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Date: 2020
Abstract: Growing up Jewish in Poland presents the findings of a study about the developmental trajectories of 17 children and adolescents from 14 families living in Poland who attended the Lauder-JDC International Jewish Youth Camp Szarvas (Hungary) for the first time at the time of the study (2015-2018). Resorting to a longitudinal analysis, the present study aims to examine what happens, over a period of three years, to a group of Jewish boys and girls that have experienced a Jewish summer camp for the first time in summer 2015. The study focused on the role that the summer camp itself plays in shaping a proactive Jewish life but also analyzed more globally other aspects that influence Jewish participation. What are the main factors that affect Jewish participation both on the kid’s and on the parents’ perspective? What are the possible “Jewish” trajectories of 13-to-16-year-old teenagers in Central Eastern Europe? Do they keep connected with Jewish life? If yes, how? What’s their scale of values? What are their priorities, their hopes, and their perceived future as they make their way from teenagehood to young adults? The main methodological feature of this study lies in it being a qualitative, longitudinal, observational cohort study. In contrast to most studies that explore development retrospectively, this study involved interviewing first-time Szarvas campers and their families over a longer period, with up to three consecutive interviews per family over a period of three years. To our knowledge, this research experience is unique in Jewish Europe.
Date: 2018
Date: 2016
Author(s): Abramson, Sarah J.
Date: 2010
Abstract: This dissertation is an exploration of the ways in which Jewish youth movements create, recreate and re-envision wider Jewish communal norms relating to authenticity, or what it means to be a `real' or `legitimate' Jew. The culmination of thirteen months participant observation fieldwork within one Jewish youth movement, as well as interviews with other youth movement leaders and archival research of one prominent British Jewish newspaper, I argue that the modem Orthodox Jewish Establishment in the United Kingdom has a strong grip on the concept of authenticity. The stakes for maintaining control over the boundary between the authentic and the inauthentic are high, as British Jewry is shrinking rapidly and education has been identified as the primary means by which to secure communal continuity. Consequently, Jewish formal education often supports particular (Orthodox) interpretations of Jewish authenticity, specifically in relation to communal pluralism, appropriate gender identifications and relationships with Zionism. However, these Orthodox expectations of authenticity are often incompatible with how many young British Jews today lead their lives. Youth movements are key sites in which the battle for continuity is being waged; British Jewish youth movements aim to create informal education agendas that inspire young people to create lifelong affiliations with Judaism. I contend that informal education has the necessary flexibility to disrupt (and thus redefine) the boundaries of Jewish authenticity. Specifically, the very pillars of Orthodox authenticity (pluralism, gender and Zionism) are beginning to be (re)- constructed in new and innovative ways by some movements. It is in this space, created through the negotiation of a movement's ethos and its simultaneous obligation to, or disregard for, communal (Orthodox) expectations, that the validation of `alternative' performances of Judaism is possible. In turn, such validation helps to associate authenticity with a fluid and context- dependent belief system that is more likely to secure communal continuity than the exclusive Orthodox system currently so predominant.
Author(s): Müller, Christine
Date: 2007
Date: 2011
Author(s): Tartakovsky, Eugene
Date: 2008
Date: 2016