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Author(s): Roten, Hervé
Date: 2000
Author(s): Pignatelli, Marina
Date: 2020
Abstract: Jews who remained or returned to Portugal after the Expulsion (1496) and Inquisition (1536–1821) adopted and preserved different strategies to resist total assimilation, forced conversion and antisemitism. Today, Jewish communities are small and shy. At the same time, however, many Portuguese insist on an identification with a Jewish matrix. In parallel, there is an unprecedented effort to revitalize Jewish cultural memory in the public and private spheres. This article critically discusses the broad notion of Jewish identity and its representations in present day Portugal. It gives a succinct account of its existing Jewish communities, their power interrelationships and the categorizations used to label who is identified as a Jew. The article examines the making of cultural Jewish heritage and its paradoxes, considering the variety of agents involved and their agendas. While it will be argued that Jewish identity is certainly multidimensional, there are, at the same time, several contemporary native Jewish tangible and intangible cultural traces that are being neglected in the systematization process of Jewish memory and traditions in Portugal. Given the homogenizing tendencies of globalization and the particularizing local reactions to such trends, the present article describes and reflects on how the Jewish past in Portugal is intertwined with the present, and how the plural ways of perceiving Jewish identity and its cultural manifestations can be understood in a glocal frame, in terms of both discursive and material Jewish traditions. Based on a qualitative approach and a collaborative ethnographic method, the article analyzes how the Portuguese matrix of Jewish culture remains part of the Sepharad imaginary while it is subjected to the constraints of time and space.
Author(s): Paolo, Mendes Pinto
Date: 2020
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.
Author(s): Bush, Stephen
Date: 2021
Abstract: The brutal, racist murder of George Floyd on 25 May 2020 sparked a reckoning about the treatment of Black people all over the world, and the undeniable reality of systemic racism and discrimination in societies on both sides of the Atlantic. We vociferously expressed our concerns about this at the time. However, we realised that we needed to go further. No community is immune from the scourge of prejudice and ours is no exception. As society as a whole sought to examine racial diversity, the Board of Deputies became aware of moving and concerning testimonies of Black members of our own community about their experiences.

As such, we launched this Commission to learn more about the experiences of Black Jews, Jews of Colour and Sephardi, Mizrahi and Yemenite Jews, to examine the issues and make recommendations for how our community can do better. We were delighted that the eminent journalist of Black and Jewish heritage, Stephen Bush, agreed to Chair the Commission.

The report’s release in the week that George Floyd’s murderer has been found guilty, and on this year’s Stephen Lawrence Day, feels particularly poignant, especially given the Commission’s many references to the Macpherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Our Commission has considered 17 different areas of communal life, and the ground-breaking report makes 119 recommendations, with profound implications for British Jewry. Among them are the following:



Representative bodies and organisations involved in rabbinic training should encourage members of under-represented ethnic groups to put themselves forward for communal roles
Jewish schools should ensure that their secular curriculum engages with Black history, enslavement and the legacy of colonialism, and review their curriculum through a process led by students, particularly those who define as Black or of Colour
Jewish studies departments should ensure that their teaching celebrates and engages with the racial and cultural diversity of the Jewish community worldwide, including Mizrahi, Sephardi and Yemenite tradition
Communal institutions, particularly synagogues and schools, should commemorate key dates for diverse parts of the community, like the Ethiopian Jewish festival of Sigd and the official Day to Mark the Departure and Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran (30th November)
Schools and youth movements should improve training for teachers and youth leaders on tackling racist incidents
Communal bodies and Jewish schools should establish regular listening exercises that seek the concerns of their members or students
Communal bodies should ensure that complaints processes are accessible, transparent, fair and robust, with all complaints related to racism handled according to the Macpherson principle, and specific new processes for handling complaints about security
Communal venues should ensure that their security guards or volunteers desist from racial profiling
Communal venues should institute bag searches for all visitors, including regular attendees, so as not to stigmatise people who look different, without compromising on security
A code of conduct should be developed for discourse on social media, making clear that attempts to delegitimise converts, calling people names such as ‘Kapo’, or using Yiddish terms such as ‘Shvartzer’ in a racist way, are completely unacceptable
Batei Din should improve processes for conversion, including stricter vetting of teachers and host families, and a clearer process for complaints
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: 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: 2013
Author(s): Huber, Jasmina
Date: 2017
Author(s): Roda, Jessica
Date: 2016
Author(s): Benhabib, Seyla
Date: 2015
Abstract: This article is an autobiographical contribution recounting the entanglement of Turkish, Jewish and Armenian memories in contemporary Turkey. The ‘special friendship’ between Turkey and the Sephardic Jews, who were given refuge by the Ottoman Empire after escaping the Inquisition in Spain in 1492, has always been used as evidence of the generosity and toleration of Ottoman and subsequent Turkish rule. Recent historical research shows that these claims are both historically inaccurate and politically instrumental. Nevertheless, the Sephardic-Jewish sense of gratitude towards their Turkish protectors, as well as their continuing sense of vulnerability, is acute. Particularly in the year of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide (2015), the tangled memories of Jews, Turks and Armenians have been on display with official commemorations of the tragedy of the vessel Struma carrying Jewish refugees from Romania to Palestine (1942) and the battle over Gallipoli (1915). The Battle of Gallipoli is presented by the Turkish authorities as the beginning of the Turkish war of independence (1919–23) against imperial powers, thus emphasizing that the Armenian Genocide was part of a complex history, the purpose of which was to liberate Turkey from foreign domination. The article analyses the symbolic connections among these events and concludes by looking at the geopolitics of contemporary Turkish–Israeli relations and their impact on Armenian Genocide recognition attempts in the USA.
Date: 2015
Date: 2012
Abstract: A unique moment in Sephardic music is emerging in the Republic of Serbia. Since 2000, a small but vibrant Sephardic music scene has been formed through the efforts of a small group of individuals. The scene keeps alive a repertoire that has survived many upheavals: the Holocaust and the near-total extermination of Sephardic sacred music practitioners from the region; a half-century of religious suppression under the Yugoslav government; and the political turmoil of the 1990s and the establishment of the Republic of Serbia from what was once Yugoslavia. Each of these major socio-political shifts had an impact on how today's musicians learned and contributed to the creation of Sephardic music. Since 2000, the maintenance and reworking of the Sephardic music scene in Belgrade has taken place almost entirely because of small group individuals. The Sephardic music scene that has emerged is now made up of one concert stage ensemble, Shira u’tfila [Song and Prayer], and a collection of synagogue singers. Though the scene comprises only a small number of musicians, these individuals exercise considerable power in determining how broader categories like Sephardic and Jewish are represented and contribute to the civic, state, and international public imagination.

The expression of being Serbian, Sephardic, and Jewish is shaped and transmitted by this small group of musicians as they actively engage in a variety of discourses. These discourses concern the role of technology in the transmission of their practice, historical consciousness and nostalgia, and personal and social identities. By looking at how musical and social domains are established and promoted through performance, I show how personal taste and individual creativity play a role in representing Jewish culture in Serbia and Serbian-Jewish culture to an international audience. Ultimately, Shira u’tfila helps redefine ideas of Serbian Jewishness, and articulates an understanding of music in Jewish life as behavior that embraces both sacred and
secular, both Jewish and non-Jewish, repertoire.
Author(s): Wiens, Kathleen
Author(s): Filipović, Jelena
Date: 2015
Abstract: The status and sustainability of minority/dominated languages in the 21st century are
very much influenced by general and language ideologies of times gone by. Namely,
Eurocentric modernity-driven language policy and planning, which result in the
formation of standard language culture ideologies, are at the core of the cultural,
political and historical frameworks which, since the 19th century, have influenced the
relationship between majority (standardized) languages and minority/dominated
languages spoken in political entities recognized as nation-states in Europe. It is within
this framework of standard language cultures (Milroy, 2001) that the history, the loss,
and the possible revitalization of Judeo-Spanish can and should be understood.

Na status i održivost manjinskih jezika/jezika kojima se dominira u 21. veku
umnogome utiču opšte i jezičke ideologije prošlih vremena. Naime, evrocentrična
modernost koju pokreće jezička politika i jezičko planiranje, koja ima za posledicu
oblikovanje standardnih jezičkih kulturnih ideologija, predstavlja srž kulturnih,
političkih i istorijskih okvira koja je od 19. veka uticala na odnos između većinskih
(standardizovanih) jezika i manjinskih jezika/jezika kojima se dominira kao političke
entitete koji su priznati kao nacionalne države u Evropi. Upravo se u ovom okviru
standardnih jezičkih kultura (Milroy, 2001) mogu i treba razumeti istorija i gubitak, kao
i moguća revitalizacija jevrejsko- španskog.

En relación a las lenguas minoritarias dominadas en el siglo xxi, su estado y subsistencia
están muy influidas por las ideologías generales y también lingüísticas del tiempo que
vivimos. Concretamente, la modernidad eurocéntrica de la política y de la planificación
lingüística que conducen a la formación de ideologías culturales lingüísticas estandarizadas,
están en el núcleo de los marcos históricos, políticos y culturales que, desde el siglo xix,
han influido en la relación entre la mayoría de las lenguas (estandarizadas) y las lenguas
minoritarias dominadas habladas en las entidades políticas reconocidas como son los
Estados nación en Europa. Es dentro de este marco de culturas lingüísticas estándar (Milroy,
2001) que puede y debe ser entendida su historia y su pérdida, así como la revitalización
del judeoespañol.
Author(s): Lewkowicz, Bea
Date: 1999
Abstract: This study is an ethnographic account of the Jewish community of Thessaloniki and a description and analysis of oral histories gathered during my fieldwork in 1994. The thesis looks at the intersection of history, memory, and identity by analysing how identities and memories are shaped by historical experiences and how identities shape memories of historical experiences. Thessaloniki has undergone tremendous changes in the twentieth century. The demographic, political, and architectural landscape has radically altered. In the context of my thesis, the most relevant changes concern the ethnic and religious composition of Thessaloniki's population, the city's incorporation into the Greek nation-state (1912), the subsequent introduction of nationalism, and the annihilation of 48,000 Salonikan Jews during the Second World War. The thesis explores how these historical changes and 'events' are represented in individual narratives of Jews in Thessaloniki and in the realm of Jewish communal memory, how these historical changes have affected the formulations of Jewish communal and individual identity and memory, and how Jewish memory relates to the general landscape of memory in contemporary Greece. In chapters one and two, I discuss the theoretical framework and methodology of this thesis. Discussions on ethnicity, nationalism, memory, and certain themes of the 'anthropology of Greece' form the theoretical background of this study. The methodology applied consists of ethnographic fieldwork and in-depth interviewing. Chapter three presents a historical overview of the history of Thessaloniki and its Jewish community, and discusses the position of minorities in contemporary Greece. I describe the current structure and organisation of the community and look at some demographic developments of the Salonikan Jewish population in chapter four. I then proceed to a detailed account of the interviews which constitutes the main part of the thesis. Chapter five deals with the pre-war past, chapters six and seven with the experience of the war, and chapter eight with the post-war period. In chapter nine I look at perception of boundaries and notions of 'us' and 'them' among Salonikan Jews. In the conclusions, I examine the changes of post-war Jewish memorial practices in the context of the changing 'memory-scape' of the city of Thessaloniki.
Author(s): Rozenberg, Danielle
Date: 2006
Abstract: Après plusieurs siècles d'oubli consécutifs à l'expulsion des juifs d'Espagne, ce pays a redécouvert, voici quelque cent cinquante ans, la diaspora judéo-espagnole et le lien historique avec les descendants des exilés de 1492. Rencontres et évitements ; nostalgie envers une culture survivant hors des frontières et visées néo-coloniales en Méditerranée ; solidarité affichée à l'égard des " Espagnols sans patrie " ; mais refus de rapatriements aux heures sombres des pogroms et de la Shoah ; d'innombrables ambiguïtés ponctuent les étapes du rapprochement hispano- juif, jusqu'au sauvetage des juifs par Franco durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. La " question juive ", s'est nourrie en Espagne d'affrontements parlementaires à propos de la liberté religieuse, des échos de l'affaire Dreyfus ou encore de l'édition des Protocoles des sages de Sion. Paradoxe : la marginalisation des Chuetas de Majorque, la persistance d'un antijudaïsme populaire, la création, en 1941, d'un Fichier juif se sont conjuguées avec l'exaltation de Sefarad. Aujourd'hui se dessinent de nouveaux enjeux politiques et mémoriels : statut de la judaïcité espagnole issue d'immigrations récentes, réappropriations du legs médiéval, dialogue avec les différentes instances du judaïsme mondial. En focalisant l'éclairage à la fois sur la longue durée et ses principaux temps forts, cet ouvrage entend restituer dans toute sa complexité la lente normalisation des relations hispano-juives contemporaines
Author(s): Rozenberg, Danielle
Date: 2010
Abstract: Después de siglos de olvido, España redescubrió alrededor de 1850 la diáspora sefardí y su vínculo histórico con los descendientes de los exiliados de 1492. El reencuentro estuvo marcado por numerosas ambigüedades: nostalgia por una cultura preservada fuera de las fronteras y ambiciones neocoloniales en el Mediterráneo; afirmaciones de solidaridad con los Españoles sin patria, pero limitaciones a la repatriación en la Península en las horas sombrías de los pogromos (las persecuciones) y la shoah (el holocausto). La «cuestión judía» tuvo también sus dimensiones interiores: debates en las Cortes en torno a la libertad religiosa, antijudaísmo popular, antisemitismo de ciertos sectores religiosos o políticos y al mismo tiempo exaltación del legado de Sefarad. En el contexto actual de la normalización de las relaciones hispano-judías, esta obra pretende restituir el largo proceso contemporáneo de un acercamiento mutuo. Índice INTRODUCCIÓN.-CAPÍTULO I. LA AMNESIA OFICIAL Y LA HERENCIA ESCONDIDA.-La expulsión de los judíos y la transmisión del antijudaísmo.-Un caso límite de exclusión: los chuetas de Palma de Mallorca, judíos a su pesar.-La memoria de Sefarad en los descendientes de los expulsados.- CAPÍTULO II. EL VÍNCULO SEFARDÍ Y LOS INTERESES NACIONALES.-El redescubrimiento de los judeoespañoles.-La afirmación del vínculo sefardí.-Los intereses geopolíticos de España en el Mediterráneo.- CAPÍTULO III. LA CUESTIÓN JUDÍA EN EL ENFRENTA MIENTO DE LAS DOS ESPAÑAS (1860-1939).-El debate en las Cortes sobre la libertad religiosa.-La prensa y el mundo intelectual bajo la Restauración.-Los años de la Segunda República y de la Guerra Civil.-CAPÍTULO IV. LOS PRIMEROS ESTABLECIMIENTOS JUDÍOS EN LA ÉPOCA CONTEMPORÁNEA.-El retorno de los judíos a la Península Ibérica (1860-1939).-La vida judía en la España republicana.-España en guerra: 1936-1939.-CAPÍTULO V. LOS AÑOS FRANQUISTAS EN ESPAÑA.-La Falange y la Iglesia triunfantes.-La vida judía después de 1945: los años de tolerancia r
Author(s): Berthelot, Martine
Date: 2009
Author(s): Polikar, Samy
Date: 2006
Date: 2014
Abstract: Ladino, the heritage language of cultural affiliation for many Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria and beyond, is often discussed in terms of language endangerment and of cultural loss for this community and humanity more widely. However, for intercultural communication specialists, especially those with a linguistic focus, the Ladino experiences of Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria, as set against the backdrop of their changing political and social realities, provide rich insights regarding the linguistic complexities of identity. Through the Ladino-framed narratives of (often elderly) members of this community, we have learned how they drew, and continue to draw, upon their diverse linguistic and cultural resources to define themselves, to articulate their various identities, and to communicate within and beyond Bulgarian society. In order to connect these insights to current discussions of interculturality, and as informed by intercultural thinking, we developed the following five-zone framework: (1) the (intra-)personal, that is a zone of internal dialogue; (2) the domestic, that is a zone for the family; (3) the local, that is a zone for the Sephardic community in Bulgaria; (4) the diasporic, that is a zone for the wider Sephardic Jewish community; and (5) the international, that is the international community of Spanish-speakers. Further, the project presented here is methodologically innovative involving: several languages (i.e. it was researched multilingually as well as focused on multilingual communities) and therefore issues of translation and representation; and the use of researcher narratives as an additional means for managing the inherent reflexivities in our work.
Author(s): Arkin, Kimberly A.
Date: 2014
Abstract: During the course of her fieldwork in Paris, anthropologist Kimberly Arkin heard what she thought was a surprising admission. A French-born, North African Jewish (Sephardi) teenage girl laughingly told Arkin she was a racist. When asked what she meant by that, the girl responded, "It means I hate Arabs."

This girl was not unique. She and other Sephardi youth in Paris insisted, again and again, that they were not French, though born in France, and that they could not imagine their Jewish future in France. Fueled by her candid and compelling informants, Arkin's analysis delves into the connections and disjunctures between Jews and Muslims, religion and secular Republicanism, race and national community, and identity and culture in post-colonial France. Rhinestones argues that Sephardi youth, as both "Arabs" and "Jews," fall between categories of class, religion, and culture. Many reacted to this liminality by going beyond religion and culture to categorize their Jewishness as race, distinguishing Sephardi Jews from "Arab" Muslims, regardless of similarities they shared, while linking them to "European" Jews (Ashkenazim), regardless of their differences. But while racializing Jewishness might have made Sephardi Frenchness possible, it produced the opposite result: it re-grounded national community in religion-as-race, thereby making pluri-religious community appear threatening. Rhinestones thus sheds light on the production of race, alienation, and intolerance within marginalized French and European populations.