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Author(s): Roten, Hervé
Date: 2000
Date: 2021
Abstract: This article presents research notes on an oral history project on the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Jews over the age of 65 years. During the first stage of the project, we conducted nearly 80 interviews in eight cities worldwide: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and St. Petersburg, and in Israel. The interviews were conducted in the spring of 2020 and reflect the atmosphere and perception of interviewees at the end of the first lockdown.

Based on an analysis of the interviews, the findings are divided into three spheres: (1) the personal experience during the pandemic, including personal difficulties and the impact of the lockdown on family and social contacts; (2) Jewish communal life, manifested in changed functions and emergence of new needs, as well as religious rituals during the pandemic; and (3) perceived relations between the Jewish community and wider society, including relations with state authorities and civil society, attitudes of and towards official media, and the possible impact of COVID-19 on antisemitism. Together, these spheres shed light on how elderly Jews experience their current situation under COVID-19—as individuals and as part of a community.

COVID-19 taught interviewees to reappraise what was important to them. They felt their family relations became stronger under the pandemic, and that their Jewish community was more meaningful than they had thought. They understood that online communication will continue to be present in all three spheres, but concluded that human contact cannot be substituted by technical devices.
Date: 2016
Abstract: This research contributes to the understanding of the process of reconstructing the memory of Jews in contemporary Poland. Focusing on a case study of a town in southern Poland, Mszana Dolna, the study analyses how Jewish/non-Jewish relations and the history of the Jews of the town are remembered by the current inhabitants of Mszana, as well as by Holocaust survivors and their families. The research is based on an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of memory, using in depth oral history interviews, archival and other written materials, as well as participant observation as sources of analysed data. The study concentrates on the memory of the life in Mszana before, during and after the war in terms of the coexistence of two communities, Jewish and non-Jewish ones. Focusing mainly on the annual commemoration of the shooting of the Jews of Mszana in August 1942 by non-Jewish members of the community and their participation in the educational programmes, the research elucidates the process of regaining the Jewish heritage of the town by non-Jewish inhabitants and incorporating it into the past of the community of Mszana. Identifying the variety of levels of interactions between Jews and non-Jews before the war, it argues that the interrupted coexistence of both groups in Mszana resulted in the void which remained after the destroyed Jewish community. The memory of Jews found its place in the oral history for several decades. Through examining the forms of remembrance of the Jews in Mszana, this study attempts to illustrate the transition of the memory of Jews from private sphere of life to the public discourse on the Jewish inheritance of the town.
Editor(s): Белова, O. B.
Date: 2019
Abstract: Отталкиваясь от распространенных в антисионистской кампании обвинений евреев-эмигрантов и отказников в меркантильности и потребительстве, статья рассматривает вещественный мир и его осмысление в советском и еврейском нарративах эмиграции, сосредотачиваясь на трех ситуациях: иммиграция вещей, эмиграция вещей и вещь как альтернатива эмиграции. Отмечая предубеждение против материального как традиционную установку мемуаристов, причисляющих себя к интеллигенции, автор тем не менее обнаруживает несколько категорий вещей, регулярно упоминаемых в разнообразных рассказах о своей и чужой эмиграции, и исследует то, как эти вещи проблематизируются и социализируются, превращаясь из
машинально используемых предметов в «социальные объекты», наделенные в антагонистичных нарративах различным, иногда противоположным, значением.
Author(s): Schlör, Joachim
Date: 2014
Author(s): Bronec, Jakub
Date: 2019
Date: 2020
Abstract: The 2015 Spanish and Portuguese nationality laws for descendants of Sephardi Jews are unusual in their motivation to redress wrongs committed more than half a millennium ago. Both have enabled descendants of those Sephardi Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, or forced to convert to Christianity, to claim citizenship status through naturalization. The laws have elicited ancestral and contemporary stories that speak to the personal and social meanings applicants give to these citizenships. Through extensive oral histories with fifty-five applicants across four continents, we examine our narrators’ views on the laws’ deep roots in a genealogical concept of belonging, based on familial and biological heritage and the persistent criterion of the bloodline. We argue that the responses of Sephardi applicants complicate traditional notions of genealogical inclusion, unveiling instead a multiplicity of meanings attached to identity, belonging, and contemporary citizenship. While Spain and Portugal’s offer of what we call “restorative citizenship” requires the demonstration of biological and genealogical certainties, we argue that those seeking Spanish or Portuguese nationality complicate, expand, and sometimes subvert state constructions of citizenship as well as transform their own identities and belonging. More than recuperating a lost Spanish or Portuguese identity, many Sephardi descendants are discovering or deepening their ties to ancestral history and culture. Sephardi genealogy is also being mobilized in a contemporary global and European context in which citizenship and belonging are no longer defined exclusively by nation state territoriality, but rather through claims to new hybrid, multiple, and flexible identities.
Date: 2015
Abstract: The subject of mental formation of an image about the Other brings together and creates a relationship between areas seemingly not in an obvious connection, such as Cultural Anthro- pology, Imagology, Sociology, and the area of Communication Studies. In other words, the essence of intercultural communication and research is understanding how cultures, subcultures, or, better said, groups generally communicate to others and among themselves. Because any communication is fundamentally intercultural, it means accepting the Other, understanding the cultural game differences and different ways of thinking. Having the central focus of analysis on imagology and ethno-psychology, the theme of the research is to show how the Jewish community of Romania has built their auto-image and hetero-image in recent years. This contributes to observing the construction of identity through multiple attributions that make a differentiating picture. The study aims to show how the identity and alterity are built through images about the Self and images about the Other. This type of analysis has been applied in various ways to different ethnic or cultural communities, as members issued their own perceptions of the world and of alterity, conceptualized through images and symbols. Images about ourselves and about the others have an important role in social construction and they result of, and depend on, how we relate and communicate with the Other. If the socio-mythical-economic portrait of the “Jew” has been so far widely discussed in Andrei Oişteanu’s work (2004), which is based on the stereotypical image of the Jews in European culture until the early 1970s – 1980s, this paper tries to illustrate how the image of the Romanian Jewish community is being perceived today. This research is part of a larger study dealing with life stories as means of intercultural communication and has as a central point the stories of the Shoah survivors.

Author(s): Vrzgulová, Monika
Date: 2016
Date: 2015
Abstract: My presentation will draw on the oral history of the Portuguese Jewish Community in XXI century using family histories and life stories of three generations in Portugal, particularly from the Jewish Community of Lisbon. The images that you are seeing here are from the synagogue of Lisbon, called “Shaaré Tikva” or ‘Gates of Hope’, from the beginning of the XX century, that has a symbolic meaning in the history of the Portuguese Jewish Community, in a country that is mainly Catholic by religion. This synagogue is a reflex of the social and historical relationship that was developed over centuries: the synagogue is in one of the main streets of the capital city, but at the time it could not be visible from the street because it was not Catholic. Today I will present the outcome of an anthropological, sociological and historical study over three generations of Portuguese Jews, especially focused on the history of the Sephardim and Ashkenazim in and out of Portugal from the XV century until the present day. I used an ethnographic methodology, doing an extensive ethnographic fieldwork for two years, that allowed me to do an oral reconstruction of their life stories and family memories until modern times, debating issues such as nation, belonging, religion and the meaning of being a Portuguese Jew nowadays. The reconstruction of their history is done taking in account the national and transnational narratives of Europe, Middle-East, Africa and America. It is my intention to contribute for an understanding of the national identity in Portugal and within Europe in a time when questions such as the right of belonging or living is becoming an important part of the public and private discourses.
Date: 2006
Abstract: Que font les petits-enfants de l’histoire et des valeurs de leurs grands-parents quand ceux-ci ont connu l’immigration et traversé des épreuves majeures ? Comment tracent-ils leur propre chemin entre la fidélité au passé de leur famille, les tâches du présent, la préoccupation de transmettre à leurs enfants leurs références identitaires ? Comment se passent d’une génération à l’autre les traumatismes et les valeurs ? Quel regard les descendants des immigrés portent-ils sur leur histoire familiale ? Comment assument-ils la difficile responsabilité d’en témoigner ? Comment construisent-ils leur identité et leur place dans la société ? Les auteurs présentent et analysent vingt-cinq entretiens qu'ils ont menés avec des petits-enfants de Juifs venus de Pologne, qui ont connu l'exil, la difficile intégration en France, la guerre et la Shoah, les bouleversements historiques du XXe siècle. Deux entretiens réalisés en Pologne les complètent. A travers des récits de vie intense, les auteurs proposent une réflexion originale sur ces questions dont l'actualité récente en Europe a montré l'importance des enjeux individuels, sociaux, politiques. Ils éclairent aussi des aspects méconnus du judaïsme. A une époque où les migrations tendent à devenir un phénomène généralisé, où les guerres et les génocides se multiplient, les auteurs souhaitent contribuer à une réflexion sur le devenir des immigrés et de ceux qui ont été confrontés à un traumatisme historique majeur, et sur l'aide qu'ils pourraient recevoir.
Date: 2015
Date: 2015
Date: 2018
Author(s): Cohen, Barry
Date: 2018
Author(s): Kaymak, Özgür
Date: 2016
Abstract: Bu çalışmada İstanbul’un Rum, Yahudi ve Ermenilerinin Lozan Antlaşması’ndan sonra azınlık olarak kendi kimliklerini ve gündelik hayatlarını yeniden inşa etme süreçleri, tarihsel arka planı dikkate alarak, kolektif belleğin oluşumu ve kamusal/politik/özel alanın inşası çerçevesinde analiz edilmektedir. Bu bağlamda özetle, Cumhuriyetin kuruluşundan bugüne kadar gayrimüslim azınlıkların çoğunluktan farklı olan dini-etnik kimliklerinin kentteki inşa süreçleri, pratikleri ve bu inşa sürecini etkileyen dinamikler; eşit vatandaş ve azınlık olma arasında yaşadıkları siyasi ve sosyal çelişkiler; bu çelişkili durumlar karşısında ürettikleri kimlik stratejileri; hem devletle hem de geniş toplumla kurdukları ilişkiler gündelik hayat pratikleri üzerinden çözümlenmeye çalışılmıştır. İstanbul kentindeki “gayrimüslim-azınlık” kimliklerinin bu inşa süreci farklı kuşak, sosyal sınıf ve cinsiyet değişkenleriyle incelenmiştir. Tez çalışmasında İstanbul’un gayrimüslimlerinin yaşantılarını, deneyimlerini, azınlık olmaktan kaynaklı sorunlarını kendi seslerinden görünür hale getirebilmek amacıyla niteliksel araştırma tekniklerinden derinlemesine mülakat, odak grup ve sözlü tarih kullanılmıştır. Çalışmada İstanbul’un üç azınlık cemaatinin azınlık kimliklerinin oluşumunda kolektif belleklerindeki travmalar ve bu travmaların çeşitli stratejilerle kuşaklararası aktarımı; mekansal aidiyetlerini ve kimliklerini oluşturan tarihsel, kültürel ve iktisadi dinamikler; gayrimüslim azınlık kimliği ile uğranılan dışlanma ve ayrımcılıkların vatandaşlık ve ulusal aidiyetin oluşumu üzerindeki etkileri; kamusal, politik ve özel alanda gayrimüslim azınlık olmanın anlamı ve giderek azalan nüfusları ile İstanbul’da mekanda büzüşme ve dağılma halleri analiz edilmektedir. Tez çalışması, yukarıda açıklanan çerçevede üç cemaati, sınıf, cinsiyet ve kuşak kriterleri ile karşılaştırmalı olarak analiz etmeye olanak veren, niteliksel araştırma tekniklerinin kullanıldığı geniş ölçekli bir araştırmaya dayanmaktadır.
Date: 2013
Abstract: The ways in which memories of the Holocaust have been communicated, represented and used have changed dramatically over the years. From such memories being neglected and silenced in most of Europe until the 1970s, each country has subsequently gone through a process of cultural, political and pedagogical awareness-rising. This culminated in the ’Stockholm conference on Holocaust commemoration’ in 2000, which resulted in the constitution of a task force dedicated to transmitting and teaching knowledge and awareness about the Holocaust on a global scale. The silence surrounding private memories of the Holocaust has also been challenged in many families. What are the catalysts that trigger a change from silence to discussion of the Holocaust? What happens when we talk its invisibility away? How are memories of the Holocaust reflected in different social environments? Who asks questions about memories of the Holocaust, and which answers do they find, at which point in time and from which past and present positions related to their societies and to the phenomenon in question? This book highlights the contexts in which such questions are asked. By introducing the concept of ’active memory’, this book contributes to recent developments in memory studies, where memory is increasingly viewed not in isolation but as a dynamic and relational part of human lives.

Contents: Introduction: the Holocaust as active memory; Linking religion and family memories of children hidden in Belgian convents during the Holocaust, Suzanne Vromen; Collective trajectory and generational work in families of Jewish displaced persons: epistemological processes in the research situation, Lena Inowlocki; In a double voice: representations of the Holocaust in Polish literature, 1980-2011, Dorota Glowacka; Winners once a year? How Russian-speaking Jews in Germany make sense of WWII and the Holocaust as part of transnational biographic experience, Julia Bernstein; Women’s peace activism and the Holocaust: reversing the hegemonic Holocaust discourse in Israel, Tova Benski and Ruth Katz; ’The history, the papers, let me see it!’ Compensation processes: the second generation between archive truth and family speculations, Nicole L. Immler; From rescue to escape in 1943: on a path to de-victimizing the Danish Jews. Sofie Lene Bak; Finland, the Vernichtungskrieg and the Holocaust, Oula Silvennoinen; Swedish rescue operations during the Second World War: accomplishments and aftermath, Ulf Zander; The social phenomenon of silence, Irene Levin; Index.