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Date: 2009
Abstract: Posing a question whether it makes sense to try and speak in rational and scholarly terms of comparative value systems, ethnic «models», the role of various ethnic entities and cultures in world history and their contribution to civilization process, the author tends to give a «cautiously affirmative» answer to this question. He insists on the necessity of researching into this complicated, delicate and dangerous field, one of the goals being not to leave it in the hands of nationalistic ideologists, irresponsible politicians and mass media dilettanti. Discussing from this angle the position of the world Jewry and its disproportionally outstanding role in the shaping of the «Western» civilization, the author focuses on the Russian Jewry, its contribution to Russian and world culture and its peculiar - from the traditional point of view - identity. In his opinion, this fairly secular identity based on ethnic and cultural self-consciousness is the most tenable future model for the American Jewry which badly needs a revision of old stereotypes, first of all on the part of US Jewish leaders. He also analyzes what he calls a general crisis of Jewish identity and evaluates the comparative perspectives of retaining or losing the Russian Jewish identity by the young generations in Russian-speaking Jewish communities both in Israel, USA and Germany. Touching upon the subject of ethos and asserting that it is meaningless even for a secular mind to discuss it other than in a dialogue with two religious stands a Russian Jew is most familiar with, Jewish and Christian, he suggests several issues for such a dialogue. Finally, the author regards the existing conceptions of Jewish education, especially in the USA, as outdated and no more efficient and gives his vision of how they should be re-shaped.
Author(s): Preser, Ruth
Date: 2017
Author(s): Barth, Theodor
Date: 2010
Abstract: Travelogue – On the Contemporary Understandings of Citizenship among European Jews – title and subject of Theodor Barth’s thesis – encompasses six books with ethnography based on a multi-sited fieldwork, in Central- & Eastern European Jewish communities.


The books are concerned with aspects of their own conditions of production, from fieldwork research to writing, alongside the ethnographic subject of the Travelogue: the conditions of Jewish communities (mainly in cities of Central and Eastern Europe) in the last half of the 1990s (1995-99).

The books root the model experiments developed throughout the Travelogue in different ethnographic contexts.

Book 1 (Spanning the Fringes – Vagrancy to Prague) is a traveller’s tale with quite contingent, serendipitous, and very short-term trips to sample Jewish life in St. Petersburg, Vilnius, Warsaw, Kiev, Bucharest, Sofia, and Budapest.

Book 2 (The Minutes of the ECJC) is a commentary and analysis around a conference which the candidate attended in Prague in 1995 of the European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC). It focuses on the political work and changing strategies of the ECJC. This book establishes some of the terms of the problems of community-Jews in Europe.

Book 3 (The Zagreb Almanach) is a description and analysis of the candidate’s stay with the Jewish community of Zagreb, focusing on a place, a green room, the community centre itself—this is the closest to a traditional site of community living in his ethnographic research.

Book 4 (The Books of Zagreb and Sarajevo) provides a contemporary and contextualized reading of a key Jewish ritual complex—the Passover Seder and its text, the Haggadah. This is a cultural object for systematic iteration and commentary, on which to articulate in depth a number of his insights gained more diffusely from observation. Among all the books, book 4 is the one intensive piece in which the textual analysis defines a process through which the candidate intends to sensitise the reader to how pattern can emerge from details.

Book 5 (Thirteen Kisses—a Manual of Survival From Sarajevo) relates a testimonial account of how the activist group La Benevolencija functioned in Sarajevo humanitarian relief during the Bosnian War of 1992-95. The candidate hopes to demonstrate a slow transition from wartime testimonials in the presence of an anthropologist, to recognition in the urban commonwealth in the aftermath of the war. He also invites the reader to consider the particularities of survivor testimonies and contrast these to how the war-zone was perceived from the outside.

Book 6 (The Account of the Lifeline) provides an understanding of a search and accountability model developed by La Benevolencija—in co-operation with the Joint—during the war in Bosnia (1992-95). It consolidates and expands the account of the Jews in Sarajevo and their humanitarian actions, through the candidate’s work on archives of the Joint (American Joint Distribution Committee) in Paris.

The six books of the Travelogue are rounded up in three concluding sections, containing 1) a synopsis of the findings across the books (Frames – Modeling Disordered Systems), 2) an account for the process of visual modeling throughout the books (Design – Choices and Aggregates), 3) a bibliographic presentation in which various sources influenced the conceptual choices and experiments that are made throughout the manuscript are discussed (Bibliography: Reflective Readings). In this way, the candidate hopes to retrace his steps from the findings, via the crafting of the volume back to the ranks of colleagues and readers.
Date: 2011
Date: 2011
Date: 2011
Date: 2020
Abstract: В статье рассматриваются глубинные изменения, которым подверглась еврейская идентичность и культурная память в России, в том числе произошедшие советский и пост-советский периоды. Основываясь главным образом на результатах своих полевых исследований, проводившихся с 1999г. в ряде российских городов, я при-хожу к выводу, что у людей еврейского происхождения в России отсутствует еди-ная культурная самоидентификация, но что она имеет поливариантный характер.При этом некоторые типы самоидентификации не включают в себя символы ицен-ности, характерные для еврейской культурной традиции (или включают их частич-но).Глубокие трансформации еврейской идентичностив XXв. привели к тому, что и еврейская культурная память в нашей стране тоже имеет диверсифицированный характер. За последние два-три десятилетия в России наблюдается конструирова-ние «новой еврейской» самоидентификации и культурной памяти, которые зиждут-ся на позитивных ценностях–как религиозных, так и светских. Ведущая роль в этом процессе принадлежит различным еврейским религиозным и светским струк-турам.
Author(s): Rock, Jonna
Date: 2019
Abstract: This study analyzes issues of language and Jewish identification pertaining to the Sephardim in Sarajevo. Complexity of the Sarajevo Sephardi history means that I explore Bosnia-Herzegovina/Yugoslavia, Israel and Spain as possible identity-creating factors for the Sephardim in Sarajevo today. My findings show that the elderly Sephardic generation insist on calling their language Serbo-Croatian, whereas the younger generations do not really know what language they speak – and laugh about the linguistic situation in Sarajevo, or rely on made-up categories such as ‘Sarajevan.’ None of the interviewees emphasize the maintenance of Judeo-Spanish as a crucial condition for the continuation of Sephardic culture in Sarajevo. Similarly, the celebration of Jewish holidays is more important for the maintenance of identity across the generations than speaking a Jewish language. At the same time, the individuals also assert alternative forms of being Bosnian, ones that encompass multiple ethnicities and religious ascriptions. All the youngest interviewees however fear that the Sarajevo Sephardic identity will disappear in a near future. Unique characteristics of Sarajevo Sephardim include the status of the Sephardim and minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina given (1) the discriminatory Bosnian Constitution; (2) the absence of a law in Bosnia on the return of property; (3) the special situation wherein three major ethnic groups, and not just a single, ethnically homogeneous ‘majority,’ dominate the country; (4) the lack of a well-developed Jewish cultural infrastructure. Despite all of this, a rapprochement between the Sarajevo Jewish Community members and their religion and tradition is taking place. This phenomenon is partly attributable to the Community’s young religious activist and chazan, Igor Kožemjakin, who has attracted younger members to the religious services.
Author(s): Rock, Jonna
Date: 2018
Abstract: This article highlights issues pertaining to the Sephardim ([-im] is the masculine plural Hebrew ending and Sepharad is the Hebrew name for Spain. Sephardim thus literally means the Jews of Spain) in Sarajevo from the time of their arrival in the Ottoman Empire in the late fifteenth century until the present day. I describe the status quo for the Sephardi minority in post-Ottoman Sarajevo, in the first and second Yugoslavia, and in today’s post-Communist Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The objective is to shed light on how historic preconditions have influenced identity formation as it expresses itself from a Sephardic perspective. The aim is moreover to generate knowledge of the circumstances that affected how Sephardim came to understand themselves in terms of their Jewish identification. I present empirical findings from my semi-structured interviews with Sarajevo Sephardim of different generations (2015 and 2016). I argue that while none of the interlocutors conceive of Jewish identification as divergent from halachic interpretations of matrilineal descent, they moreover propose other conceptions of what it means to be Jewish, such as celebrating Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, and other patterns of socialization. At the same time, these individuals also assert alternative forms of being Bosnian, one that includes multiple ethnicities, and multiple religious ascriptions. This study elucidates a little-explored history and sheds light on the ways in which historical conditions have shaped contemporary, layered framings of identification among Sarajevo’s current Jewish population. This article is relevant for those interested in contemporary Sephardic Bosnian culture and in the role and function of ideology in creating conditions for identity formation and transformation.
Date: 2021
Author(s): Vidal, Dominique
Date: 2003
Abstract: [Summary from: http://iesr.ephe.psl.eu/ressources-pedagogiques/comptes-rendus-ouvrages/vidal-dominique-mal-etre-juif-entre-repli]

L’A. part du constat que de nombreux Juifs français éprouvent aujourd’hui un malaise lié à la fois au conflit du Proche- Orient et à une véritable crise structurelle d’identité. Son livre est une étude sociologique qui tente de comprendre cette crise identitaire des Juifs français auxquels il reste selon lui à « forger une identité (juive) moderne et progressiste ». L’ouvrage s’appuie sur une enquête menée en janvier 2002 qui fournit des chiffres très précis sur les Juifs de France (p.63). La religion, la solidarité avec Israël et la mémoire de la Shoah sont pour les principales institutions officielles du judaïsme les trois éléments fondamentaux de l’identité juive mais cette conception fait aussi l’objet de critiques très vives à l’intérieur même de la communauté. Le judaïsme français apparaît donc comme polyphonique dans l’approche de son identité (p. 35).

L’A. dénonce le développement d’une « contre-Intifada idéologique » dont le but est de décrédibiliser toutes les voix discordantes face au « récit officiel » du conflit au Proche-Orient. Il estime qu’un tel acharnement n’est pas seulement condamnable en soi mais qu’il a aussi contribué à privilégier désormais la prudence sur la recherche de vérité, notamment dans les médias. Si d’autre part il reconnaît la recrudescence d’actes antijuifs en France, il dénonce à la fois une exagération numérique liée à l’amalgame dangereux qui est fait entre tous les actes recensés et le silence qui enveloppe la vague concomitante d’agressions anti-arabes qui a suivi le 11 septembre 2001.