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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.
Date: 2020
Abstract: Статья посвящена трансформации, которую претерпел обычай «ѓахнасат кала» в современной российской еврейской общине. Заповедь «ѓахнасат кала» была впервые упомянута в талмудической литературе как
предписание увеселять жениха и невесту, однако позже, в XVII–XVIII вв., в Ашкеназе получила новое содержание: община должна была собирать на приданое бедным невестам, с тем чтобы они могли выйти замуж, – тем самым нищие девушки удерживались от социальной маргинализации или крещения. В современной российской еврейской общине (и, как выяснилось впоследствии, среди русскоязычных ультрарелигиозных евреев Израиля) это название стало употребляться по отношению к совершенно новой практике – сбору денег на организацию свадебной церемонии для жениха и невесты, уже выбравших друг друга, а нередко живших в гражданском браке и пришедших к иудаизму. В отличие от традиционной ситуации, когда стоимость свадебных расходов покрывается взносами гостей, в данном случае спонсорами свадьбы становятся пользователи интернета, сочувствующие данной паре, а бенефициарами – члены общины с высоким статусом. Таким образом, организация дорогой свадебной церемонии становится
для будущих супругов своего рода подтверждением их статуса в общине. Подробно анализируется один такой случай, произошедший в общине Московской хоральной синагоги в 2019 г. Делаются выводы о структуре общины, о ее экономике и роли краудфандинга в современной российской еврейской ортодоксии.
Editor(s): Leiße, Olaf
Date: 2019
Date: 2014
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: 2016
Abstract: Objective: To explore determinants of participation in breast cancer screening in orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, and to uncover their opinions and attitudes towards screening, and thereby to detect ways to optimize participation. Study design: Focus group discussions were performed during the last months of 2011 and the first half of 2012 to explore motivation to participate or not in breast cancer screening. Groups consisted of five to seven women. Inclusion criteria were: being female, considering oneself as orthodox Jewish, aged between 50 and 69 years. Results: Three focus group discussions with in a total of 20 women had taken place. All participants in the focus group discussions had a screening mammography taken on a regular base. All participants agreed that the social cohesion between Jewish orthodox women and the importance that is given to healthcare within the Jewish tradition are important contributors to their participation in a breast cancer screening program. Pain, lack of information during the exam, lack of confidence in the quality of the exam, perceived problems when the examining doctor/technician is male, and fear of the results are mentioned as barriers. The participants, however, state that these were not important enough to result in non-participation. Barriers could be diminished by information sessions specifically aimed at orthodox Jewish women. Conclusion: This qualitative research demonstrates a generally positive attitude of orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, towards mammographic breast cancer screening. Increased and repeated structured information sessions are likely to improve breast cancer awareness in this population.
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: 2012
Abstract:

The countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) are the home today for a substantial number of Jews, many of whom live in poor, economically disadvantaged communities. Throughout the FSU, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has supported the development of Hesed welfare and Jewish community centers to assist in the provision of services to Jews in need and to support the renewal of Jewish life after years of suppression. The present report is designed to review the current economic, health, and social conditions of these elderly Jews in need in the FSU and to compare their circumstances, as best possible, to their counterparts who live in western countries such as the United States.

Data from a large number of sources are reviewed and analyzed, including national statistics, national and local surveys, and client-level data. The data indicate clearly that, in view of demographic composition, as well as economic and social conditions, elderly Jews in the FSU have tremendous needs for supportive services funded by philanthropy compared to their peers in the United States. The comparisons also highlight the disparities in available care among those most in need.

There is a clear need for external support for basic health and social services for elderly Jews in the FSU. Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is not an adequate safety net for the elderly. The situation is in flux and there are unique challenges associated with understanding service delivery in societies that are in transition. The available data on pensions and living circumstances make clear that the economic situation for elderly in the FSU who seek Hesed services is dire. Faced with increasing costs for basic needs such as utilities and food, along with health services including essential medicines, quality care and homecare, the pension amounts that Hesed clients rely on are inadequate to meet their 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.
Author(s): Yakimenko, Svetlana
Date: 2016
Abstract: Since 1989 Project Kesher has worked bringing women together, creating a network of Jewish women, helping women who knew nothing or very little about what it means to be Jewish, not only to become Jewish, but to create and strengthen Jewish community life in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. We shared success and analyzed the changes. We felt that we were one people.

Due to the present political crises we lost our vision as one Jewish people, we became divided. It was clear Project Kesher needed to take action. We started with International Skype calls. Every evening one woman from Russia, one from Ukraine, one from Belarus, one from Israel called a woman in another country: talking, sharing our love and support, wishing peace. When women started calling each other again and restoring broken relationships we saw that “KESHER” – connection – is working.

One day when there was a serious military clash in the area where she lived one of our leaders proposed to read Tehilim (Psalms), as prayers for peace. Soon more than one hundred women were reading Psalms, creating a chain of peace. Such a spirit of peace prevailed even at a time when the air was filled with war.

In Russia there are refugee families from different regions of the Ukraine. Sometimes they lost everything. Project Kesher women’s groups in cooperation with other Jewish organizations collected clothes, foot-wear as well as school-bags, school record books, sketchbooks, colored paper, paperboard, plasticine, pencil boxes, paints and markers for refugee children. Project Kesher activists also actively participated in organizing camps for refugees in Kharkiv and the Dnipropretrovsk region (Ukraine).

In times of conflict the wish to live in peace is not enough. Women needed instruments for conflict resolution. Project Kesher developed a unique leadership training program with the aim to enable the participants to conduct trainings in conflict resolution themselves in Jewish communities and partner organizations and to engage in mediation. These trainings are often based on Jewish tradition and text study.

A special event is Project Kesher’s Global Women’s Seder that was celebrated in 2015 for the 21st time. No less than 2500 members of 140 Project Kesher women’s and youth groups in 110 cities and five countries – Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Russia and the Ukraine – participated this year. The participants spoke about peace and declared that they intended to do everything possible to maintain peace in their families and in society. With the energy it sets free Project Kesher continues to initiate positive changes.
Author(s): Graff, Agnieszka
Date: 2018
Author(s): di Porto, Bruno
Date: 2018
Abstract: La civiltà ebraica, lungo più di tre millenni e in tanta diffusione di luoghi, ha conosciuto, sulla base di fondamenti essenziali, per influenza degli eventi, una varietà di pensiero, di riti, di aspetti. La modernità, dal Settecento illuministico, e l’emancipazione, seguita dall’integrazione, in paesi progrediti, ha suscitato un fermento di riforma, per esigenza di adeguamenti. È così sorta, a partire dalla Germania, una corrente dell’Ebraismo, detta Reform o Liberale o Progressiva, con sfumature di termini e gradazioni. Si è propagata, per somiglianza di situazioni, in altri paesi europei e specialmente negli Stati Uniti di America. Contrapposta alla Riforma si è configurata, sul versante più tradizionalista, una Ortodossia ebraica, a sua volta suddivisa in riti e tendenze. Si è anche formata una corrente intermedia detta comunemente Conservative. Entro la stessa Riforma vi sono stati i radicali e i temperati, con tendenza al ricupero della tradizione e dell’identità ebraica di popolo. Una innovazione cospicua è la parità dei generi nel culto. Altra denominazione è il Ricostruzionismo che si incontra nel libro.
Tra gli ebrei d’Italia si sono manifestate nell’Ottocento sia propensioni riformistiche, sia maggiormente tradizionaliste. La nascita nel nostro paese di una organizzata corrente progressiva è recente e dovuta in parte agli aumentati scambi con i correligionari di altri paesi, così come gli scambi hanno reso più accentuata, su talune questioni, la linea del Rabbinato italiano. La presenza progressiva è esigua in Italia, ma anche le minoranze meritano di esser conosciute, tanto più essendo parte dell’Ebraismo italiano, esso stesso una minoranza.