These findings suggest the existence of additional factors overriding the effects of the social network structure, mainly the need to negotiate a post-migrant identity both within the host society and within the Russian-speaking migrant population. By accepting German as an in-group code and promoting it among younger community members, Russian Germans reclaimed their historically German identity. The Russian Jewish community favored additive bilingualism with full maintenance of L1 as a way to establish distinctiveness from the Russian German group. These findings suggest that the effects of the social network were intertwined with ongoing identity negotiations and distinct ideologies affecting communities’ linguistic choices.
Еврейский мир также не остался в стороне от этих процессов. Важным событием последних десятилетий стало появление двух новых транснациональных еврейских диаспор: израильской и русско-еврейской. Обе эти группы, несомненно, стали заметным фактором современной еврейской жизни и важным элементом многокультурной мозаики внутри еврейских коллективов стран пребывания и их обществ в целом.
При том, что еврейской эмиграции из Израиля и возникшей за его пределами «израильской диаспоре» (термин, который в научный оборот ввел Стивен Гольд) посвящена довольно обширная научная литература, а «всемирное русско-еврейское сообщество» также стало объектом ряда фундаментальных работ3, общий компонент этих диаспор – эмигрантские сообщества русскоязычных израильтян – пока очень малоизучен.
Речь идет как о тех уроженцах (бывшего) СССР, которые в составе израильской миграции оказались в странах Запада, так и в особенности об участниках «возвратной миграции» на постсоветское пространство. В академической литературе существует некоторое количество информации о русскоязычных израильтянах в разных странах Запада, и крайне немного – об израильтянах в странах бывшего СССР. Что же касается украинского сегмента этой диаспоры, то его до недавнего времени исследователи почти вообще не изучали. (Единственным известным нам исключением является исследование израильтян в Одессе, которое провела украино-британский антрополог Марина Саприцкая.) Исследование, которое легло в основу этой статьи, было призвано заполнить этот пробел.
Его совместно провели Центр еврейского образования в диаспоре им. Лукштейна (Университет Бар-Илан, Израиль) и Институт иудаики НаУКМА при поддержке Министерства алии и абсорбции Израиля и Евроазиатского еврейского конгресса. В ходе этого исследования в два «раунда» (в начале 2009 и в конце 2011 гг.) методом стандартизированного интервью было опрошено соответственно 167 и 147 респондентов из числа израильтян, с разной степенью постоянства живущих в Украине6. При этом нам представлялось верным сравнить сообщества русскоязычных израильтян в Украине с сопоставимыми с ними по базовым параметрам контрольными группами, прежде всего – с израильтянами, живущими и/или работающими в России.
One of the distinctive features of our times is the appearance of the so-called “new ethnic diasporas” resulting from mass state migrations—both direct and reverse—which especially intensified after the Second World War. Unlike previous generations of migrants, the members of these diasporas are not in a hurry to assimilate into the socio-cultural environment of the receiving societies. Instead, they continue to maintain—sometimes for several generations—a multifarious social and cultural identity and even political ties with their countries of origin.
The Jewish world did not remain on the sidelines of this process. An important development in recent decades is the appearance of two new transnational Jewish diasporas: Israeli and Russian-Jewish. Both these groups undoubtedly became a noticeable factor of contemporary Jewish life and an important element in the multicultural mosaic within Jewish communities of the host countries and within host societies at large.
Although the Jewish emigration from Israel and the “Israeli diaspora” (a term introduced by Steven Gold) has received considerable attention in the scholarly literature and the “global Russian-Jewish community” has become the subject of a series of fundamental works, the common component of these diasporas—Russian-speaking Israelis—remains understudied.
The reference points here are both natives of the former USSR who came to the West as part of the emigration from Israel and participants of the “reverse migration” to the post-Soviet states. The academic literature contains a certain amount of information about Israelis in the countries of the West and very little about Israelis in the countries of the former USSR. The Ukrainian segment of this diaspora was practically ignored by scholars until recently. The only exception we are aware of is the research project on Israelis in Odessa carried out by the Ukrainian-British anthropologist Marina Sapritsky. The research on which this article is based aimed to fill this important gap.
The project was implemented by the Lukshtein Center of Jewish Education in the Diaspora (Bar-Ilan University, Israel) and the Judaica Institute of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine) with the support from the Ministry of Aliyah and Absorption and the Eurasian Jewish Congress. In the course of this study, researchers held two rounds of interviews in 2009 and 2011 with 167 and 147 respondents from among Israelis who reside in Ukraine more or less permanently. We wanted in this process to compare the communities of Russian-speaking Israelis in Ukraine with similar control groups, primarily with Israelis working and living in Russia.
This paper is a study of the demography of the contemporary post-Soviet Jewish Diaspora based on various statistical sources collected from many countries where these Jews live. It examines (post-) Soviet Jewish resettlement, and the demographic transformation of FSU Jews in the wake of the recent mass migration, especially in Israel. Based on this analysis, an update for 2010 of the number of the 'core' Jews (by self-identity) originating from the FSU by country was presented, and the total number of people belonging to the post-Soviet Jewish Diaspora worldwide and their distribution was estimated.
Assembling an international array of experts on the Soviet and post-Soviet Jewish diaspora, the book makes room for a wide range of scholarly approaches, allowing readers to appreciate the significance of this migration from many different angles. Some chapters offer data-driven analyses that seek to quantify the impact Russian-speaking Jewish populations are making in their adoptive countries and their adaptations there. Others take a more ethnographic approach, using interviews and observations to determine how these immigrants integrate their old traditions and affiliations into their new identities. Further chapters examine how, despite the oceans separating them, members of this diaspora form imagined communities within cyberspace and through literature, enabling them to keep their shared culture alive.
Above all, the scholars in The New Jewish Diaspora place the migration of Russian-speaking Jews in its historical and social contexts, showing where it fits within the larger historic saga of the Jewish diaspora, exploring its dynamic engagement with the contemporary world, and pointing to future paths these immigrants and their descendants might follow.
Introduction: Homelands, Diasporas, and the Islands in Between
Part I Demography: Who Are the Migrants and Where Have They Gone?
Chapter 1 Demography of the Contemporary Russian-Speaking Jewish Diaspora
Chapter 2 The Russian-Speaking Israeli Diaspora in the FSU, Europe, and North America: Jewish Identification and Attachment to Israel
Chapter 3 Home in the Diaspora? Jewish Returnees and Transmigrants in Ukraine
Part II Transnationalism and Diasporas
Chapter 4 Rethinking Boundaries in the Jewish Diaspora from the FSU
Chapter 5 Diaspora from the Inside Out: Litvaks in Lithuania Today
Chapter 6 Russian-Speaking Jews and Israeli Emigrants in the United States: A Comparison of Migrant Populations
Steven J. Gold
Part III Political and Economic Change
Chapter 7 Political Newborns: Immigrants in Israel and Germany
Chapter 8 The Move from Russia/the Soviet Union to Israel: A Transformation of Jewish Culture and Identity
Chapter 9 The Economic Integration of Soviet Jewish Immigrants in Israel
Part IV Resocialization and the Malleability of Ethnicity
Chapter 10 Russian-Speaking Jews in Germany
Chapter 11 Performing Jewishness and Questioning the Civic Subject among Russian-Jewish Migrants in Germany
Chapter 12 Inventing a “New Jew”: The Transformation of Jewish Identity in Post-Soviet Russia
Part V Migration and Religious Change
Chapter 13 Post-Soviet Immigrant Religiosity: Beyond the Israeli National Religion
Nelly Elias and Julia Lerner
Chapter 14 Virtual Village in a Real World: The Russian Jewish Diaspora Online
Part VI Diaspora Russian Literature
Chapter 15 Four Voices from the Last Soviet Generation: Evgeny Steiner, Alexander Goldstein, Oleg Yuryev, and Alexander Ilichevsky
Chapter 16 Poets and Poetry in Today’s Diaspora: On Being “Marginally Jewish”
Chapter 17 Triple Identities: Russian-Speaking Jews as German, American, and Israeli Writers
Afterword: The Future of a Diaspora
En ex-Allemagne de l’Est, une forte population juive russophone a émigré de l’ancienne Union soviétique depuis 1989. Le régime communiste, long de plus de 60 ans, a engendré une rupture profonde dans le mécanisme de transmission du judaïsme et de la judéité. Aujourd’hui en situation de réapprentissage, les pratiques des rites se font de manière différenciée selon les groupes d’âge, dans le but de revendiquer une judéité spécifique. En conséquence, les rites réapparaissent mais se transmettent dans un mode tout d’abord horizontal, impliquant frères-sœurs et cousins, puis vertical mais ascendant, des enfants aux parents.
Beiträge aus der Soziologie und den Kulturwissenschaften schildern die unterschiedlichen Narrative, den Bedeutungswandel von Religion und die neuen Formen von Vergemeinschaftung, die kennzeichnend für die jüdische Gegenwart sind. Die interdisziplinären Beiträge erforschen die Bedeutung von Mobilität und Migration und zeigen auf, wie sich Identitäten und kulturelle Praktiken pluralisiert haben. Es entsteht das facettenreiche Portrait einer sich neu formierenden jüdischen Diaspora, deren Sinnbezüge und Organisationsformen nicht nur in Deutschland liegen.
Karen Körber: Zäsur, Wandel oder Neubeginn? Russischsprachige Juden in Deutschland zwischen Recht, Repräsentation und Realität
Melanie Eulitz: Die jüdisch-liberale Bewegung in Deutschland nach 1990. Eine Gemeindeanalyse
Alina Gromova: Jüdische Vergemeinschaftung als Praxis der Distinktionen. Auf den Spuren der kulturellen Praktiken und sozialen Positionierungen in der Migrationsgesellschaft
Victoria Hegner: »I am what I am...« Identitätskonzepte junger russischsprachiger Juden in Chicago
Darja Klingenberg: Komische Leute. Selbstverständnisse und Erfahrungen von Rassismus
und Antisemitismus russisch-jüdischer Migrant_innen im scherzhaften Gespräch
Julia Bernstein: »Dichte und Dichtung der neuen Lebenswelten: Das Bolschoi-Theater in der Aldi-Tüte«
Dmitrij Belkin: Wir könnten Avantgarde sein. Die Zukunft des Patchwork-Judentums
The influx of Jewish émigrés from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) since 1990 has altered the shape of Jewish life in Germany, and profoundly influenced the 105 Jewish communities of the Federal Republic. Between 1990 and 2005, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) had admitted 219,604 Jewish émigrés from the FSU, and could boast that it has the "fastest-growing Jewish population in the world." The restriction of the flow of Jewish émigrés from the FSU in 2005 as a direct result of new German immigration laws radically changed this situation. The intense immigration of Jews from the former Soviet States between 1990 and 2005 followed by a rather abrupt reversal in immigration policy reshaped the sense of Jewish community, memory, and identity in Germany. These shifts have placed pressure on both German-Jewish relations and relations within the Jewish communities. Certain basic assumptions concerning German-Jewish relations have been called into question on an unprecedented scale: the overwhelmingly positive view of Germany as an immigration destination for Jews; what it means to be Jewish in Germany; the very idea of a singular unitary Jewish community (Einheitsgemeinde) under the umbrella of the Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland (Central Council of Jews in Germany) in post-Wall Germany; and, perhaps most significantly, the absolute, and hitherto unquestioned centrality of the Nazi Judeocide for the self-understanding of German Jews. Recent developments threaten both the unity of the Jewish communities themselves as well as the tremendous gains made in the ongoing, genuine public discussion of and confrontation with the Nazi past since the 1980s.
In this article, I suggest the sociocultural construction of a new Jewish identity or culture within the Jewish community in Germany and what might be referred to as a post-Holocaust sense of community, memory, and cultural identity within the Russian Jewish community, one that finds a powerful resonance in contemporary German culture more generally. The Jewish Museum of Munich, which was founded to be a museum of Jewish life in Munich and specifically not a Holocaust museum, is an example of precisely this sense of post-Holocaust identity formation and memory. The museum to be built in Cologne—scheduled to open in 2011 and designed by the same architects who designed Munich's museum, Wandel Hoefer Lorch & Hirsch—is another case in point. The simultaneous emergence of a new Russian Jewish émigré majority culture within the Jewish minority of Germany, and what I refer to as a "post-Holocaust sensibility," coincides with a broader marginalization and fragmentation of Jewish identity in Germany despite the growth in sheer numbers over the past two decades.
The approximately 10,000 Jews of Munich serve as both an exemplary model and as a demonstrative case-study of shifting Jewish identities in contemporary Germany. Like other Russian Jewish émigrés within Germany, they have their own complex histories and collective memories forged by years of repression and persecution under Stalinism and post-Soviet discrimination. In Munich, these émigrés have the additional task of becoming part of a Jewish community that has been especially challenged by historical precedents and recent developments within the community itself. Munich is a city of particularly conflicted postwar memory. Russian Jewish émigrés comprise approximately 75% of the Jewish population of Munich, and their integration into German society and the existing Jewish community is decisive if the Jewish community is to survive and grow. The official, stated intention at the outset of the programs enacted in 1991—the HumHAG (humanitärer Hilfsaktionen aufgenommene Flüchtlinge or Refugees Accepted as part of a Humanitarian Aid Program) and the so-called Kontingentflüchtlingsgesetz (Quota Refugees Act), which first made possible the mass immigration of Jews from the FSU into Germany—was ostensibly to rescue the Russian Jews from an oppressive situation, but the subtext was clearly to strengthen Germany's diminishing Jewish community of 28,000.
This study was conducted in the spring of 2007 with the assistance of advanced undergraduates fluent in German in the German Studies Program at the College of William and Mary as well as various members of the Jewish community very close to the situation: Rabbi Steven Langnas, Professor Michael...
A few days after arriving in New York during the spring of 1990, Anatolii S. (born in 1920, Ukraine), put on his jacket, decorated with the numerous military medals that he had earned during his service in the Soviet Army during World War II, and went into a nearby synagogue, hoping to find out about the benefits available to him as a Jewish veteran of the war that "helped to save America from fascism." He showed his documents to the local clerk, who only gestured for him to put his hat back on and to pray with the prayer book. Unable to open the book correctly, and most importantly, unwilling to pray, Anatolii realized that neither his participation in the war, nor his knowledge of Yiddish, made him a true member of this community. Being accustomed to displays of public respect and economic benefits from his status as a war veteran, Anatolii now had to embrace his new status in a society that did not regard him any differently from any other non-English speaking, elderly Jewish immigrant from Russia.
Anatolii, like the other approximately 26,000 Soviet Jewish veterans who migrated to Germany, Israel, Canada, and the United States in the 1990s, was certainly welcome to attend synagogues and Jewish community centers in his new country, but his understanding of what it meant to be a Jew differed profoundly from the majority of members in these communities. Anatolii and his peers (Soviet veterans) regarded their participation in the war as the most important part of their Jewish identity, and they were often shocked to find out how little the war meant to the Jewish identity of the local populations they encountered. Unsatisfied with the status quo, many Soviet veterans launched their own organizations, where being Jewish and proud of Soviet accomplishments did not seem contradictory. Moreover, the definitions of "Soviet" and "Jewish" shifted, merged, and eventually formed the foundation of a specific culture, with its own leaders, traditions, rituals, and language.
In this article, I look into the modes of survival of Soviet language and ideology among veterans, and analyze what these modes tell us about the patterns of immigrant adaptation. I concentrate on three centers of veterans' activities: New York, Toronto, and Berlin, and discuss similarities and differences in the adaptations of veterans in these communities. I will discuss how the culture of each city and country influenced what the veterans select from Soviet rhetoric to describe their present lives.
The second goal of this study is to challenge existing scholarship, which treats elderly migrants as passive and apathetic. Nursing Studies and Gerontology dominate research in this area (rather than the field of immigrant studies) and as a result we know much more about cases of extreme isolation, deprivation, and depression among elderly immigrants in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Western Europe than about the contribution elderly migrants make to the social and cultural systems in their new societies. While the vulnerability of this group is undeniable, I perceive studying foreign retirees solely as victims or disadvantaged entities as an "ageism" bias which denies proper recognition and acceptance of the achievements and life experiences of the elderly, as it sees them solely through the prism of their ailing bodies. Soviet Jewish veterans, as a group, serve as an ideal case study of how elderly immigrants fight such perceptions, both consciously and subconsciously, not only by creating their own organizations, but also by establishing an awareness of their legacies in their new home countries.
Data and Methodology
This study is based on 233 in-depth interviews with Soviet veterans of World War II conducted between 1999 and 2007 in Toronto, Berlin, and New York. I used a snowball sample, where the initial respondents—located through veterans' organizations and ads placed in Russian-language media—suggested other potential interviewees. The interviews consisted of open-ended questions about respondents' experiences throughout their lives. Russian-language newspaper articles published in immigrant papers also served as useful sources for public expressions of veterans' opinions about political, cultural, and social issues in their new countries.
Diese ethnologische Studie zeigt: Es ist ein Umgang »koscher light«, in dem sich Religion und Tradition nach den Gesetzen der Urbanität richten.
focuses on the process of social integration of young Russian Jews who emigrated to Israel and Germany and had resided in the new society for roughly five to six years at the time of the interview (1995/1996). The interview subjects were 38 young Russian Jews in Jerusalem, whose mean age was 24 years, and 46 in Berlin, with a mean age of 22.6 years. The interviews in Israel were conducted exclusively with university students, while the Berlin group consisted of 35 university students and 11 individuals preparing to enter the university or other educational institutions. The central question of this study can be summarized as follows: Do the different approaches to Russian Jewish emigrants taken by Israel and Germany - approaches which are historically, politically, and culturally distinct - have diverging effects on the process of integration, and thus on the immigrants' future perspectives in the new society? In this paper, we have dealt only with a part of this question, namely social relations between emigrants and native residents.