Some of the key findings in this report:
• The global Haredi population is estimated at 2,100,000, constituting about 14% of the total Jewish population in the world.
• Together, Israel and the USA account for about 92% of all Haredi Jews. Europe hosts 5% of the global Haredi population, while the rest live mainly in Latin America, South Africa, Canada and Australia.
• Outside of Israel and the USA, the three largest Haredi populations are located in the UK (about 75,000, or 25% of all British Jews), Canada (30,000, 8%) and France (12,000, 3%).
• While the world Jewish population has been growing by approximately 0.7% per year over the past decade, the Haredi population is currently growing by about 3.5%-4.0% annually.
• Today, a large part of the growth of the global Jewish population as a whole is due to the Haredi population: perhaps as much as 70%-80% of the total growth worldwide.
• Haredi rates of growth are very high not simply due to high fertility, but rather to the combined effects of very high fertility and very low mortality.
The conspiracies are said to have permeated every corner of the internet, including encrypted apps like Telegram and everyday digital tools like podcasts. Despite much of the recent political and media focus being on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, the report finds the most ardent forms of hatred circulate on peripheral so-called ‘alt-tech’ platforms.
The study — by the Henry Jackson Society — comes as it was revealed that Facebook has taken robust action in banning adverts by extremist group, which have attempted to sow the seeds of division amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Among the online messages spread by the far-right identified within the report, are that:
Jews are using global lockdowns to “steal everything”.
“Satan in human form”, or Jewish people, are throwing dance parties to celebrate the spread of the coronavirus.
Jewish public leaders are using the COVID-19 crisis to “test the populations [sic] willingness to comply” with authoritarian restrictions on their civil liberties.
COVID-19 is being used as part of a plot to replace the ‘white’ population of Europe.
Those infected with the coronavirus should visit their local synagogue and mosque, and more broadly ethnically-diverse neighbourhoods, in order to spread the disease.
Jews spread the bubonic plague through Europe in the Middle Ages and demonstrate an inherent tendency for killing large numbers of non-Jews through efficient methods.
In response, the author recommends the introduction of stronger forms of internet regulation for alt-tech social media platforms, including a review by the Commission for Countering Extremism (CCE) and extensive training for law enforcement officers on the full scope of alt-tech platforms. The report also recommends that the Home Office establish a new counter-disinformation unit to tackle online conspiracy theories head-on by “exposing their fundamental lack of credibility, through well-organised social media campaigns”.
This material is said to be circulating on both sides of the Atlantic with extremist messaging from the British National Socialist Movement in the UK and the National Socialist Movement in the United States. The similarities between the content across the Atlantic is identified by the author as an area of particular concern
The Remembered and Forgotten Jewish World investigates the politics of heritage tourism and collective memory. In an account that is part travelogue, part social history, and part family saga, acclaimed historian Daniel J. Walkowitz visits key Jewish museums and heritage sites from Berlin to Belgrade, from Krakow to Kiev, and from Warsaw to New York, to discover which stories of the Jewish experience are told and which are silenced. As he travels to thirteen different locations, participates in tours, displays, and public programs, and gleans insight from local historians, he juxtaposes the historical record with the stories presented in heritage tourism. What he finds raises provocative questions about the heritage tourism industry and its role in determining how we perceive Jewish history and identity. This book offers a unique perspective on the importance of collective memory and the dangers of collective forgetting.
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.
The study asks several questions: how the 1.5 and second-generation see themselves as a distinctive social group? Where do they locate social boundaries between themselves and others? How do they maintain them? Close family ties lie at the center of the group’s ethnic identity. Russian-speaking cultures offer an alternative, and in the mind of the 1.5 and second-generation, superior approach to relating to family and friends, where, for example, being an unmarried adult does not contradict living at home or where youths and adults can socialize in the same setting. Their understandings and practices of family often run counter to the expectations of the mainstream in both Germany and the U.S. of what it means to be an independent adult. The organization and expectation of social relations among these immigrants reflect not only their different national origins, but their constitution as a distinctive moral community. Different foods and language use support these immigrants’ sense of group distinctiveness and reinforce the centrality of family as a shared ethnic practice.
Immigration has endowed family practices with the capacity to impart a sense of distinctiveness to the 1.5 and second-generation by changing the context in which close family ties are practiced. Transported across national borders these practices now contrast with prevailing understandings of family and serve as a cultural resource. Moreover, Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants have benefited, both culturally and economically, from state policies that granted them refugee status and enabled them to cross national borders as families and avoid years of separation other immigrants often must endure. The distinctiveness of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants’ family practices is relative to those of the receiving country’s mainstream, but not those of other immigrant groups. As a result, a sense of group difference and belonging anchored in these practices may be challenging to impart to the third generation, who are removed from the immigration experience. Nevertheless, the 1.5 and second-generation experience their family relationships, obligations and expectations as anything but ‘thin’. They inform consequential decisions, are encountered regularly, and offer meaning to their lives as individuals, children and members of an immigrant and ethnic group.
This study draws on in-depth interviews in New York City and multiple locations in Germany with 93 Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants who arrived at the age of 13 or younger or were born in the U.S. or Germany. Despite the different history and structure of Jewish communities in the U.S. and Germany, 1.5 and second-generation Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants’ experience in each country have much in common with one another, a finding that emerged as a result of the study’s comparative design.
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.”
The book is divided into two key parts. The first part considers the issues of and approaches to the remembrance of the Holocaust within an educational setting, with essays covering topics such as historical culture, genocide education, familial narratives, the survivor generation, and memory spaces in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany. In the second part, contributors explore a wide range of case studies within which education and Holocaust remembrance interact, including young people’s understanding of the Holocaust in Germany, Polish identity narratives, Shoah remembrance and education in Israel, the Holocaust and Genocide Centre of Education and Memory in South Africa, and teaching at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
Table of Contents
Series editors’ foreword
Education, remembrance, and the Holocaust: towards pedagogic memory-work
Part I: Issues, approaches, spaces
1. Lessons at the limits: on learning Holocaust history in historical culture
2. The anatomy of a relationship: the Holocaust, genocide, and education in Britain
3. Väterliteratur: remembering, writing, and reconciling the familial past
4. Memories of survivors in Holocaust education
5. Figures of memory at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
6. Imperial War Museums: reflecting and shaping Holocaust memory
7. Beyond learning facts: teaching commemoration as an educational task in German memorials sites for the victims of National Socialist crimes
Part II: National perspectives, contexts, and case studies
8. Hitler as a figure of ignorance in young people's incidental accounts of the Holocaust in Germany
9. Who was the victim and who was the saviour? The Holocaust in Polish identity narratives
Mikołaj Winiewski, Marta Beneda, Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs, and Marta Witkowska
10. Conveying the message of Holocaust survivors: Shoah remembrance and education in Israel
Richelle Budd Caplan and Shulamit Imber
11. Holocaust education in the US: a pre-history, 1939–1960
Thomas D. Fallace
12. The Presence of the past: creating a new Holocaust and Genocide Centre of Education and Memory in post-Apartheid South Africa
13. Educational bridges to the intangible: an Australian perspective to teaching and learning about the Holocaust
Tony Joel, Donna-Lee Frieze, and Mathew Turner
14. Myths, misconceptions, and mis-memory: Holocaust education in England
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.