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Author(s): Kucia, Marek
Date: 2016
Abstract: Drawing upon developments in cultural and social memory studies and Europeanization theory, this article examines the Europeanization of Holocaust memory understood as the process of construction, institutionalization, and diffusion of beliefs regarding the Holocaust and norms and rules regarding Holocaust remembrance and education at a transnational, European level since the 1990s and their incorporation in the countries of post-communist Eastern Europe, which is also the area where the Holocaust largely took place. The article identifies the transnational agents of the Europeanization of Holocaust memory—the European Union’s parliament, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the United Nations. It analyzes chronologically the key Holocaust-related activities and documents of these agents, highlighting East European countries’ varied and changing position towards them. It examines synchronically the outcome of the Europeanization of Holocaust memory by these transnational agents—a European memory of the Holocaust—identifying its key components, discussing the main aspects, and illustrating the impact of this process and outcome upon the memory of the Holocaust in the East European countries. The article argues that the Europeanization of Holocaust memory has significantly contributed to the development of Holocaust memory in Eastern Europe, although other agents and processes were also involved.
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.