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Date: 2021
Author(s): Kuperberg, Rebecca
Date: 2021
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2021
Abstract: Maintaining ‘faith’ in vaccination has emerged as a public health challenge amidst outbreaks of preventable disease among religious minorities and rising claims to ‘exemption’ from vaccine mandates. Outbreaks of measles and coronavirus have been particularly acute among Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods in North America, Europe and Israel, yet no comparative studies have been conducted to discern the shared and situated influences on vaccine decision-making.

This paper synthesises qualitative research into vaccine decision-making among Orthodox Jews in the United Kingdom and Israel during the 2014–15 and 2018-19 measles epidemics, and 2020–21 coronavirus pandemic. The methods integrate 66 semi-structured informal interviews conducted with parents, formal and informal healthcare practitioners, and religious leaders, as well as analysis of tailored non-vaccination advocacy events and literature.

The paper argues that the discourse of ‘religious’ exemption and opposition to vaccination obscures the diverse practices and philosophies that inform vaccine decisions, and how religious law and leaders form a contingent influence. Rather than viewing religion as the primary framework through which vaccine decisions are made, Orthodox Jewish parents were more concerned with safety, trust and choice in similar ways to ‘secular’ logics of non-vaccination. Yet, religious frameworks were mobilised, and at times politicised, to suit medico-legal discourse of ‘exemption’ from coercive or mandatory vaccine policies. By conceptualising tensions around protection as ‘political immunities,’ the paper offers a model to inform social science understandings of how health, law and religion intersect in contemporary vaccine opposition.
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: 2018
Date: 2020
Abstract: Aim: What was the attitude of the first Croatian president Franjo Tuđman and the Croatian leadership towards the Holocaust and the Jewish community in Croatia in the 1990s? Some considered Tuđman a Holocaust denier because of the purportedly controversial parts of his 1989 book Bespuća povijesne zbiljnosti (Wastelands of Historical Reality). The Croatian leadership was accused of minimizing World War II crimes of the Ustasha regime and rehabilitating the World War II Independent State of Croatia.

Methods: We analyzed archival documents, Tuđman’s published correspondence, controversial parts of his Wastelands of Historical Reality, his public statements, biographical writings of contemporary Croatian leaders, and newspaper articles. We scrutinized the Serbian propaganda against Croatia in the 1990s, the position and role of the Jewish community and prominent Jews in Croatian public life as well as the relations between Croatia and Israel.

Findings: The Croatian leadership and the Jewish community maintained good relations in the 1990s. Some prominent Croatian Jews actively advocated for Croatia’s international recognition and refuted certain authors’ and some Jewish international circles’ accusations of antisemitism among Croatian leadership. Jews participated at the highest levels of Croatian government. Democratic changes at the beginning of the 1990s enabled national, religious, political and other freedoms for minorities in Croatia, including the Jewish community. Still, some authors considered Tuđman an anti-Semite and a Holocaust denier. These opinions were partly shaped by quotes from the Wastelands of Historical Reality taken out of context and published by Serbian propagandists. This propaganda successfully shaped the false perception of official antisemitism in Croatia and has contributed to the delay in the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Croatia and Israel for more than five years after Israel had recognized Croatia.

Conclusion: There is no evidence for claims of political antisemitism in Croatia in the 1990s. This article sheds light on this widely manipulated topic and provides a basis for further researchs.
Date: 2021
Author(s): Younes, Anne-Esther
Date: 2020
Abstract: This paper examines the discourse around anti-Semitism in Germany since 2000. The discourse makes use of the figure of the Jew for national security purposes (i.e. via the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the trope of the “dangerous Muslim”) and the politics of national identity. The article introduces the concept of the “War on Anti-Semitism”, an assemblage of policies about national belonging and security that are propelled primarily by white racial anxieties. While the War on Terror is fought against the Muslim Other, or the War on Drugs is fought against predominantly Latinx and Black communities, the War on Anti-Semitism is ostensibly fought on behalf of the racialized Jewish Other. The War on Anti-Semitism serves as a pretext justifying Germany's internal and external security measures by providing a logic for the management of non-white migration in an ethnically diverse yet white supremacist Europe.

In 2000, a new citizenship law fundamentally changed the architecture of belonging and im/migration by replacing the old Wilhelminian jus sanguinis (principle of blood) with a jus soli (principle of residency). In the wake of these changes and the resulting racial anxiety about Germanness, state sponsored civil-society educational programs to fight anti-Semitism emerged, targeting predominantly Muslim non-/citizens. These education programs were developed alongside international debates around the War on Terror and what came to be called “Israel-oriented anti-Semitism” in Germany (more commonly known as “Muslim anti-Semitism”).

Triangulated through the enduring legacy of colonial racialization, the Jew and the Muslim are con/figured as enemies in socio-political German discourses. This analysis of the War on Anti-Semitism has serious implications for our understanding of “New Europe”. By focusing on the figure of the Jew and the Muslim, the implications of this work transcend national borders and stress the important connection between fantasy, power, and racialization in Germany and beyond.
Author(s): Shwed, Zoya
Date: 2021
Author(s): Wróbel, Karolina
Abstract: Over the past three decades, a renewed interest in Jewish heritage in Poland has emerged. This phenomenon has its origins in the late 1970s and early 1980s and has since developed into a recognizable trend often described as the "Jewish revival" or "Jewish renaissance." The annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow is the most prominent manifestation of this movement. Every summer, Krakow is turned into a stage by performances of Klezmer music, theatre and art exhibits dealing with Jewish culture. Workshops on Jewish traditions intend to educate the participants about the century-long presence of Jewish life in Poland and Polish-Jewish co-existence. Despite its popularity in Poland, the Festival has met with criticism and skepticism internationally. The most vocal critics are members of Jewish communities across North America and Western Europe, who accuse Poles of misappropriating and misrepresenting Jewish culture. Many commentators point to the antagonistic nature of Polish-Jewish relations suggesting a lack of historical sensitivity on the part of the Poles and question the motivation and sincerity of the Jewish culture revival. This point of tension reflects the existence of two opposing narratives which have come to dominate Polish and American/Western European historical discourse respectively. This dissertation aims to dissect the root and explain the cause of these competing perspectives. To achieve this goal, this study investigates the renaissance of Jewish culture through the lens of the annual Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. In reference to Pierre Nora's concept of the lieu de memoire, it examines the value of the Festival as a site of memory and analyzes performance in relation to the specific space and time in which it occurs. More specifically, it contests the nature, popularity and educational value of the Festival within the discussion of cultural ownership.