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Date: 2021
Abstract: With Finnish independence in 1917, long-awaited legislative reforms were put in force in the country. Jews gained the right to obtain Finnish citizenship. The same year, the Finnish Parliament implemented the Civil Marriage Act (CMA), allowing the country’s Jewish citizens to marry non-Jews without converting to Christianity. In 1922, the constitutional right to freedom of religion was affirmed in the Freedom of Religion Act (FRA), granting the right to practice religion in public and private and allowing Finnish citizens to refrain from belonging to any religious community altogether. The FRA also addressed the question of children whose parents belonged to different religious congregations or who were unaffiliated. The FRA defined the religious affiliation of children after their father; this was, however, against the Orthodox Jewish law (halakhah) that the local Finnish Jewish communities wished to follow, which traced a child’s religious affiliation matrilineally.

Due to the small size of the Jewish marriage market and to the secularizing tendencies of the Jewish congregations, the number of intermarriages started to grow in the early twentieth century, and soon, they became a characteristic phenomenon of Finnish Jewish realities. This resulted in a growing number of halakhically non-Jewish children. Thus, the communities faced several challenges in terms of their administration and everyday practices.

This article-based dissertation provides an overview of Finnish-Jewish intermarriages from 1917 until the present by analyzing archival materials together with newly collected semi-structured ethnographic interviews. The interviews were conducted with members of the communities who are partners in intermarriages, either as individuals who married out or as individuals who married in and converted to Judaism. The key theoretical underpinning of the study is vernacular religion, which is complemented by relevant international research on contemporary interreligious Jewish families.

The results of the study show that while most informants understand Jewish law flexibly and rarely consider themselves “religious,” the differences between the practices of intermarried men and women are remarkable. Whereas women employ creativity and “do Judaism” to establish practices they consider meaningful for their Jewishness and Jewish identity, men tend to draw on their cultural heritage and often refrain from creative practices. The study also indicates that the adult conversion of women is far more common than that of men, making conversion a gendered phenomenon in the Finnish Jewish communities. Most informants of this study “do Judaism” in various ways and often choose to perform certain traditions to strengthen their connection to Judaism and ensure Jewish continuity through their children. Intermarried members and converts form a large part of the Finnish Jewish communities, and thus the results shed light on patterns that can be assumed to characterize multiple Finnish Jewish households.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Статья посвящена проблеме межэтнических брачных союзов, в основу исследования легли экспедиционные материалы, собранные в Приднестровье в 2017-2019 гг. В еврейской среде в советский период традиция смешанных браков получает широкое распространение, такие союзы приводят к трансформации классического определения еврейства, что в свою очередь оказывает влияние на представления партнеров о собственной идентичности. Авторами было собрано и проанализировано 29 интервью с информантами (евреями и неевреями), состоявшими в смешанных браках, и их детьми; были выделены три основных зоны напряжения в межэтнических семьях (восприятие данного союза окружающими, имянаречение ребенка и похороны) и три стратегии преодоления напряжения: выбор нейтральной и светской традиции; компромисс (сочетание двух традиций) и интеграция одного из партнеров в культуру другого. В качестве зоны кросс-культурного взаимодействия информанты выделяли праздники; связанные с ними традиции, как правило, были смешанными (например, Песах и Пасха). Авторы приходят к выводу, что описываемый синтез культур приводит к дрейфу идентичности информантов и трансформации представлений о «настоящем еврее», согласно которым знания о традиции или практические навыки становятся важнее принципов галахи.
Editor(s): Leiße, Olaf
Date: 2019
Author(s): Kranz, Dani
Date: 2021
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: This detailed and thorough report is rapidly becoming the ‘must-read’ study on European Jews, taking the reader on an extraordinary journey through one thousand years of European Jewish history before arriving at the most comprehensive analysis of European Jewish demography today.

Written by leading Jewish demographers Professor Sergio DellaPergola and Dr Daniel Staetsky, the Chair and Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit respectively, it explores how the European Jewish population has ebbed and flowed over time. It begins as far back as the twelfth century, travelling through many years of population stability, until the tremendous growth of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, followed by the dramatic decline prompted by a combination of mass migration and the horrors of the Shoah. Extraordinarily, after all this time, the proportion of world Jewry living in Europe today is almost identical to the proportion living in Europe 900 years ago.

Using multiple definitions of Jewishness and a vast array of sources to determine the size of the contemporary population, the study proceeds to measure it in multiple ways, looking at the major blocs of the European Union and the European countries of the Former Soviet Union, as well as providing country-by-country analyses, ranging from major centres such as France, the UK, Germany and Hungary, to tiny territories such as Gibraltar, Monaco and even the Holy See.

The report also contains the most up-to-date analysis we have on the key mechanisms of demographic change in Europe, touching variously on patterns of migration in and out of Europe, fertility, intermarriage, conversion and age compositions. While the report itself is a fascinating and important read, the underlying data are essential tools for the JPR team to utilise as it supports Jewish organisations across the continent to plan for the future.
Date: 2000
Author(s): Sapiro, Philip
Date: 2019
Date: 2019
Author(s): Graham, David
Date: 2018
Abstract: JPR’s report, European Jewish identity: Mosaic or monolith? An empirical assessment of eight European countries, authored by Senior Research Fellow Dr David Graham, asks whether there is such a thing as a European Jewish identity, and, if so, what it looks like.

The question of whether there is a Jewish identity that is at once common to all European Jews but also peculiar to them, has intrigued scholars of contemporary Jewry since the fall of the Berlin Wall. This study contrasts the European picture with the two major centres of world Jewry, the United States and Israel, and examines the nature and content of Jewish identity across Europe, exploring the three core pillars of belief, belonging and behaviour around which Jewish identity is built.

This research was made possible by the advent of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) survey in 2012 examining Jewish people’s experiences and perceptions of antisemitism across nine EU Member States: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Sweden and the UK. As well as gathering data about antisemitism, the study investigated various aspects of the Jewishness of respondents, in order to ascertain whether different types of Jews perceive and experience antisemitism differently. This study focuses on the data gathered about Jewishness, thereby enabling direct comparisons to be made for the first time across multiple European Jewish communities in a robust and comprehensive way.

The report concludes that there is no monolithic European identity, but it explores in detail the mosaic of Jewish identity in Europe, highlighting some key differences:
• In Belgium, where Jewish parents are most likely to send their children to Jewish schools, there is a unique polarisation between the observant and non-observant;
• In France, Jews exhibit the strongest feelings of being part of the Jewish People, and also have the strongest level of emotional attachment to Israel;
• Germany’s Jewish community has the largest proportion of foreign-born Jews, and, along with Hungary, is the youngest Jewish population;
• In Hungary the greatest relative weight in Jewish identity priorities is placed on 'Combating antisemitism,' and the weakest level of support for Israel is exhibited;
• In Italy, respondents are least likely to report being Jewish by birth or to have two Jewish parents;
• The Jews of Latvia are the oldest population and the most likely to be intermarried;
• The Jews of Sweden attach a very high level of importance to 'Combating antisemitism' despite being relatively unlikely to experience it, and they observe few Jewish practices;
• In the United Kingdom, Jews observe the most religious practices and appear to feel the least threatened by antisemitism. They are the most likely to be Jewish by birth and least likely to be intermarried.

According to report author, Dr David Graham: “This report represents far more than the culmination of an empirical assessment of Jewish identity. Never before has it been possible to examine Jewish identity across Europe in anything approaching a coherent and systematic way. Prior to the FRA’s survey, it was almost inconceivable that an analysis of this kind could be carried out at all. The formidable obstacles of cost, language, political and logistical complexity seemed to present impenetrable barriers to the realisation of any such dream. Yet this is exactly what has been achieved, a report made possible through an FRA initiative into furthering understanding of Jewish peoples' experience of antisemitism. It reveals a European Jewry that is more mosaic than monolith, an array of Jewish communities, each exhibiting unique Jewish personas, yet united by geography and a common cultural heritage."
Date: 2005
Date: 2015
Abstract: Viele Jüdinnen und Juden lieben nichtjüdische Partner_innen, leben und haben Kinder mit ihnen. Die Vorstellung von ‚Juden‘ und ‚Nichtjuden‘ als klar unterscheidbaren Gruppen ist überholt. ‚Gemischte‘ Familien und Partnerschaften sind stattdessen Teil der zeitgenössischen Lebensrealität im deutschsprachigen Raum und darüber hinaus.

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.

Inhalt:

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