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Author(s): Baer, Marc David
Date: 2013
Date: 2021
Abstract: In 2015, Spain approved a law that offered citizenship to the descendants of Sephardi Jews expelled in 1492. Drawing on archival, ethnographic, and historical sources, I show that this law belongs to a political genealogy of philosephardism in which the “return” of Sephardi Jews has been imagined as a way to usher in a deferred Spanish modernity. Borrowing from anthropological theories of “racial fusion,” philosephardic thinkers at the turn of the twentieth century saw Sephardi Jews as inheritors of a racial mixture that made them living repositories of an earlier moment of national greatness. The senator Ángel Pulido, trained as an anthropologist, channeled these intellectual currents into an international campaign advocating the repatriation of Sephardi Jews. Linking this racial logic to an affective one, Pulido asserted that Sephardi Jews did not “harbor rancor” for the Expulsion, but instead felt love and nostalgia toward Spain, and could thus be trusted as loyal subjects who would help resurrect its empire. Today, affective criteria continue to be enmeshed in debates about who qualifies for inclusion and are inextricable from the histories of racial thought that made earlier exclusions possible. Like its precursors, the 2015 Sephardic citizenship law rhetorically fashioned Sephardi Jews as fundamentally Spanish, not only making claims about Sephardi Jews, but also making claims on them. Reckoning with how rancor and other sentiments have helped buttress such claims exposes the recalcitrant hold that philosephardic thought has on Spain's present, even those “progressive” political projects that promise to “return” what has been lost.
Date: 2013
Date: 2011
Abstract: Israelis form a unique case in the field of diaspora studies. When the State of Israel was founded in 1948 it was seen as the longed-for end to the wandering and oppression which had characterized the Jewish diaspora over the centuries. For various reasons, however, about ten percent of the Israeli population chooses to live abroad despite the condemnation of those who see emigration as a threat to the ideological, demographic, and moral viability of Israel itself. The rejection of emigration from Israel is a central assumption in all forms of Zionism as a corollary of the «negotiation of diaspora» which was a central tenet of Israeli Zionist education. During the recent years many educated young people, relatively recent immigrants from the former Soviet Union, have emigrated to the West, and also emigration (which could not be described as returning migration) to Russia is now fairly widespread. The employment market in Russia is flexible, and free market policies lead to competition for talented young graduates who enjoy breathtaking opportunities and high salaries, in comparison to Israel. These migration waves create a new phenomenon - the Russian-speaking transnational post-Israeli diaspora. These people feel free to choose, on purely instrumental grounds, their target society - Israel, when conditions seem favorable, Russia, if it seems to offer more, and for the same reasons, the United States or other Western countries. The Russian-speaking post-Israeli immigrants do not aspire to «get home», but rather to reach a place where they can «build a home». The problem of emigration from Israel is far more serious than suggested by previously published data, which concentrated on the extent of emigration, the countries chosen, and the motivation for leaving. Emigrants are not a representative sample of the population. The proportion of well educated individuals among emigrants is significantly greater than this proportion in the overall population. The emigration of the most talented citizens and the slump in immigration is a problem in itself, but it must also be understood as a symptom of a general failure by the State of Israel to create a society capable of attracting and keeping the best and brightest of the Jewish people.
Date: 2011
Date: 2018
Author(s): Schlör, Joachim
Date: 2014
Date: 2020
Abstract: Germany’s acceptance of its direct responsibility for the Holocaust has strengthened its relationship with Israel and has led to a deep commitment to combat antisemitism and rebuild Jewish life in Germany. As we draw close to a time when there will be no more firsthand experience of the horrors of the Holocaust, there is great concern about what will happen when German responsibility turns into history. Will the present taboo against open antisemitism be lifted as collective memory fades? There are alarming signs of the rise of the far right, which includes blatantly antisemitic elements, already visible in public discourse. But it is mainly the radicalization of the otherwise moderate Muslim population of Germany and the entry of almost a million refugees since 2015 from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan that appears to make German society less tolerant and somewhat less inhibited about articulating xenophobic attitudes. The evidence is unmistakable—overt antisemitism is dramatically increasing once more.

The Future of the German-Jewish Past deals with the formidable challenges created by these developments. It is conceptualized to offer a variety of perspectives and views on the question of the future of the German-Jewish past. The volume addresses topics such as antisemitism, Holocaust memory, historiography, and political issues relating to the future relationship between Jews, Israel, and Germany. While the central focus of this volume is Germany, the implications go beyond the German-Jewish experience and relate to some of the broader challenges facing modern societies today.
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: 2013
Date: 2013