In urban Portugal today, hundreds of individuals trace their ancestry to 15th century Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism, and many now seek to rejoin the Jewish people as a whole. For the most part, however, these self-titled Marranos ("hidden Jews") lack any direct experience of Jews or Judaism, and Portugal's tiny, tightly knit Jewish community offers no clear path of entry. According to Jewish law, to be recognized as a Jew one must be born to a Jewish mother or pursue religious conversion, an anathema to those who feel their ancestors' Judaism was cruelly stolen from them. After centuries of familial Catholicism, and having been refused inclusion locally, how will these self-declared ancestral Jews find belonging among "the Jewish family," writ large? How, that is, can people rejected as strangers face-to-face become members of a global imagined community - not only rhetorically, but experientially?
Leite addresses this question through intimate portraits of the lives and experiences of a network of urban Marranos who sought contact with foreign Jewish tourists and outreach workers as a means of gaining educational and moral support in their quest. Exploring mutual imaginings and direct encounters between Marranos, Portuguese Jews, and foreign Jewish visitors, Unorthodox Kin deftly tracks how visions of self and kin evolve over time and across social spaces, ending in an unexpected path to belonging. In the process, the analysis weaves together a diverse set of current anthropological themes, from intersubjectivity to international tourism, class structures to the construction of identity, cultural logics of relatedness to transcultural communication.
A compelling evocation of how ideas of ancestry shape the present, how feelings of kinship arise among far-flung strangers, and how some find mystical connection in a world said to be disenchanted, Unorthodox Kin will appeal to a wide audience interested in anthropology, sociology, Jewish studies, and religious studies. Its accessible, narrative-driven style makes it especially well suited for introductory and advanced courses in general cultural anthropology, ethnography, theories of identity and social categorization, and the study of globalization, kinship, tourism, and religion.
being in and out of their borders, in and out of their communities and regarding social, political and
economical factors of the place they lived in, the Jewish people were reconsidering and reconstructing
their ethnoreligious and cultural identity. In this paper, the contemporary Jewish identity will be
explored, —both individually and collectively— in the context of the pluralistic city of Thessaloniki,
Greece. Which are the components that their identity is compromised of? On the one hand, how
does the factor of their recent Sephardic (Judeo-Spanish) origin influence their identitarian reference?
On the other hand, how does the current state of Israel remodel and form new identitarian aspects
of them? And finally, how does the Greek context affect their personal, communal and national
identity? Living in a Greek secular state, where the majority of its citizens regard themselves as
Orthodox Christian believers, what relations might be shaped between the non Jews and the Jews?
How do the Jews perceive their self identity? By using empirical data of fieldwork, the writer will
endeavor to attribute the diasporic paths of the long term indigenous, Greek, Jewish identity —both
national and religious— in the geographical place of the city of Thessaloniki.
In total, 2,125 responses were collected, of which 890 full responses were taken for further analysis. The survey sample spans 27 European countries.
The report is available in English and in Hebrew.
Shifting the frame of reference from assimilation theory to globalization theory and the information technology revolution, Laguerre argues that Jewish neighborhoods are not simply transnational social formations, but are fundamentally transglobal entities. Connected to multiple overseas diasporic sites, their interactions reach beyond their homelands, and they develop the logic of their social interactions inside this larger network of relationships. As with all transglobal communities, there is constant movement of people, goods, communications, ideas, images, and capital that sustains and adds vibrancy to everyday life. Since all are connected through the network, Laguerre contends that the variable shape of the local is affected by and affects the global.
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Tables, and Maps
1. Neighborhood Globalization
2. Paris’s Jewish Quarter: Unmade, Remade, and Transformed
3. Berlin’s Jewish Quarter: The Local History of the Global
4. London’s Jewish Neighborhoods: Nodes of Global Networks
5. Residential Districts Versus Business Districts
6. The Jewish Quarter as a Global Chronopolis
7. Paris’s City Hall and the Jewish Quarter
8. Heritage Tourism: The Jewish Quarter as a Theme Park
9. The Jewish Quarter, Other Diasporic Sites, and Israel
10. Information Technology and the Jewish Neighborhood
11. Neighborhoods of Globalization
Conclusion: Global Neighborhoods in the Global Metropolis
And Europe Will Be Stunned,
directed by Israeli artist Yael Bartana, who is based in Berlin and Amsterdam. The trilogy presents a fictional national movement that advocates the return of 3,300,000 Jews to Poland, with the claim that Poland’s ethnic and religious homogeneity is a deficiency that could be corrected with the renewal of Jewish life in the country. Wearing the form of an enthusiastic political manifesto, the trilogy mirrors early Zionist images and motifs in articulating the vision of the return to the homeland. The trilogy’s end reveals this endeavor as a failure, to which the assassination of the movement’s leader, Slawek, attests.
Еврейский мир также не остался в стороне от этих процессов. Важным событием последних десятилетий стало появление двух новых транснациональных еврейских диаспор: израильской и русско-еврейской. Обе эти группы, несомненно, стали заметным фактором современной еврейской жизни и важным элементом многокультурной мозаики внутри еврейских коллективов стран пребывания и их обществ в целом.
При том, что еврейской эмиграции из Израиля и возникшей за его пределами «израильской диаспоре» (термин, который в научный оборот ввел Стивен Гольд) посвящена довольно обширная научная литература, а «всемирное русско-еврейское сообщество» также стало объектом ряда фундаментальных работ3, общий компонент этих диаспор – эмигрантские сообщества русскоязычных израильтян – пока очень малоизучен.
Речь идет как о тех уроженцах (бывшего) СССР, которые в составе израильской миграции оказались в странах Запада, так и в особенности об участниках «возвратной миграции» на постсоветское пространство. В академической литературе существует некоторое количество информации о русскоязычных израильтянах в разных странах Запада, и крайне немного – об израильтянах в странах бывшего СССР. Что же касается украинского сегмента этой диаспоры, то его до недавнего времени исследователи почти вообще не изучали. (Единственным известным нам исключением является исследование израильтян в Одессе, которое провела украино-британский антрополог Марина Саприцкая.) Исследование, которое легло в основу этой статьи, было призвано заполнить этот пробел.
Его совместно провели Центр еврейского образования в диаспоре им. Лукштейна (Университет Бар-Илан, Израиль) и Институт иудаики НаУКМА при поддержке Министерства алии и абсорбции Израиля и Евроазиатского еврейского конгресса. В ходе этого исследования в два «раунда» (в начале 2009 и в конце 2011 гг.) методом стандартизированного интервью было опрошено соответственно 167 и 147 респондентов из числа израильтян, с разной степенью постоянства живущих в Украине6. При этом нам представлялось верным сравнить сообщества русскоязычных израильтян в Украине с сопоставимыми с ними по базовым параметрам контрольными группами, прежде всего – с израильтянами, живущими и/или работающими в России.
One of the distinctive features of our times is the appearance of the so-called “new ethnic diasporas” resulting from mass state migrations—both direct and reverse—which especially intensified after the Second World War. Unlike previous generations of migrants, the members of these diasporas are not in a hurry to assimilate into the socio-cultural environment of the receiving societies. Instead, they continue to maintain—sometimes for several generations—a multifarious social and cultural identity and even political ties with their countries of origin.
The Jewish world did not remain on the sidelines of this process. An important development in recent decades is the appearance of two new transnational Jewish diasporas: Israeli and Russian-Jewish. Both these groups undoubtedly became a noticeable factor of contemporary Jewish life and an important element in the multicultural mosaic within Jewish communities of the host countries and within host societies at large.
Although the Jewish emigration from Israel and the “Israeli diaspora” (a term introduced by Steven Gold) has received considerable attention in the scholarly literature and the “global Russian-Jewish community” has become the subject of a series of fundamental works, the common component of these diasporas—Russian-speaking Israelis—remains understudied.
The reference points here are both natives of the former USSR who came to the West as part of the emigration from Israel and participants of the “reverse migration” to the post-Soviet states. The academic literature contains a certain amount of information about Israelis in the countries of the West and very little about Israelis in the countries of the former USSR. The Ukrainian segment of this diaspora was practically ignored by scholars until recently. The only exception we are aware of is the research project on Israelis in Odessa carried out by the Ukrainian-British anthropologist Marina Sapritsky. The research on which this article is based aimed to fill this important gap.
The project was implemented by the Lukshtein Center of Jewish Education in the Diaspora (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and the Judaica Institute of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine) with the support from the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption and the Eurasian Jewish Congress. In the course of this study, researchers held two rounds of interviews in 2009 and 2011 with 167 and 147 respondents from among Israelis who reside in Ukraine more or less permanently. We wanted in this process to compare the communities of Russian-speaking Israelis in Ukraine with similar control groups, primarily with Israelis working and living in Russia.
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.
Assembling an international array of experts on the Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora, the book makes room for a wide range of scholarly approaches, allowing readers to appreciate the significance of this migration from many different angles. Some chapters offer data-driven analyses that seek to quantify the impact Russian-speaking Jewish populations are making in their adoptive countries and their adaptations there. Others take a more ethnographic approach, using interviews and observations to determine how these immigrants integrate their old traditions and affiliations into their new identities. Further chapters examine how, despite the oceans separating them, members of this diaspora form imagined communities within cyberspace and through literature, enabling them to keep their shared culture alive.
Above all, the scholars in The New Jewish Diaspora place the migration of Russian-speaking Jews in its historical and social contexts, showing where it fits within the larger historic saga of the Jewish diaspora, exploring its dynamic engagement with the contemporary world, and pointing to future paths these immigrants and their descendants might follow.
Introduction: Homelands, Diasporas, and the Islands in Between
Part I Demography: Who Are the Migrants and Where Have They Gone?
Chapter 1 Demography of the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora
Chapter 2 The Russian-Speaking Israeli Diaspora in the FSU, Europe, and North America: Jewish Identification and Attachment to Israel
Chapter 3 Home in the Diaspora? Jewish Returnees and Transmigrants in Ukraine
Part II Transnationalism and Diasporas
Chapter 4 Rethinking Boundaries in the Jewish Diaspora from the FSU
Chapter 5 Diaspora from the Inside Out: Litvaks in Lithuania Today
Chapter 6 Russian-Speaking Jews and Israeli Emigrants in the United States: A Comparison of Migrant Populations
Steven J. Gold
Part III Political and Economic Change
Chapter 7 Political Newborns: Immigrants in Israel and Germany
Chapter 8 The Move from Russia/the Soviet Union to Israel: A Transformation of Jewish Culture and Identity
Chapter 9 The Economic Integration of Soviet Jewish Immigrants in Israel
Part IV Resocialization and the Malleability of Ethnicity
Chapter 10 Russian-Speaking Jews in Germany
Chapter 11 Performing Jewishness and Questioning the Civic Subject among Russian-Jewish Migrants in Germany
Chapter 12 Inventing a “New Jew”: The Transformation of Jewish Identity in Post-Soviet Russia
Part V Migration and Religious Change
Chapter 13 Post-Soviet Immigrant Religiosity: Beyond the Israeli National Religion
Nelly Elias and Julia Lerner
Chapter 14 Virtual Village in a Real World: The Russian Jewish Diaspora Online
Part VI Diaspora Russian Literature
Chapter 15 Four Voices from the Last Soviet Generation: Evgeny Steiner, Alexander Goldstein, Oleg Yuryev, and Alexander Ilichevsky
Chapter 16 Poets and Poetry in Today’s Diaspora: On Being “Marginally Jewish”
Chapter 17 Triple Identities: Russian-Speaking Jews as German, American, and Israeli Writers
Afterword: The Future of a Diaspora
We are Few brings this unique community to life in a series of ethnographic sketches of history and traditional culture in order to understand its intense allegiance to ethnic identity. Dr. Annette Fromm explores the decreasing inventory of cultural traditions from the patterns of daily life to the rituals and customs associated with life cycle events and holiday celebrations. Through the periodic return of individuals associated with the Jews of Ioannina, pilgrims, a new avenue of the expression of ethnic identity has been created. These visits reassure residents that the Jewish community of Ioannina still exists no matter how dispersed.
Beiträge aus der Soziologie und den Kulturwissenschaften schildern die unterschiedlichen Narrative, den Bedeutungswandel von Religion und die neuen Formen von Vergemeinschaftung, die kennzeichnend für die jüdische Gegenwart sind. Die interdisziplinären Beiträge erforschen die Bedeutung von Mobilität und Migration und zeigen auf, wie sich Identitäten und kulturelle Praktiken pluralisiert haben. Es entsteht das facettenreiche Portrait einer sich neu formierenden jüdischen Diaspora, deren Sinnbezüge und Organisationsformen nicht nur in Deutschland liegen.
Karen Körber: Zäsur, Wandel oder Neubeginn? Russischsprachige Juden in Deutschland zwischen Recht, Repräsentation und Realität
Melanie Eulitz: Die jüdisch-liberale Bewegung in Deutschland nach 1990. Eine Gemeindeanalyse
Alina Gromova: Jüdische Vergemeinschaftung als Praxis der Distinktionen. Auf den Spuren der kulturellen Praktiken und sozialen Positionierungen in der Migrationsgesellschaft
Victoria Hegner: »I am what I am...« Identitätskonzepte junger russischsprachiger Juden in Chicago
Darja Klingenberg: Komische Leute. Selbstverständnisse und Erfahrungen von Rassismus
und Antisemitismus russisch-jüdischer Migrant_innen im scherzhaften Gespräch
Julia Bernstein: »Dichte und Dichtung der neuen Lebenswelten: Das Bolschoi-Theater in der Aldi-Tüte«
Dmitrij Belkin: Wir könnten Avantgarde sein. Die Zukunft des Patchwork-Judentums
The new Jewish diaspora of a "heterogeneous people who thrive in secular societies" is here to stay, asserts Boston Globe journalist Tye (The Father of Spin). As these diverse Jewish communities have become not merely way stations but enduring homes, they have begun to remake Judaism itself. Tye tells this intriguing story through sketches of people and of life in seven cities. In Dsseldorf, he finds an Orthodox rabbi invoking a more pluralistic Judaism to educate Russian refugees. In Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, a fervent Lubavitcher Hasidic rabbi has energized a dormant community. In Buenos Aires, a Jewish polity fragmented by economic setbacks and anti-Semitic attacks has begun to revive with new models of worship and organization. In Paris, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews have forged ties that could serve as a model for their fractious brethren in Israel. Tye's chapter on Dublin, where the Jewish community is dying, may at first seem anomalous, but, he argues, their determination to reestablish their "Gaelic brand of Judaism" elsewhere is a testament to the ability of Jews to survive wherever they may be. His two American chapters focus on Boston, where the Jewish community has fused learning, spirituality and social justice, and Atlanta, where rival denominations work with considerable amity. Yet Tye's optimism might have been better contextualized by a broader survey. Though the author understandably had to winnow his examples from many compelling possibilities, readers may wonder about Jewish communities in such places as Melbourne, Montreal and Johannesburg. While not a breakout book, Tye's presentation of a new diaspora may intrigue a broad Jewish audience.