The study focuses on Limmud volunteers and draws on a survey of ten Limmud volunteer communities in eight countries - UK, USA, South Africa, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Israel and Argentina - together with focus groups conducted with Limmud volunteers from around the world.
The findings provide clear evidence that Limmud advances the majority of its volunteers on their Jewish journeys, and for a significant proportion it takes them ‘further’ towards greater interest in and commitment to Jewish life.
Limmud’s principle impact on its volunteers lies in making new friends and contacts, encountering different kinds of Jews and enhancing a sense of connection to the Jewish people. For many Limmud volunteers, their experience has increased their Jewish
knowledge, their leadership skills and their involvement in the wider Jewish community. Involvement in Limmud therefore enhances both the desire to take further steps on their Jewish journeys, and the tools for doing so.
Limmud impacts equally on Jews regardless of denominationand religious practice. The younger the volunteers and the less committed they are when they begin their Limmud journeys, the further Limmud takes them. Those with more senior levels of involvement in Limmud report higher levels of impact on their Jewish journeys than other volunteers, as do those who had received a subsidy or training from Limmud.
Limmud volunteers often have difficult experiences and risk burnout and
exhaustion. While volunteers generally view the gains as worth the cost, Limmud
needs to pay attention to this issue and provide further support.
This paper is a study of the demography of the contemporary post-Soviet Jewish Diaspora based on various statistical sources collected from many countries where these Jews live. It examines (post-) Soviet Jewish resettlement, and the demographic transformation of FSU Jews in the wake of the recent mass migration, especially in Israel. Based on this analysis, an update for 2010 of the number of the 'core' Jews (by self-identity) originating from the FSU by country was presented, and the total number of people belonging to the post-Soviet Jewish Diaspora worldwide and their distribution was estimated.
Der nicht unumstrittene Begriff des Hybriden, ursprünglich aus Botanik und Biologie entlehnt und im 19. Jahrhundert in die Rassenlehre übernommen, wo er negativ besetzt wurde, findet seit einigen Jahren in diversen Bereichen der Geistes-, Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften wieder Verwendung. Dort richtet sich das Interesse auf Begegnungen, Vermischungen, Übergänge, Übersetzungen und Neuschöpfungen. Daraus entstehen Fragen nach Inklusion und Exklusion, welche Formen ‚Vermischungen‘ oder ‚Hybridisierungen‘ in konkreten Kontexten annehmen und in welchen kulturellen Praktiken und Identitätskonstruktionen sich diese äußern. Solche Fragen stellen sich auch für zeitgenössische jüdische Lebensentwürfe: Versteht man Identitäten als reflexive Prozesse des Selbstverstehens, des Entwickelns von sich immer in Veränderung befindlichen Selbstbildern und als eine Beziehung, zeigt sich, wie bedeutsam der Kontakt mit anderen und das Erfahren von Fremdwahrnehmung durch andere ist. Widersprüchliche Definitionen von Jüdischsein führen hier zu Herausforderungen für gemischte Familien. Die Komplexität resultiert u.a. aus den verschiedenen Ebenen zeitgenössischer jüdischer Identität, wie der kulturellen, der religiösen und nach der Shoah der historischen Ebene der Familien- und Verfolgungsgeschichte.
Der Band Hybride jüdische Identitäten versammelt die Vorträge der gleichnamigen internationalen Tagung, die im November 2012 am Erziehungswissenschaftlichen Institut der Universität Zürich stattgefunden hat. Die Autor_innen bringen nicht nur Perspektiven unterschiedlicher wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen, wie der Psychologie, der Soziologie, der Kultur- und Literaturwissenschaft sowie der Psychoanalyse zusammen, sondern untersuchen auch unterschiedliche nationale Zusammenhänge und Spezifika. Der Sammelband bündelt damit erstmalig Forschungen zu gemischt jüdisch-nichtjüdischen Familien und deren Selbstverständnissen und Erfahrungen.
Lea Wohl von Haselberg: Einleitung 7
Micha Brumlik: Matrilinearität im Judentum. Ein religionshistorischer Essay19
Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim: Juden, Nichtjuden und die dazwischen. Im Dschungel der Orientierungsversuche 35
Christina von Braun: Virtuelle Genealogien 49
Christa Wohl: Patrilineare in Deutschland: Jüdisch oder nicht? Eine psychologische Untersuchung 65
Birgitta Scherhans: Jüdisch-christliche ‚Mischehen‘ in Deutschland nach 1945 83
Madeleine Dreyfus: ‚Mischehe‘ und Übertritt. Elemente jüdischer Identitätskonstruktionen am Beispiel der deutschen Schweiz 103
Catherine Grandsard: Approximate Answers to Baffling Problems. Issues of Identity in Mixed Jewish-Christian Families in France 121
Adrian Wójcik/Michał Bilewicz: Beyond Ethnicity. The Role of the Mixed-Origin Family for Jewish Identity: A Polish Case Study 133
Pearl Beck: The Relationship between Intermarriage and Jewish Identity in the United States. An Examination of Overall Trends and Specific Research Findings 147
Joela Jacobs: Die Frage nach dem Bindestrich. Deutsch-jüdische Identitäten und Literatur 169
A few days after arriving in New York during the spring of 1990, Anatolii S. (born in 1920, Ukraine), put on his jacket, decorated with the numerous military medals that he had earned during his service in the Soviet Army during World War II, and went into a nearby synagogue, hoping to find out about the benefits available to him as a Jewish veteran of the war that "helped to save America from fascism." He showed his documents to the local clerk, who only gestured for him to put his hat back on and to pray with the prayer book. Unable to open the book correctly, and most importantly, unwilling to pray, Anatolii realized that neither his participation in the war, nor his knowledge of Yiddish, made him a true member of this community. Being accustomed to displays of public respect and economic benefits from his status as a war veteran, Anatolii now had to embrace his new status in a society that did not regard him any differently from any other non-English speaking, elderly Jewish immigrant from Russia.
Anatolii, like the other approximately 26,000 Soviet Jewish veterans who migrated to Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United States in the 1990s, was certainly welcome to attend synagogues and Jewish community centers in his new country, but his understanding of what it meant to be a Jew differed profoundly from the majority of members in these communities. Anatolii and his peers (Soviet veterans) regarded their participation in the war as the most important part of their Jewish identity, and they were often shocked to find out how little the war meant to the Jewish identity of the local populations they encountered. Unsatisfied with the status quo, many Soviet veterans launched their own organizations, where being Jewish and proud of Soviet accomplishments did not seem contradictory. Moreover, the definitions of "Soviet" and "Jewish" shifted, merged, and eventually formed the foundation of a specific culture, with its own leaders, traditions, rituals, and language.
In this article, I look into the modes of survival of Soviet language and ideology among veterans, and analyze what these modes tell us about the patterns of immigrant adaptation. I concentrate on three centers of veterans' activities: New York, Toronto, and Berlin, and discuss similarities and differences in the adaptations of veterans in these communities. I will discuss how the culture of each city and country influenced what the veterans select from Soviet rhetoric to describe their present lives.
The second goal of this study is to challenge existing scholarship, which treats elderly migrants as passive and apathetic. Nursing Studies and Gerontology dominate research in this area (rather than the field of immigrant studies) and as a result we know much more about cases of extreme isolation, deprivation, and depression among elderly immigrants in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe than about the contribution elderly migrants make to the social and cultural systems in their new societies. While the vulnerability of this group is undeniable, I perceive studying foreign retirees solely as victims or disadvantaged entities as an "ageism" bias which denies proper recognition and acceptance of the achievements and life experiences of the elderly, as it sees them solely through the prism of their ailing bodies. Soviet Jewish veterans, as a group, serve as an ideal case study of how elderly immigrants fight such perceptions, both consciously and subconsciously, not only by creating their own organizations, but also by establishing an awareness of their legacies in their new home countries.
Data and Methodology
This study is based on 233 in-depth interviews with Soviet veterans of World War II conducted between 1999 and 2007 in Toronto, Berlin, and New York. I used a snowball sample, where the initial respondents—located through veterans' organizations and ads placed in Russian-language media—suggested other potential interviewees. The interviews consisted of open-ended questions about respondents' experiences throughout their lives. Russian-language newspaper articles published in immigrant papers also served as useful sources for public expressions of veterans' opinions about political, cultural, and social issues in their new countries.
This book presents the comparative work of an international team of researchers which delves into the building of communities, the formulation of collective identities and the articulation of public discourse by people who, after eighty years of Marxism-Leninism and compulsory removal from Jewish culture, are now reconstructing their ethnicity.
In every place, they face contrasting challenges and as a whole, constitute an ideal case for the study of the making of contemporary transnational diasporas.
In this fascinating study, based on extensive field work in the major Israeli communities of New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Sydney, Steven J. Gold looks at emigrants' reasons for leaving - existing links abroad, political and economic dissatisfaction at home, the lure of world-class career opportunities and cultural environments in global cities, and in the case of the Sephardim (or Israelis of non-European origin) often a feeling of being treated as second-class citizens. He also examines the tensions, compromises, and satisfactions involved in their relations with Israelis who have not left and with the Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the countries in which they settle. In the final chapter, Gold talks to Israeli men and women who after years as emigrants have made the decision to return. The end result is a major contribution not just to the study of the Israeli diaspora but also to our wider understanding of migration and transnational identity.
Part I defines Judeo-Spanish, discusses the various names used to refer to the language, and presents a brief history of the Eastern Sephardim. The next part describes the language and its survival, first by examining the Spanish spoken by the Jews in pre-Expulsion Spain, and followed by a description of Judeo-Spanish as spoken in the Ottoman Empire, emphasizing the phonology, archaic features, new creations, euphemisms, proverbs, and foreign (non-Spanish) influences on the language. Finally, Harris discusses sociological or nonlinguistic reasons why Judeo-Spanish survived for four and one-half centuries in the Ottoman empire.
The third section of Death of a Language analyzes the present status and characteristics of Judeo-Spanish. This includes a description of the informants and the three Sephardic communities studied, as well as the present domains or uses of Judeo-Spanish in these communities. Current Judeo-Spanish shows extensive influences from English and Standard Spanish in the Judeo-Spanish spoken in the United States, and from Hebrew and French in Israel. No one under the age of fifty can speak it well enough (if at all) to pass it on to the next generation, and none of the informants' grandchildren can speak the language at all. Nothing is being done to ensure its perpetuation: the language is clearly dying.
Part IV examines the sociohistorical causes for the decline of Judeo-Spanish in the Levant and the United States, and presents the various attitudes of current speakers: 86 percent of the informants feel that the language is dying. A discussion of language and Sephardic identity from a sociolinguistic perspective comprises part V , which also examines Judeo-Spanish in the framework of dying languages in general and outlines the factors that contribute to language death. In the final chapter the author examines how a dying language affects a culture, specifically the role of Judeo-Spanish in Sephardic identity.
• Foreword—Sylvia Barack Fishman
• Preface—Joanna Beata Michlic
• Jewish Families in Europe, 1939–Present: History, Representation, and Memory—An Introduction—Joanna Beata Michlic
• PART I: PARENTHOOD AND CHILDHOOD UNDER SIEGE, 1939–1945
• Parenthood in the Shadow of the Holocaust—Dalia Ofer
• Clandestine Activities and Concealed Presence: A Case Study of Children in the Kraków Ghetto—Joanna Sliwa
• Resistance in Everyday Life: Family Strategies, Role Reversals, and Role Sharing in the Holocaust—Lenore J. Weitzman
• The National Institute for the Israelite Deaf-Mute in Budapest, 1938–1948: A Case Study for the Rescue Strategy of Continuously Operating Jewish Communal Institutions—Kinga Frojimovics
• Moving Together, Moving Alone: The Story of Boys on a Transport from Auschwitz to Buchenwald—Kenneth Waltzer
• Life in Hiding and Beyond—Jennifer Marlow
• PART II: AFTER THE WAR: REBUILDING SHATTERED LIVES, RECOLLECTING WARTIME EXPERIENCES
• A Zionist Home: Jewish Youths and the Kibbutz Family after the Holocaust—Avinoam Patt
• What Does a Child Remember? Recollections of the War and the Early Postwar Period among Child Survivors from Poland—Joanna Beata Michlic
• Memory Imprints: Testimonies as Historical Sources—Rita Horváth
• “I Will Not Be Believed”: Benjamin Tenenbaum and the Representation of the Child Survivor—Boaz Cohen and Gabriel N. Finder
• Transcending Memory in Holocaust Survivors’ Families—Uta Larkey
• Holocaust Child Survivors, Sixty-Five Years after Liberation: From Mourning to Creativity—Eva Fogelman
• Afterword: In Defense of Eyewitness Testimonies: Reflections of a Writer and Child Survivor of the Holocaust—Henryk Grynberg
• List of Contributors
In the 1990s most of the second largest Jewish Diaspora population, which resided in the former Soviet Union (FSU), changed their places of residence. Whereas the majority emigrated to Israel, the rest were divided mostly between the USA and Germany. The aims of this paper are to present (post-) Soviet Jewish resettlement, and to study the demographic transformation in the course of this mass migration.
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and their children currently live in North America. The Jewish identity of the young adults in this group is a source of broad concern in the Jewish community. Taglit-Birthright Israel (Taglit), which provides 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26, is one program that has successfully engaged Jewish young adults with roots in the FSU. Drawing on draws on data collected in a set of surveys conducted approximately three months before and after the Taglit trips in summer ’07, winter ’07-’08, and summer ’08, as well as focus groups and in-depth interviews, this report paints a comprehensive portrait of Russian-speaking Taglit participants.
This report examines the sociodemographic characteristics, backgrounds and current Jewish and Russian identities and engagement of Taglit participants with roots in the FSU. It then examines their Taglit experience and the impact of the trip. Finally, the report explores potential avenues to engage this group’s unique Russian-Jewish cultural and linguistic heritage and draw them into American Jewish life.
Based on historical precedent, he argued that we should expect to see five trends: (1) Jewish organisations being merged into non-Jewish organisations; (2) new found efforts to re-engage small donors; (3) calls for higher standards of ethics and greater transparency in Jewish philanthropy; (4) a new focus on sweat equity; and (5) demographic decline and greater aliyah to Israel as unemployment rises.
Sarna further argued that “Once the economic downturn is behind us, the goal of formulating a new and compelling mission for our Jewish community needs to be high on our collective agenda.”
2 Religious Identity in the Social and Political Arena: An Examination of the
Attitudes of Orthodox and Progressive Jews in the UK
3 Changing Patterns of Jewish Identity among British Jews
4 A Typological Approach to French Jewry
5 "Jewishness" in Postmodernity: The Case of Sweden
6 Becoming Jewish in Russia and Ukraine
7 The Jewish Press and Jewish Identity: Leningrad/St. Petersburg, 1989-1992
John D. Klier
8 Patterns of Jewish Identity in the Jewish Community of Moldova: The Behavioral Dimension
Malka Korazim and Esther Katz
9 Jewish Identity and the Orthodox Church in Late Soviet Russia
Judith Deutsch Kornblatt
10 Looking Out for One's Own Identity: Central Asian Jews in the Wake of
Alanna E. Cooper
11 Jewish Groups and Identity Strategies in Post-Communist Hungary
Andrs̀ Kovc ̀s
12 Particularizing the Universal: New Polish Jewish Identities and a New Framework
13 Polish Jewish Institutions in Transition: Personalities Over Process
Claire A. Rosenson
14 Jewish Identity in the United States and Israel
Charles S. Liebman
15 Notes Towards the Definition of Jewish Culture in the New Europe
16 Conclusion: Jewish Identity in Transition: Transformation or Attenuation?
In Jewish Centers and Peripheries, S. Han Troen presents evidence of cultural renewal and community reorganization—both internally driven and supported by Israeli-and American-based Jewish organizations—which promise to assure the continuity and vitality of Jewish life in Europe. This volume presents the contributions of scholars, senior community professionals, lay leaders, and former diplomats from Europe, Israel, and America, including Yosef Gorny, Gabriel Sheffer, Rashid Kaplanov, Barry Kosmin, Ralph Goldman, Jean-Jacques Wahl, Israel Finestein, David Patterson, and Daniel Elazar.
In this volume an international assembly of experts historians, sociologists, demographers and politicians join forces in order to assess the nature and magnitude of the impact created by this emigration and to examine the fate of those Jews who left and those who remained. Their wide-ranging perspectives contribute to creating a variegated and complex picture of the recent Russian Jewish Emigration.
Part 1 The historical setting: "from northern country" - Russian and Soviet immigration to America and Israel in historical perspective, Zvi Gitelman.
Part 2 From emigration to absorption - policy formulation and implementation: Soviet policy towards Jewish emigration - an overview, Yaacov Ro'i; ethnic and related factors in soviet emigration policy, 1968-1989, Laurie Salitan; the impact of the United States on Soviet emigration policy, Richard Schifter; Israel's immigration policy and the dropout phenomenon, Yehuda Dominitz; the quandaries of an Israeli minister of absorption, Yair Tzaban; Israel's absorption policy since the 1970s, Shmuel Adler. Part 3 The social context of emigration: the interrelationship between emigration and the socio-demographic profile of Russian Jewry, Mark Tolts; Jewish emigration from the former USSR - who? why? how many? Robert J. Brym; does the country gain or lose from the Exodus of Jews? the discussion in Russian society, Eli Weinerman; attitudes of Russians towards Jews and their emigration, 1989-94. Part 4 Social and economic absorption in Israel and the US: Soviet Jews in the United States - language and labour market adjustments revisited, Barry R. Chiswick; community formation among Jews from the former Soviet Union in the US, Steven J. Gold; immigrants from the former USSR in Israel in the 1990s: - demographic characteristics and socio-economic absorption, Ari M. Paltiel et al. Part 5 Cultural change and identity dilemmas: Jewish identity among Russian immigrants in the US, Paul Ritterband; culture change, border crossings and identity shopping - Jewish teenagers from the CIS assess their future in Israel, Fran Markowitz; identity and language - the social insertion of Soviet Jews in Israel, Eliezer Ben-Rafael et al; motivation to serve in the Israeli Army - the gap between cultural involvement and cultural performance, Abraham Carmeli, Judith Fadlon; is living in Russia worthwhile? Leonid Gozman; the view from Kiev, Leonid Finberg; twenty years after, Alexander V. Voronel. Part 6 Impact on the receiving society.