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Date: 2018
Author(s): Miller, Stephen H.
Date: 2018
Abstract: JPR has been conducting research on Jews in Britain for many years, allowing us to explore trends in Jewish life over time. This study takes four major datasets, spanning close to quarter of a century, to investigate an important and challenging question: is there a negative correlation between high academic achievement and Jewish community engagement? Or, more simply, are the most academically qualified Jews turning away from Jewish communal life?

The answer appears to be yes. It demonstrates that:

• Jews with postgraduate qualifications are, on average, the least engaged members of the Jewish community;
• The gap in levels of Jewish communal engagement between postgraduates and others is particularly substantial in areas such as synagogue membership, outmarriage, charitable priorities and support for Israeli government policy
• Highly educated Jews are about half as likely as non-graduates to see their fellow Jews as a source of natural support, or to express concern about Jewish continuity.

However, high academic achievers are more likely than others to cite positive traits and values (such as fairness, respect, dislike of prejudice, love of learning) as examples of how they feel their Jewishness has affected them.

The report author, Professor Stephen H. Miller OBE, one of the leading experts in the social scientific study of British Jews and senior adviser to JPR’s research team, also notes that the drop in Jewish engagement seen in highly educated Jews can be largely attributed to their more critical evaluation of the Jewish community, rather than any weakness in their personal identity as Jews.

So, in short, the fundamental message of this study is a challenging one for Jews of all types. It indicates that the most academically qualified Jews are turning away from organised Jewish life in unusually high numbers, because the types of Jewishness they find there fail to resonate with the ways in which they understand their own Jewish identities.

It leaves us with at least two critical questions: (i) is academia a detrimental environment for Jews, teaching them to think in ways that implicitly undermine their links with Jewish life (or, viewed from an alternative perspective, is academia a positive environment for Jews, helping to free them from the limitations imposed by Judaism and to think more openly?); and (ii) is Jewish communal life insufficiently rigorous in its thinking to attract the most thoughtful and qualified (or, again, viewed differently, an intellectually rich environment that rightly differs from the academy and challenges its modes of thinking by offering an alternative model)?
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.
Author(s): Perra, Emiliano
Date: 2018
Author(s): Sheldon, Ruth
Date: 2016
Date: 2018
Date: 2017
Abstract: Background: The English National Health Service (NHS) has significantly extended the supply of evidence based
psychological interventions in primary care for people experiencing common mental health problems. Yet despite
the extra resources, the accessibility of services for ‘under-served’ ethnic and religious minority groups, is considerably
short of the levels of access that may be necessary to offset the health inequalities created by their different exposure
to services, resulting in negative health outcomes. This paper offers a critical reflection upon an initiative that sought
to improve access to an NHS funded primary care mental health service to one ‘under-served’ population, an
Orthodox Jewish community in the North West of England.

Methods: A combination of qualitative and quantitative data were drawn upon including naturally occurring data,
observational notes, e-mail correspondence, routinely collected demographic data and clinical outcomes measures, as
well as written feedback and recorded discussions with 12 key informants.

Results: Improvements in access to mental health care for some people from the Orthodox Jewish community were
achieved through the collaborative efforts of a distributed leadership team. The members of this leadership team
were a self-selecting group of stakeholders which had a combination of local knowledge, cultural understanding,
power to negotiate on behalf of their respective constituencies and expertise in mental health care. Through a process
of dialogic engagement the team was able to work with the community to develop a bespoke service that
accommodated its wish to maintain a distinct sense of cultural otherness.

Conclusions: This critical reflection illustrates how dialogic engagement can further the mechanisms of candidacy,
concordance and recursivity that are associated with improvements in access to care in under-served sections of the
population, whilst simultaneously recognising the limits of constructive dialogue. Dialogue can change the dynamic of
community engagement. However, the full alignment of the goals of differing constituencies may not always be
possible, due the complex interaction between the multiple positions and understandings of stakeholders that are
involved and the need to respect the other’-s’ autonomy.
Date: 2018
Abstract: This study, which forms part of JPR’s research programme for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, investigates the numbers of births and deaths that have taken place in Jewish population of the UK in recent years. Births and deaths reflect natural life events and are critical to understanding how the population is changing over time, particularly in terms of its size and structure. By monitoring the balance of births over deaths or vice versa (i.e. natural increase or decrease), it is possible to predict future trends, including the stability, growth or decline of the population.

The report, authored by JPR research Fellow, Donatella Casale Mashiah, demonstrates that the UK Jewish community has turned an important corner in recent years. Following several decades of demographic decline, during which Jewish deaths consistently exceeded Jewish births, births have exceeded deaths in every year since 2006, which implies Jewish demographic growth in the UK, all other factors being equal (e.g. migration, adhesions, renouncements).

The total number of Jewish births per annum in the UK has increased by about 25% over the past decade, peaking in 2011 at 3,869. This has more to do with birth rates in the strictly Orthodox part of the Jewish community than the remainder, although both sectors have seen an increase.

By contrast, the number of Jewish deaths per annum has been falling over time, broadly in line with national trends, due to increasing life expectancy. 2,411 Jewish death were recorded in the UK in 2016, the lowest number on record. The average between 1979 and 2016 was 3,738.

Denominationally, the majority of deaths (68%) in 2018 were ‘central Orthodox’ – i.e. funerals conducted under the auspices of the United Synagogue, the Federation of Synagogues, or independent modern Orthodox synagogues. These were followed, in turn, by Reform at 18%, Liberal at 6%, Sephardi at 4%, Strictly Orthodox at 2% and Masorti at 1%. These proportions are reflective of the relative size of each group in the Jewish population at the oldest age bands.

Beyond the overarching story of the Jewish population that these data reveal, the numbers themselves are also essential for planning purposes. They are of significant value to local authorities, politicians, community leaders, educators and charitable organisations among others, since they can be applied to assess a variety of communal needs, such as childcare facilities, school places, elderly care facilities, religious services and burial grounds.
Author(s): Samson, Maxim G. M.
Date: 2018
Date: 2017
Abstract: Faith schools represent controversial aspects of England’s educational politics, yet they have been largely overlooked as sites for geographical analysis. Moreover, although other social science disciplines have attended to a range of questions regarding faith schools, some important issues remain underexamined. In particular, contestation within ethnic and religious groups regarding notions of identity have generally been ignored in an educational context, whilst the majority of research into Jewish schools more specifically has failed to attend to the personal qualities of Jewishness. The interrelationships between faith schools (of all kinds) and places of worship have also received minimal attention. In response, this investigation draws upon a range of theoretical approaches to identity in order to illustrate how Jewish schools are implicated in the changing spatiality and performance of individuals’ Jewishness. Central to this research is a case study of the Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoSS), England’s only pluralist Jewish secondary school, with more extensive elements provided by interviews with other stakeholders in Anglo-Jewry. Parents often viewed Jewish schools as a means of attaining a highly-regarded ‘secular’ academic education in a Jewish school, whilst also enabling their children to socialise with other Jews. In the process, synagogues’ traditional functions of education and socialisation have been co-opted by Jewish schools, revealing a shift in the spatiality of young people’s Anglo-Jewish identity practices. Furthermore, JCoSS, as well as many synagogues, have come to represent spaces of contestation over ‘authentic’ Jewishness, given widely varying conceptualisations of ‘proper’ Jewish practice and identity amongst parents, pupils and rabbis. Yet, although JCoSS offers its pupils considerable autonomy to determine their practices, such choice is not limitless, revealing an inherent dilemma in inclusivity. The thesis thus explores how different manifestations of Jewishness are constructed, practised and problematised in a school space (which itself is dynamic and contested), and beyond.
Author(s): Kahn-Harris, Keith
Date: 2018
Abstract: The Limmud Impact Study looks at how successful Limmud has been in taking people ‘one step further on their Jewish journeys’, what these journeys consist of and their wider impact on Jewish communities.

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.
Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper examines how Rabbinic and communal authorities participated in treatment decisions made by a group of strictly orthodox haredi Jews with breast cancer living in London. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five haredi breast cancer patients. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Demographic and personal data were collected using structured questionnaires. All participants sought Rabbinic involvement, with four seeking rulings concerning religious rituals and treatment options. Participants' motivations were to ensure their actions accorded with Jewish law and hence God's will. By delegating treatment decisions, decision-making became easier and participants could avoid guilt and blame. They could actively participate in the process by choosing which Rabbi to approach, by providing personal information and by stating their preferences. Attitudes towards Rabbinic involvement were occasionally conflicted. This was related to the understanding that Rabbinic rulings were binding, and occasional doubts that their situation would be correctly interpreted. Three participants consulted the community's ‘culture broker’ for medical referrals and non-binding advice concerning treatment. Those who consulted the culture broker had to transcend social norms restricting unnecessary contact between men and women. Hence, some participants described talking to him as uncomfortable. Other concerns related to confidentiality.

By consulting Rabbinic authorities, haredi cancer patients participated in a socially sanctioned method of decision-making continuous with their religious values. Imposing meaning on their illness in this way may be associated with positive psychological adjustment. Rabbinic and communal figures may endorse therapeutic recommendations and make religious and cultural issues comprehensible to clinicians, and as such healthcare practitioners may benefit from this involvement.
Author(s): Lewis, Gwynneth
Date: 2014
Abstract: Over the last 130 years attendance by Jewish children at Jewish day schools in Britain has waxed and waned, until now, in the twenty-first century, attendance figures are similar to those of the 1880s, with almost 60 per cent of Jewish children attending a Jewish primary or secondary school. Recent research has examined this trend within the Jewish population as a whole, mainly concentrating on Jewish secondary schooling. Because of the impact this phenomenon has had on chederim and because of the fundamental differences between the different branches of Judaism, it is important for Jewish educators and leaders to understand what factors lie behind the choices that parents make when deciding on their children's schooling. This study investigates the reasons why parents who are affiliated to Progressive synagogues choose to send their children to Orthodox Jewish primary schools, concentrating on one Progressive community in the north of England in particular, and contrasting the data with that from two larger and older communities. The data was collected through the use of interviews and questionnaires, then analysed in relation to the history and size of the three communities and contrasted with the conclusions of previous studies. The findings suggest that the size and relative age and history of the principal community have had a significant influence on the attitudes of the parents toward the city's Jewish community and the importance of the role of the Orthodox Jewish primary school in maintaining that community, to the extent that the parents' social identity as 'Jews' is more important to them than their synagogue affiliation.
Author(s): Lev Ari, Lilach
Date: 2013
Abstract: This paper describes and analyzes the multiple ethnic identities
and identifications among first-generation Jewish Israeli immigrants
in Europe, and specifically in London and Paris, by means of closedend
questionnaires (N=114) and in-depth semi-structured interviews
(N=23).

Israelis who live in Europe are strongly attached to Israel and are
proud to present themselves as Israelis. Despite their place of residence,
these Israelis, particularly those residing in London and over the age
of 35, manage to find ways to preserve their Israeli identity. They also
perceive the need to expose their children to other Israelis as another
means of preventing assimilation. On the other hand, those who are
under the age of 35, and in particular those residing in Paris, have less
opportunity or less need to maintain their Israeli identity in Europe.
The older Israelis in London are also somewhat more integrated with
the proximal host and have a stronger Jewish identity than do younger
Israelis, particularly those residing in Paris. Living in Europe allows
Israelis to flourish economically without having to identify with or
belong to a cultural and social ethnic niche. The ethnic identity of
first-generation Israeli immigrants in Europe is multifaceted. While it
is primarily transnational, it is also dynamic and constantly changing
though various interactions and is, of course, susceptible to current
local and global political and economic events. For younger Israeli
immigrants, assimilation into the non-Jewish population appears to be
a possible form of identity and identification. This assimilation may be
moderated among young adults who build bridges with local Jewish
communities in tandem with their transnational formal connections
with Israel, a process that can benefit both sides. Such a process - the
reconstruction of ethnic Israeli-Jewish identity and collaborative
identification with local Jews - has the potential to strengthen and
enhance the survivability of European Jewry at large.
Author(s): Scholefield, Lynne
Date: 1999
Abstract: Interpreting culture as symbols, stories, rituals and values, the thesis explores the culture of a Jewish and a Catholic secondary school in a dialogical way. The survey of the literature in Chapter 1 identifies relevant school-based research and locates the chosen case-study schools within the context of the British 'dual system'. Chapter 2 draws on the theoretical and methodological literatures of inter-faith dialogue and ethnography to develop and defend a paradigm for the research defined as open-inclusivist and constructivist. The main body of the thesis (Chapters 3-5), based on field-work undertaken in 1996 and 1997, presents the two schools in parallel with each other. Chapter 3 describes the details of the case studies at 'St. Margaret's' and 'Mount Sinai' and my developing research relationship with each school. In Chapter 4 many different voices from each school are woven into two 'tales' about the schools' cultures. This central chapter has a deliberately narrative style. Chapter 5 amplifies the cultural tales through the analysis of broadly quantitative data gained from an extensive questionnaire administered to a sample of senior students in each school. It is the only place in the thesis where views and values from the two schools are directly compared. The final two chapters widen the horizon of the study. Chapter 6 presents voices which were not part of the original case studies but which relate, in different ways, to the culture of the two schools. Chapter 7, with theoretical ideas about Jewish schools and education, and Catholic schools and education, provides resources for further dialogue about culture within Judaism and Catholicism and for Jewish-Christian dialogue. The thesis ends with some reflections on possible implications of the two cultures for discussions about the common good in education.