no prices; patrons must bargain, or “Jew,” the staff down. A play billed as a tribute to a lost Jewish community ends in a gag: Death throws back his shroud to reveal an open-brain-pate wig, à la the horror flick Nightmare on Elm Street. In a “traditional Jewish wedding dance,” “Jewish wealth” is represented by a local luxury: vacuum-packed juice boxes. In parts of the world where Jews, once populous, have nearly vanished because of oppression, forced exile, and genocide, non-Jews now strive to re-enact what has been lost. In this essay, I will consider three general cases of what I term “Jewface” minstrelsy and

“Jewfaçade” display, in Krakow, Poland; the village of Hervás in western Spain; and Birobidzhan, capital city of Russia’s far-eastern Jewish Autonomous Region, which is known as Birobidzhan as well. Jewface-resembling the “blackface” prevalent in the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries-is the practice of music, dance, theatre, and/or extra-theatrical types of performance, primarily by non-Jews, intended to convey notions of historical Jewish life and culture. Jewfaçade involves architectural and decorative constructions, again mainly by nonJews, meant to evoke ideas of the Jew in similar ways. Ruth Ellen Gruber, the team of Daniela Flesler and Adrian Pérez Melgosa, and other journalists and scholars have documented what Michael Brenner has called “Jewish culture without Jews” in Poland and Spain, as well as elsewhere in Europe (Brenner 1997: 152). However, no comparative study has been made, and no scholar has approached this topic with regard to Birobidzhan. I will provide brief overviews of Jewface and Jewfaçade activities in Krakow, Hervás, and Birobidzhan. I will then demonstrate the ways in which the notions of the figure of the Jew and of local Jewish history are performed, or acted out in these three comparative geographical contexts. These cases, as, in conclusion, I will argue, represent three very different approaches to public memory and memorialization with regard to the Jew, and perhaps in regard to troubled historical legacies more generally.
Date: 1994
Abstract: With the rise of ultranationalist organizations throughout Europe, the issue of attitudes and orientations held toward designated "out-groups" has become a critical concern of anxious observers. In Russia the strength registered by Vladimir Zhirinovskii's ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party during the parliamentary elections of 1993 has been interpreted as a sign of intolerance among the Russian populace. In fact, the success of candidates associated with the Liberal Democratic Party was not only based upon appeals to strengthen the Russian nation against perceived enemies, but also upon promises of a return to price stability and upon Zhirinovskii's anti-establishment, populist program. Nonetheless, Zhirinovskii's success in the 1991 presidential elections (he attracted 7.8% of the electorate) does serve to reaffirm the importance of tracking how attitudes toward groups that have often been targeted as scapegoats in times of social or economic upheaval have evolved in the late Soviet and immediate post-Soviet period. Two major questions concern us here: first, how pervasive among Russians and Ukrainians are perceptions of significant "social distance" between themselves and designated out-groups, most notably the Jewish population; and second, to what extent do these perceptions of distance form part of a cohesive ideology of ultranationalism? Understanding the basis of sentiments toward Jewish populations is particularly important for interpreting the workings of the complex mosaic of the post-Soviet political culture.
Date: 2011
Abstract: Книга содержит результаты комплексного социологического исследования российского еврейства, проведенного в 2010 году фондом "Общественная экспертиза" под руководством Игоря Яковенко. Результатом исследования стала представленная авторами гипотеза о структурно-функциональной модели еврейского мира, раскрывающая причины двух главных аномалий еврейского народа: механизма уникального трехтысяче-летнего выживания еврейской цивилизации и непропорционально большого вклада евреев в науку и культуру XX века.
В исследовании впервые дан сравнительный социологический анализ ашкеназов и горских евреев, в ходе которого доказана гипотеза о полиэтнической структуре российского еврейства.
Анализ фундаментального внутреннего противоречия между соблюдающими евреями "ядра" и ассимилированными евреями "оболочки", а также исследование "мембраны", отделяющей еврейский мир от нееврейского, позволили авторам выдвинуть гипотезу об ошибочности прогнозов об "умирании российского еврейства" и скором "конце еврейской цивилизации" и ее трансформации в неоэтнос.
Исходной точкой исследования стал семантический и социологический анализ понятия Jewish Peoplehood (принадлежность к еврейскому народу), которое, по мнению авторов, имеет шанс стать одной из несущих конструкций нового понятийного аппарата, необходимого для описания современного еврейства.
Date: 2021
Abstract: This article presents research notes on an oral history project on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Jews over the age of 65 years. During the first stage of the project, we conducted nearly 80 interviews in eight cities worldwide: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and St. Petersburg, and in Israel. The interviews were conducted in the spring of 2020 and reflect the atmosphere and perception of interviewees at the end of the first lockdown.

Based on an analysis of the interviews, the findings are divided into three spheres: (1) the personal experience during the pandemic, including personal difficulties and the impact of the lockdown on family and social contacts; (2) Jewish communal life, manifested in changed functions and emergence of new needs, as well as religious rituals during the pandemic; and (3) perceived relations between the Jewish community and wider society, including relations with state authorities and civil society, attitudes of and towards official media, and the possible impact of COVID-19 on antisemitism. Together, these spheres shed light on how elderly Jews experience their current situation under COVID-19—as individuals and as part of a community.

COVID-19 taught interviewees to reappraise what was important to them. They felt their family relations became stronger under the pandemic, and that their Jewish community was more meaningful than they had thought. They understood that online communication will continue to be present in all three spheres, but concluded that human contact cannot be substituted by technical devices.
Date: 2013
Date: 2009
Abstract: Posing a question whether it makes sense to try and speak in rational and scholarly terms of comparative value systems, ethnic «models», the role of various ethnic entities and cultures in world history and their contribution to civilization process, the author tends to give a «cautiously affirmative» answer to this question. He insists on the necessity of researching into this complicated, delicate and dangerous field, one of the goals being not to leave it in the hands of nationalistic ideologists, irresponsible politicians and mass media dilettanti. Discussing from this angle the position of the world Jewry and its disproportionally outstanding role in the shaping of the «Western» civilization, the author focuses on the Russian Jewry, its contribution to Russian and world culture and its peculiar - from the traditional point of view - identity. In his opinion, this fairly secular identity based on ethnic and cultural self-consciousness is the most tenable future model for the American Jewry which badly needs a revision of old stereotypes, first of all on the part of US Jewish leaders. He also analyzes what he calls a general crisis of Jewish identity and evaluates the comparative perspectives of retaining or losing the Russian Jewish identity by the young generations in Russian-speaking Jewish communities both in Israel, USA and Germany. Touching upon the subject of ethos and asserting that it is meaningless even for a secular mind to discuss it other than in a dialogue with two religious stands a Russian Jew is most familiar with, Jewish and Christian, he suggests several issues for such a dialogue. Finally, the author regards the existing conceptions of Jewish education, especially in the USA, as outdated and no more efficient and gives his vision of how they should be re-shaped.
Editor(s): Белова, O. B.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Отталкиваясь от распространенных в антисионистской кампании обвинений евреев-эмигрантов и отказников в меркантильности и потребительстве, статья рассматривает вещественный мир и его осмысление в советском и еврейском нарративах эмиграции, сосредотачиваясь на трех ситуациях: иммиграция вещей, эмиграция вещей и вещь как альтернатива эмиграции. Отмечая предубеждение против материального как традиционную установку мемуаристов, причисляющих себя к интеллигенции, автор тем не менее обнаруживает несколько категорий вещей, регулярно упоминаемых в разнообразных рассказах о своей и чужой эмиграции, и исследует то, как эти вещи проблематизируются и социализируются, превращаясь из
машинально используемых предметов в «социальные объекты», наделенные в антагонистичных нарративах различным, иногда противоположным, значением.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Отношение к кладбищам в еврейской традиции амбивалентно: оно является одновременно и сакральным объектом – на идише оно называется «святое место», хейлике орт, – и местом нечистоты, которое связано с нечистотой мертвого тела и может осквернять людей. В статье рассматриваются практики, связанные с паломничеством к могилам хасидских цадиков, распространенные в настоящее время в России, Украине, Израиле и США. В большинстве случаев мы имеем дело с различными вариациями почитания праведников в хасидизме, причем многие индивидуальные практики на могилах цадиков перекликаются с историческими и мемуарными свидетельствами о поклонении этим же людям при их жизни. На могилах оставляют записки с просьбами о помощи, иногда кладут на них монеты и различные предметы, которые требуют благословения. Приходя к месту погребения, соблюдают правила поведения, установленные самими цадиками: не поворачиваются спиной к могиле, снимают кожаную обувь, читают определенные псалмы и молитвы. Отдельно в статье рассматриваются паломнические практики, связанные с субститутами могил праведников: с местами бывших захоронений, перенесенных в другую страну или к могиле жены праведника, которая находится в Иерусалиме.
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: 2011
Abstract: Israelis form a unique case in the field of diaspora studies. When the State of Israel was founded in 1948 it was seen as the longed-for end to the wandering and oppression which had characterized the Jewish diaspora over the centuries. For various reasons, however, about ten percent of the Israeli population chooses to live abroad despite the condemnation of those who see emigration as a threat to the ideological, demographic, and moral viability of Israel itself. The rejection of emigration from Israel is a central assumption in all forms of Zionism as a corollary of the «negotiation of diaspora» which was a central tenet of Israeli Zionist education. During the recent years many educated young people, relatively recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, have emigrated to the West, and also emigration (which could not be described as returning migration) to Russia is now fairly widespread. The employment market in Russia is flexible, and free market policies lead to competition for talented young graduates who enjoy breathtaking opportunities and high salaries, in comparison to Israel. These migration waves create a new phenomenon - the Russian-speaking transnational post-Israeli diaspora. These people feel free to choose, on purely instrumental grounds, their target society - Israel, when conditions seem favorable, Russia, if it seems to offer more, and for the same reasons, the United States or other Western countries. The Russian-speaking post-Israeli immigrants do not aspire to «get home», but rather to reach a place where they can «build a home». The problem of emigration from Israel is far more serious than suggested by previously published data, which concentrated on the extent of emigration, the countries chosen, and the motivation for leaving. Emigrants are not a representative sample of the population. The proportion of well educated individuals among emigrants is significantly greater than this proportion in the overall population. The emigration of the most talented citizens and the slump in immigration is a problem in itself, but it must also be understood as a symptom of a general failure by the State of Israel to create a society capable of attracting and keeping the best and brightest of the Jewish people.
Date: 2011
Date: 2011
Date: 2018
Date: 2020
Abstract: Статья посвящена трансформации, которую претерпел обычай «ѓахнасат кала» в современной российской еврейской общине. Заповедь «ѓахнасат кала» была впервые упомянута в талмудической литературе как
предписание увеселять жениха и невесту, однако позже, в XVII–XVIII вв., в Ашкеназе получила новое содержание: община должна была собирать на приданое бедным невестам, с тем чтобы они могли выйти замуж, – тем самым нищие девушки удерживались от социальной маргинализации или крещения. В современной российской еврейской общине (и, как выяснилось впоследствии, среди русскоязычных ультрарелигиозных евреев Израиля) это название стало употребляться по отношению к совершенно новой практике – сбору денег на организацию свадебной церемонии для жениха и невесты, уже выбравших друг друга, а нередко живших в гражданском браке и пришедших к иудаизму. В отличие от традиционной ситуации, когда стоимость свадебных расходов покрывается взносами гостей, в данном случае спонсорами свадьбы становятся пользователи интернета, сочувствующие данной паре, а бенефициарами – члены общины с высоким статусом. Таким образом, организация дорогой свадебной церемонии становится
для будущих супругов своего рода подтверждением их статуса в общине. Подробно анализируется один такой случай, произошедший в общине Московской хоральной синагоги в 2019 г. Делаются выводы о структуре общины, о ее экономике и роли краудфандинга в современной российской еврейской ортодоксии.
Date: 2020
Abstract: В статье рассматриваются глубинные изменения, которым подверглась еврейская идентичность и культурная память в России, в том числе произошедшие советский и пост-советский периоды. Основываясь главным образом на результатах своих полевых исследований, проводившихся с 1999г. в ряде российских городов, я при-хожу к выводу, что у людей еврейского происхождения в России отсутствует еди-ная культурная самоидентификация, но что она имеет поливариантный характер.При этом некоторые типы самоидентификации не включают в себя символы ицен-ности, характерные для еврейской культурной традиции (или включают их частич-но).Глубокие трансформации еврейской идентичностив XXв. привели к тому, что и еврейская культурная память в нашей стране тоже имеет диверсифицированный характер. За последние два-три десятилетия в России наблюдается конструирова-ние «новой еврейской» самоидентификации и культурной памяти, которые зиждут-ся на позитивных ценностях–как религиозных, так и светских. Ведущая роль в этом процессе принадлежит различным еврейским религиозным и светским струк-турам.
Date: 2014
Date: 2002
Abstract: Книга посвящена судьбе синагогальных зданий на территории СНГ на протяжении прошедшего столетия. Первая ее часть охватывает период от начала ХХ века до распада СССР; вторая - рассказ о том, как в постсоветское время часть конфискованных государством синагог возвращается еврейским общинам и обретает вторую жизнь. Автор вводит читателя в круг проблем, связанных с этим процессом, и останавливается на роли Джойнта в деле реституции и ремонта синагог. Книга богато иллюстрирована фотографиями, в основном из коллекции Джойнта; большая часть из них публикуется впервые. В приложении приведен список действующих сегодня синагог СНГ. Одна из предыдущих книг Бейзера - "Евреи Ленинграда, 1917 - 1939: национальная жизнь и советизация" (1999) - удостоилась Анциферовской премии 2000 г. за лучшую зарубежную книгу о Санкт-Петербурге.