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Date: 2021
Abstract: „Zionisten“, „Satanisten“, „Transhumanisten“ und die „Pharmamafia“ würden durch „Sterilisation und Mord per Todesspritze“ […] „die absolute Kontrolle jedes Einzelnen und die Auslöschung weiterer Teile der Bevölkerung“ herbeiführen. Denn hinter Corona stecke „der feuchte Traum von einer kommunistischen Weltmacht“, nämlich der Zweck der „Umstrukturierung der Welt in eine neue Ordnung, kurz NWO (New World Order, Anm. RIAS Bayern. Vgl. Glossar, → NWO)“. Dies sagte eine Rednerin auf einer Kundgebung sogenannter Coronarebellen in Nürnberg am 27. Juni 2020. Der Frau zufolge sollen durch Impfungen Menschen weltweit mit Nanochips überwacht, sterilisiert und getötet werden. Abschließend befand sie: „Ja, das muss man auch mal ganz klar benennen dürfen, oder?“ Zwar mögen solche Erzählungen meist abstrus und verrückt wirken, sie sind jedoch in ihren potentiellen Konsequenzen ernst zu nehmen. Selbstverständlich existierten auch vor der Coronapandemie Verschwörungserzählungen. Jedoch haben sie sich auch in Bayern verstärkt verbreitet, nachdem im Frühjahr 2020 Menschen, die sich als Coronarebellen oder Querdenker bezeichnen, begannen, gegen tatsächliche und imaginierte staatliche Maßnahmen im Zuge der Coronakrise zu protestieren. Nicht zuletzt in den sozialen Medien verbreiten sich Verschwörungserzählungen in Wort und Bild zunehmend rasanter und erreichen im Zuge der „Corona-Proteste” auch immer mehr Menschen, die vor der Pandemie wenig verschwörungsideologisch geprägt waren. Laut einer repräsentativen Umfrage der Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung vom Juli 2020 glauben 16 Prozent der Einwohner:innen in Deutschland, dass Bill Gates allen Menschen Mikrochips einpflanzen wollen würde. Antisemitische Einstellungen sind in Deutschland weit verbreitet. Laut einer repräsentativen Umfrage des Jüdischen Weltkongresses (WJC) von 2019 behaupten 28 Prozent der sogenannten Elite (laut Studie Hochschulabsolvent:innen mit einem Jahreseinkommen von mindestens 100.000 Euro), Juden hätten zu viel Macht in der Wirtschaft. 26 Prozent attestieren Juden „zu viel Macht in der Weltpolitik“. Fast die Hälfte von ihnen (48 Prozent) behauptet, Juden verhielten sich loyaler zu Israel als zu Deutschland. Der WJC ließ dafür zweieinhalb Monate vor dem Anschlag auf die Synagoge in Halle an Yom Kippur 2019 1300 Menschen befragen. Diese Broschüre der Recherche- und Informationsstelle Antisemitismus (RIAS) Bayern soll über Verschwörungserzählungen im Zusammenhang mit Antisemitismus aufklären. Was sind Verschwörungserzählungen und was haben sie mit Antisemitismus zu tun? Warum sind sie für bestimmte Menschen attraktiv? Wie kann man ihnen begegnen? Ab Seite 18 findet sich ein ausführliches Glossar zu gängigen Verschwörungserzählungen mit von RIAS Bayern dokumentierten Beispielen.
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: 2021
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic hit the British Jewish community hard. According to data gathered by JPR in July 2020, 25% of British Jews had already contracted the virus by that time and Jewish mortality rates in London in April 2020 – the peak of the first wave – were almost three times as high as usual. In Manchester, the picture was even worse.

Building on our previous studies on this topic, this paper looks at Jewish mortality over the first year of the pandemic, taking in both the first wave (March to May 2020) and the second wave (December 2020 to February 2021).

Whilst it confirms that excess mortality among Jews during the first wave was considerably higher than among comparative non-Jews (280% higher compared to 188%), it reveals that the second wave saw the opposite picture: 69% higher than expected levels of mortality for that period among Jews, compared to 77% among the non-Jewish comparative group. This second wave picture is exactly what one might expect to see given that Jews typically enjoy relatively good health and longevity, so it forces us to ask again: what happened during the first wave to cause such devastation across the Jewish community?

Whilst not yet definitive about their conclusions, the authors point towards the ‘religious sociability’ hypothesis – that notion that close interaction between Jews, prior to the first lockdown, caused the devastating spike in Jewish deaths early on. The paper also demonstrates that the ‘Jewish penalty’ at this time was greater among Orthodox Jews than Progressive ones which further strengthens the hypothesis, as much higher proportions of Orthodox Jews gather regularly for religious reasons than Progressive Jews (even though Progressive Jews do so more regularly than British society as a whole).

The fact that the picture of extremely high excess mortality among British Jews was not repeated during the second wave (on the contrary, excess mortality among Jews was very slightly lower than among the comparator non-Jewish population, and slightly higher among Progressive Jews than Orthodox ones), suggests that the religious sociability theory was no longer a major factor at this time. With many synagogues closed or complying closely with the social distancing policies established by government, Jews were affected by coronavirus in much the same way as others.

The findings in this paper should be taken seriously by at least two key groups. Epidemiologists and public health experts should explore the impact of religious sociability more carefully, as currently, socioeconomic factors tend to dominate analysis. And Jewish community leaders must also reflect on the findings and, in the event of a similar pandemic in the future, consider instituting protective measures much more quickly than occurred in early 2020.

Date: 2021
Abstract: Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic uncertainties and anxieties around the virus have been weaponised by a broad range of extremists, conspiracy theorists and disinformation actors, who have sought to propagandise, radicalise and mobilise captive online audiences during global lockdowns. Antisemitic hate speech is often a common feature of these diverse threats, with dangerous implications for public safety, social cohesion and democracy. But the Covid-19 crisis has only served to exacerbate a worrying trend in terms of online antisemitism. A 2018 Fundamental Rights Agency survey on Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism among Jews in the EU found nearly nine in ten respondents considered online antisemitism a problem. Eight in ten encountered antisemitic abuse online. This report, conducted by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), presents a data-driven snapshot of the proliferation of Covid-19 related online antisemitic content in French and German on Twitter, Facebook and Telegram. The study provides insight into the nature and volume of antisemitic content across selected accounts in France and Germany, analysing the platforms where such content is found, as well as the most prominent antisemitic narratives – comparing key similarities and differences between these different language contexts. The findings of this report draw on data analysis using social listening tools and natural language processing software, combined with qualitative analysis. Covering the period from January 2020 until March 2021 to build insights around the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on online antisemitism, the Executive Summary International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism was used to identify channels containing antisemitic content, before developing keyword lists to identify antisemitic expressions widely used on these channels.
Date: 2021
Abstract: In this report, the authors investigate the likely prevalence of COVID-19 and Long Covid among Britain’s Jewish population. Based on data collected by JPR in July 2020 – five months into the pandemic – they found that infection was already widespread in the Jewish community with a quarter (25%) of respondents (aged 16 and above) reporting having experienced COVID-19 symptoms (although testing in the UK was not widely available at this stage.) This accords with other national data showing that BAME groups, including Jews, suffered particularly badly in the early stages of the pandemic.

The data also confirm findings that the strictly Orthodox community was most likely to have been infected (40%) at this stage. And while respondents who self-described as having ‘very strong’ religiosity or who characterised their outlook as ‘religious’ were also far more likely to report having experienced COVID-19 symptoms, it appears that synagogue or communal involvement (rather than membership) is associated with higher levels.

The report also shows that almost two out of three (64%) respondents first experienced symptoms in March 2020, which was the clear peak of infection up to July 2020 when the survey took place. Nevertheless, more than one in six (16%) said they first experienced symptoms in February 2020, and these cases were mainly among more secular members of the Jewish community.

Reports of ongoing health issues following a COVID-19 infection began to appear early on in the pandemic. Gradually, data emerged about Long COVID showing it to be associated with 205 symptoms affecting multiple organs. In January 2021 it was estimated that 300,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from Long COVID. Our data showed that at least 15% of respondents, who said they had experienced COVID-19 symptoms, reported Long COVID symptoms in July 2020, similar to the levels found in the UK generally.

Respondents who had pre-existing health conditions, were far more likely to report Long COVID than those without such conditions. The most commonly reported health concerns were shortness of breath, affecting half of sufferers (51%), followed by ‘severe fatigue’ affecting 43%. Long COVID sufferers were also more likely to report lower levels of happiness and higher levels of anxiety.

Long COVID may ultimately be one of the main long-term health legacies of the coronavirus pandemic. While many gaps in our understanding of this complex health issue remain at the time of publication, JPR will continue to investigate this and other key health issues confronting the Jewish community during the pandemic.
Author(s): Staetsky, L. Daniel
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: As soon as the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became evident, concern began to be expressed in the Jewish community about how its effects might damage different aspects of Jewish life. Our July 2020 survey of Jews across the UK was designed to investigate some of these effects and bring some data into policy discussion about the future of the community.

In this fifth paper drawing on those survey data, we examine the impact of the pandemic on the working lives of Jewish people in the United Kingdom. It begins by studying how the experience of Jews compares to that of the wider population, and explores the issues of employment, redundancy and furlough, as well as other work disruptions such as income reduction, working from home, and caring for children. With very little data on Jewish employment available, this report provides key insights into the ways in which the community was impacted over the first five months of the pandemic, and points to how it is likely to have been affected subsequently. By providing this analysis, we hope to help UK Jewish community organisations and foundations to respond appropriately to the challenges identified.

Of particular note among the findings: the Jewish employment rate had declined at a lower rate than among the general population, but the Jewish unemployment rate had increased at a higher rate. Whilst many Jews have experienced serious work impacts, and many among the high proportions of self-employed Jews have lost income without having the same access to government financial support as the employed, it seems unlikely that the Jewish population as a whole has suffered disproportionately. We found that those who were most likely to experience severe work disruptions (defined as being made redundant, being furloughed, having their pay reduced and/or having their hours reduced) were the youngest workers (aged 16-24), Jewish women (especially regarding furlough and redundancy), single parents, those with household incomes below £30,000 per year prior to the pandemic, and the most religious respondents, especially Strictly Orthodox workers, more than half of whom (52%) experienced one or more of these severe impacts.

A follow-up survey planned for the coming months will determine how things have changed further since July among Jews, but it is nevertheless already clear that communal investment in employment support is needed, since all national indicators tell us that the employment situation has generally deteriorated since that time. Continued monitoring of Jewish employment rates is imperative if we are to determine and understand how the overall picture is changing and whether various endeavours being undertaken to address the challenges are effective. This will require a combination of continued investigations using data gathered within the community, as well as new investments in analysing and interpreting national data sources to shed light on long-term trends.
Author(s): Boyd, Jonathan
Date: 2021
Date: 2021
Abstract: Background: The importance of community involvement in the response against disease outbreaks has been well established. However, we lack insights into local communities’ experiences in coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. This study explored both the impact of, and response to, COVID-19 within the Orthodox Jewish communities of Antwerp (Belgium) during the first lockdown period (March 2020 – May 2020).

Methods: We conducted an explorative qualitative study using a participatory approach. First, we performed a community mapping to identify relevant stakeholders. Through the active involvement of a community advisory board and based on qualitative interviews with key-informants and community members, we elicited lived experiences, attitudes, and perceptions towards COVID-19. Interviews were conducted both face-to-face and using online web conferencing technology. Data were analyzed inductively according to the principles of thematic analysis.

Results: Government-issued outbreak control measures presented context-specific challenges to the Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp. They related mainly to the remote organization of religious life, and practicing physical distancing in socially and culturally strongly connected communities. Key informants described how existing community resources were rapidly mobilized to adapt to the outbreak and to self-organize response initiatives within communities. This included the active involvement of community and religious leaders in risk communication, which proved to be of great importance to facilitate coverage and uptake of pandemic control measures while protecting essential community values and traditions. Creating bottom-up and community-adapted communication strategies, including addressing language barriers and involving Rabbis in the dissemination of prevention messages, fostered a feeling of trust in government’s response measures. However, unmet information and prevention needs were also identified, such as the need for inclusive communication by public authorities and the need to mitigate the negative effects of stigmatization.

Conclusion: The experiences of Orthodox Jewish communities in Antwerp demonstrate a valuable example of a feasible community-centered approach to health emergencies. Increasing the engagement of communities in local decision-making and governance structures remains a key strategy to respond to unmet information and prevention needs.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Background Ethnic and religious minorities have been disproportionately affected by SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. The UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish community has been severely affected by the pandemic. This group shares characteristics with other ethnic minorities including larger family sizes, higher rates of household crowding and relative socioeconomic deprivation. We studied a UK strictly-Orthodox Jewish population to understand how COVID-19 had spread within this community.

Methods We performed a household-focused cross-sectional SARS-CoV-2 serosurvey specific to three antigen targets. Randomly-selected households completed a standardised questionnaire and underwent serological testing with a multiplex assay for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies. We report clinical illness and testing before the serosurvey, seroprevalence stratified by age and gender. We used random-effects models to identify factors associated with infection and antibody titres.

Findings A total of 343 households, consisting of 1,759 individuals, were recruited. Serum was available for 1,242 participants. The overall seroprevalence for SARS-CoV-2 was 64.3% (95% CI 61.6-67.0%). The lowest seroprevalence was 27.6% in children under 5 years and rose to 73.8% in secondary school children and 74% in adults. Antibody titres were higher in symptomatic individuals and declined over time since reported COVID-19 symptoms, with the decline more marked for nucleocapsid titres.

Interpretation In this tight-knit religious minority population in the UK, we report one of the highest SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence levels in the world to date. In the context of this high force of infection, all age groups experienced a high burden of infection. Actions to reduce the burden of disease in this and other minority populations are urgently required.

Funding This work was jointly funded by UKRI and NIHR [COV0335; MR/V027956/1], a donation from the LSHTM Alumni COVID-19 response fund, HDR UK, the MRC and the Wellcome Trust. The funders had no role in the design, conduct or analysis of the study or the decision to publish. The authors have no financial relationships with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work in the previous three years; no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

Evidence before the study In January 2020, we searched PubMed for articles on rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst ethnic minority groups and amongst the Jewish population. Search teams included “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, seroprevalence, “ethnic minority”, and “Jewish” with no language restrictions. We also searched UK government documents on SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst minority groups. By January 2020, a large number of authors had reported that ethnic minority groups experienced higher numbers of cases and increased hospitalisations due to COVID-19. A small number of articles provided evidence that strictly-Orthodox Jewish populations had experienced a high rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection but extremely limited data was available on overall population level rates of infection amongst specific ethnic minority population groups. There was also extremely limited data on rates of infection amongst young children from ethnic minority groups.

Added value of the study We report findings from a population representative, household survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst a UK strictly Orthodox Jewish population. We demonstrate an extremely high seroprevalence rate of SARS-CoV-2 in this population which is more than five times the estimated seroprevalence nationally and five times the estimated seroprevalence in London. In addition the large number of children in our survey, reflective of the underlying population structure, allows us to demonstrate that in this setting there is a significant burden of disease in all age groups with secondary school aged children having an equivalent seroprevalence to adults.

Implications of the available evidence Our data provide clear evidence of the markedly disproportionate impact of SARS-CoV-2 in minority populations. In this setting infection occurs at high rates across all age groups including pre-school, primary school and secondary school-age children. Contextually appropriate measures to specifically reduce the impact of SARS-CoV-2 amongst minority populations are urgently required.
Date: 2021
Abstract: CST’s Antisemitic Incidents Report 2020 shows that last year CST recorded 1,668 antisemitic incidents across the UK. This is an 8% fall from the 1,813 incidents recorded in 2019 but is still the third-highest number of incidents CST has ever recorded in a calendar year. There were 1,690 antisemitic incidents recorded in 2018, 1,420 in June 2017 and 1,275 antisemitic incidents in 2016.

A further 402 reports of potential incidents were received by CST in 2020 but were not deemed to be antisemitic and are not included in this total of 1,668 antisemitic incidents. Many of these 402 potential incidents involved suspicious activity or possible hostile reconnaissance at Jewish locations; criminal activity affecting Jewish people and buildings; and anti-Israel activity that did not include antisemitic language, motivation or targeting.

The 1,668 antisemitic incidents CST recorded last year were clearly influenced by the pandemic. There were 41 incidents that referenced the pandemic alongside antisemitic language, and 19 cases of Jewish religious, educational or social events being ‘zoombombed’ by antisemites who accessed the events to express antisemitic abuse. There was a reduction in the number of incidents affecting Jewish schools, teachers and school students, but an increase in the number of incidents at people’s homes. The highest monthly totals came in January, February and June, when the pandemic either had not yet fully struck or when restrictions had been eased. In contrast, the lowest monthly incident totals came in March, April and December, when lockdown measures were at their strictest. Nevertheless, CST still recorded over 100 incidents in all but one month in 2020, which continues the pattern of historically high antisemitic incident figures in recent years: December 2020 was the first month for three years in which CST recorded fewer than 100 antisemitic incidents.

Forty-one incidents in 2020 involved references to the pandemic alongside antisemitic rhetoric. This ranged from conspiracy theories alleging Jewish involvement in creating and spreading Covid-19 (or creating the so-called ‘myth’ of Covid-19), to simply wishing that Jewish people catch the virus and die from it. Overall, 332 incidents, or almost one in five of all antisemitic incidents reported to CST in 2020, involved the expression of antisemitic conspiracy theories (compared to 370 incidents in 2019).
Date: 2021
Abstract: As soon as the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became evident, concern began to be expressed in the Jewish community about how its effects might damage aspects of Jewish life. Our July 2020 survey of Jews across the UK was designed to investigate some of these effects and bring some data into policy discussion about the future of the community.

Part of that discussion involves community income, and specifically whether Jews will feel able to donate to charities in the ways they have previously, or if they will continue to pay membership fees to synagogues or make voluntary contributions to cover the Jewish studies programmes, security and other supplementary activities in Jewish schools.

This paper looks at these issues first by examining respondents’ giving behaviours in 2019, and comparing them to their actual or expected behaviours during the first few months of the pandemic. It finds that, as of July 2020, its effects were found to be rather limited – while charitable giving, synagogue membership fees and voluntary contributions to schools were all expected to take a hit, a strong majority indicated no change in their giving behaviour at this time. Moreover, there are some indications that a shift has taken place in people’s tendency towards giving to Jewish charities over general ones. Whether this is part of a longer-term trend or simply a response to the pandemic is unclear.

The study then investigates those who said they were planning to make a ‘negative switch’ in their giving behaviour, to explore the extent to which that change was due to economic factors caused by the pandemic, or two alternative possibilities: their economic situation prior to it, or the strength/weakness of their Jewish identity.

It finds that changes in behaviour are heavily influenced by the economic impact of the pandemic, particularly with respect to synagogue membership fees, but that Jewish identity also plays a part, most acutely in relation to making voluntary contributions to schools.

Date: 2020
Abstract: This study, the first to assess mortality among Jews around the world during the COVID-19 crisis, draws on data from a wide variety of sources to understand the extent to which Jews were affected by coronavirus in different parts of the world during the first wave of the pandemic, March to May 2020.

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.”
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: Spätestens mit der Verkündigung eines Einreisestopps für Drittstaatler_innen und einer weltweiten Reisewarnung durch das Auswärtige Amt am 17.März sowie mit dem Inkrafttreten von Kontaktbeschränkungen am 22.März 2020 ist die Covid19-Pandemie auch in den Alltag und das Bewusstsein der Menschen in Deutschland gerückt. Dies hatte in dreierlei Hinsicht Auswirkungen auf das Problemfeld Antisemitismus:

Erstens beobachtete der Bundesverband RIAS von Beginn der Pandemie an das Aufkommen antisemitischer Mythen unterschiedlicher Art zur Entstehung und Verbreitung des Covid-19-Virus, aber auch zu den staatlichen Maßnahmen zur Eindämmung der Pandemie. Zweitens wirkten sich jene Maßnahmen auch auf zahlreiche Formen antisemitischer Vorfälle aus: Als beispielsweise Fußballstadien, Kneipen und Clubs geschlossen, der ÖPNV wesentlich weniger frequentiert wurde, kam es an diesen spezifischen Tatorten auch zu deutlich weniger antisemitischen Vorfällen. Antisemitische Vorfälle, die sich im Internet ereigneten, waren von diesen Beschränkungen gleichzeitig nicht betroffen. Drittens erschwerten die Kontaktbeschränkungen jedoch auch die Arbeit gegen Antisemitismus beispielsweise durch zivilgesellschaftliche Institutionen deutlich. Unter ihnen litt unter anderem die Pflege des Meldenetzwerks
und der vertrauensvolle Kontakt zu Betroffenen-Communities. Es steht somit zu befürchten, dass der Bundesverband RIAS und die regionalen Meldestellen von weniger antisemitischen Vorfällen erfahren haben, als dies sonst der Fall wäre.

An diesen drei Aspekten zeigt sich bereits, dass die Covid-19-Pandemie auf vielschichtige und zum Teil gegenläufige Art Antisemitismus, Gelegenheitsstrukturen für die Äußerungen antisemitischer Inhalte und die Arbeit gegen Antisemitismus beeinflusst hat. Wenngleich sich die unterschiedlichen antisemitischen Artikulations- und
Erscheinungsformen im dokumentierten Zeitraum durchaus überlagerten, lassen sich idealtypisch dennoch in Deutschland unterschiedliche Phasen innerhalb der ersten drei Monaten der Pandemie erkennen, in denen einzelne jeweils stärker hervortraten– beginnend mit den ersten massiven staatlichen Maßnahmen am 17.März: Zunächst spielten sich antisemitische Äußerungen insbesondere im Online-Bereich ab, häufig verbunden mit nicht explizit antisemitischen Verschwörungsmythen, die schnell eine enorme Verbreitung erfuhren. Als sich in einer zweiten Phase auch jüdisches Leben in Deutschland mehr und mehr in den digitalen Raum verlagerte, war dies mit massiven
Formen verletzenden Verhaltens verbunden, die sich direkt gegen Jüdinnen_Juden richteten. In einer dritten Phase manifestierten sich antisemitische Deutungen nicht mehr nur online, also zum Beispiel in Chatgruppen und in Sozialen Medien, sondern auch auf einer Vielzahl von Demonstrationen im gesamten Bundesgebiet. So groß der Zuspruch zu diesen Demonstrationen und so hoch die Zahl der Teilnehmer_innen zunächst teilweise auch war, so stark ließ diese Protestdynamik nach vehementer und einhelliger Kritik in der Öffentlichkeit auch wieder nach – verbunden mit einer
weiteren Explizierung antisemitischer Inhalte. Parallel zu diesen Phasen erfassten der Bundesverband RIAS und mehrere regionale Meldestellen eine Vielzahl antisemitischer Vorfälle mit unmittelbarem oder mittelbarem Bezug zur Covid-19-Pandemie.
Date: 2020
Abstract: JPR’s COVID-19 survey looks at how Jews have been impacted by the pandemic in terms of their health, jobs, finances, relationships and Jewish lives. The findings are being shared in a series of short reports looking at key policy issues, and this one focuses on the issue of how comfortable Jews feel about attending Jewish activities and events in person.

Drawing on survey responses from July 2020, it finds that whilst Jews situate themselves across the full length of the ‘comfort scale’ (running from very comfortable to very uncomfortable), there is a clear leaning towards the uncomfortable end.

Unsurprisingly, those who are uncomfortable are likely to be in older age bands and/or suffering from health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to the virus. Similarly, those who have had the virus and continue to suffer from secondary symptoms (i.e. ‘Long COVID’) also tend to be uncomfortable about attending events in person.

However, there are some interesting exceptions. The most elderly appear to feel more comfortable than average, and the youngest age bands (those aged 16-24) feel more uncomfortable than average. Those who have had COVID-19 and recovered feel more comfortable than those who have not. And those who have experienced job losses, or have been furloughed, are rather less comfortable than those whose working loves have remained reasonably stable.

It is also very striking to see that, denominationally, the Strictly Orthodox feel most comfortable about attending in-person events, whereas non-synagogue members feel most uncomfortable. Members of other ‘mainstream’ denominations cluster together in between. However, people’s level of religiosity is actually a slightly better predictor than denomination of how comfortable they feel about attending community activities or events in person – those with strong religiosity are most likely to feel comfortable, and those with weak religiosity most likely to feel uncomfortable.

Perhaps most interestingly, there is an important relationship between how comfortable people feel about attending community activities and events in person, and their general state of mental health. Those showing signs of psychological distress feel notably less comfortable than others.

Brief details about the methodology used in the survey are contained in the report. A more detailed methodological is being prepared and will be available shortly.
Author(s): Staetsky, Daniel
Date: 2020
Abstract: Since the earliest days of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, concerns have been expressed that Jews have been disproportionately affected, with mortality levels among them abnormally high. Initial hypotheses arguing that this could largely be explained by geographical and age factors were both proven and challenged by a June 2020 paper published by the Office for National Statistics. It showed that Jews were more likely to be affected because of their above average age profile and where they tend to live (London and other urban centres), but that even after accounting for these and other socio-demographic variables, they were still found to be disproportionately vulnerable.

This short paper draws on existing evidence to investigate why this might be the case. In particular, it explores whether the long-established above average health profile of Jews in the UK has shifted in such a way as to result in elevated levels of mortality from COVID-19, and whether behavioural factors – particularly in the most Orthodox parts of the community – affect the numbers in any significant way. In brief, it finds that there has been no such change in the fundamental health status of British Jews, and that regardless of any specific issues within haredi communities, the vast majority of COVID-19 related deaths among Jews have occurred in the mainstream, non-haredi sector.

Its key conclusions are as follows:
1) Even though Jewish mortality from COVID-19 is high as it is for other Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, Jews are a completely different case and should be analysed and understood as such;
2) The high mortality levels found among Jews is not caused in any significant way by any particular developments occurring in the strictly Orthodox (haredi) population;
3) Elevated mortality among Jews may in part be due to the interconnected and contact-rich social and religious lives that Jews have, but further analysis is required to confirm this.