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Date: 2024
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare two groups of Jewish women, native-born and migrants, who reside in Brussels regarding their social integration into native-born Jewish and non-Jewish communities and the acculturation strategies they employ. It seems that Brussels is not as socially and culturally open, as perceived by the interviewees. Hence, the social networks of women in our study, as well as their acculturation patterns, differ in degree of separation between native-born Jewish women, non-Israeli immigrants and Israeli immigrants. The former maintain social networks characterized by fluid boundaries between them and the majority society, whereas non-Israeli immigrants are characterized by shared, not very dense networks with the native-born Jewish community and diasporic networks. Finally, Israeli women are characterized by almost completely closed social networks, which can be defined as a distinct “Israeli bubble.” As for their acculturation strategies, native-born women are those who are more integrated among non-Jews and native-born Jews, as expected from their familiarity with the culture and their long-term interactions, despite being partially marginalized as minority. Migrant women are less integrated and more separated from both native-born Jews and – to a larger extent – from non-Jews; so are Israelis. Social networks which gradually become communities are mainly created by women and maintained by them over the years. Therefore, the study of social networks, their structure and construction through daily interactions, and their contribution to the ethnic-diasporic community building have become the source of women’s strength in the host country – as immigrants and as a native-born minority group.
Editor(s): Hartman, Harriet
Date: 2024
Abstract: There are less than 1300 Jews living in Finland who are members in the two officially Orthodox Jewish communities in Helsinki and in Turku. After the Civil Marriage Act was put in effect by the Finnish Parliament in 1917 the number of intermarriages between Jews and non-Jews started rising in the communities. Most of these marriages were officiated between Jewish men and non-Jewish women. In the beginning, the non-Jewish spouses kept their respective religious affiliations, but in many cases, their halachically non-Jewish children converted to Judaism. In the 1970s, adulthood conversions to Judaism became far more frequent in the communities—especially in the Jewish Community of Helsinki. Today, most of these individuals and their families concerned are still active members of the Jewish congregation. The high number of intermarriages and the conversions to Judaism have had a crucial impact on the development of the religious customs of local Jewry. Through the analysis of archival sources and new ethnographic material derived from semi-structured qualitative interviews, this case study investigates how intermarriages formed the traditions and habits in the families and in the communities. By relating the topic of intermarriage to the question of conversion, the study sheds light on institutional changes within the Jewish Community of Helsinki, and analyzes how women, who converted to Judaism in 1977, articulate and perform their religious practices, identities, and agencies when consciously aiming at building Jewish families.
Date: 2022
Date: 2023
Abstract: The subjects of Jewish identity and Jewish communal vitality, and how they may be conceptualized and measured, are the topics of lively debate among scholars of contemporary Jewry (DellaPergola 2015, 2020; Kosmin 2022; Pew Research Center 2021; Phillips 2022). Complicating matters, there appears to be a disconnect between the broadly accepted claim that comparative analysis yields richer understanding of Jewish communities (Cooperman 2016; Weinfeld 2020) and the reality that the preponderance of that research focuses on discrete communities.

This paper examines the five largest English-speaking Jewish communities in the diaspora: the United States of America (US) (population 6,000,000), Canada (population 393,500), the United Kingdom (UK) (population 292,000), Australia (population 118,000), and South Africa (population 52,000) (DellaPergola 2022). A comparison of the five communities’ levels of Jewish engagement, and the identification of factors shaping these differences, are the main objectives of this paper. The paper first outlines conceptual and methodological issues involved in the study of contemporary Jewry; hierarchical linear modeling is proposed as the suitable statistical approach for this analysis, and ethnocultural and religious capital are promoted as suitable measures for studying Jewish engagement. Secondly, a contextualizing historical and sociodemographic overview of the five communities is presented, highlighting attributes which the communities have in common, and those which differentiate them. Statistical methods are then utilized to develop measures of Jewish capital, and to identify explanatory factors shaping the differences between these five communities in these measures of Jewish capital. To further the research agenda of communal and transnational research, this paper concludes by identifying questions that are unique to the individual communities studied, with a brief exploration of subjects that Jewish communities often neglect to examine and are encouraged to consider. This paper demonstrates the merits of comparative analysis and highlights practical and conceptual implications for future Jewish communal research.
Date: 2023
Abstract: At 28,075 Jewish people, Greater Manchester recorded the largest Jewish population in the UK
outside of London and adjacent Hertfordshire. At first sight, it appears to have grown by 12%
between 2011 and 2021, most likely driven largely by high birth-rates among the strictly Orthodox
community. Similarly, if the data eventually proves to be accurate, this constitutes a growth of 29%
over the twenty years between 2001 and 2021. Provisional estimates of the Haredi community
based on other data sources (such as Manchester Connections) suggest that the Haredi community
could be as large as 22,778 but, again, further analysis is needed before any firm conclusions can be
drawn. Whatever the final numbers, it is clear that Greater Manchester, which includes the largest
Eruv in the UK with a perimeter of more than 13 miles, covering parts of Prestwich, Crumpsall and
Higher Broughton, is an important and growing centre of Jewish life.

This report was commissioned by Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester & Regions
(GMJRC) to research and analyse community strengths and provide a mapping of Jewish
organisations in the Greater Manchester area. It was overseen by the GMJRC strategic group – a
group that was formed of Councils and organisations across the Jewish religious spectrum as a
response to the pandemic. It reviews services in seven themes: Children & Young People; Adult
Services; Older People; Health; Employment; Emergency Response; and Housing. As well as looking
at delivery, governance, leadership, and building assets, it also tries to understand where the gaps
and support needs are. As the demographics and relative sizes of the mainstream and strictly
Orthodox Jewish populations continue to change, this study represents an important examination
of both the challenges and opportunities of how the respective communities work together. As
these populations change across the UK, and beyond, the study will have significance to other cities
where these Jewish communities exist side by side.

The Institute of Jewish Policy Research (JPR) used a variety of data sources to identify organisations
delivering in each theme and built maps of that data which can be seen throughout this report.
Mobilise Public Ltd use several methods to gather data from these organisations in each theme.
The main approach was qualitative, using stakeholder interviews and focus group discussions with a
purposely selected sample of these organisations, and the evidence collected was supplemented
with a short survey which was issued to a larger number of organisations. The research was
coproduced with a subset of the strategic group through a series of facilitated sessions and was
designed to build a good understanding of delivery in each theme as well as an understanding of
challenges and opportunities in readiness for the strategic group to develop a more integrated
strategy for the Greater Manchester Jewish community
Author(s): Lev Ari, Lilach
Date: 2023
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to compare native-born and immigrant Jewish people from North African roots who reside in greater Paris regarding their multiple identities: ethnic-religious, as Jewish people; national, as French citizens; and transnational, as migrants and ‘citizens of the world’. This study employed the correlative quantitative method using survey questionnaires (N = 145) combined with qualitative semi-structured interviews. The main results indicate that both groups have strong Jewish and religious identities. However, while immigrants had fewer opportunities for upward mobility and were more committed to national integration, the younger second-generation have higher socio-economic status and more choices regarding their identities in contemporary France. In conclusion, even among people of the same North African origin, there are inter-generational differences in several dimensions of identity and identification which stem from being native-born or from their experience as immigrants. Different social and political circumstances offer different integration opportunities and thus, over the years, dynamically construct identities among North African Jewish people as minorities. Nonetheless, the Jewish community in Paris is not passive; it has its own strength, cohesiveness, vitality and resilience which are expressed not only in economic but also in social and religious prosperity of Jewish organizations shared by both the native-born and immigrants, who can be considered a ‘privileged’ minority.
Author(s): Tóth, Katalin
Date: 2018
Author(s): Salner, Peter
Date: 2021
Abstract: This paper analyses how the Jewish community in Bratislava dealt with the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic that took place between the 1st March 2020 and 30 May 2021. Because the public health measures in force at the time rendered traditional ethnological research methods inapplicable, the author’s main source of information was the online communication of the leadership and administration of the Bratislava Jewish Religious Community (JRC) with its members. On the 9th March 2020, the government implemented the first battery of public health measures. Already on the same day, the JRC released a newsletter encouraging its members to observe the authorities’ guidance. It also cancelled all of its scheduled activities. The leadership would go on to distribute masks and hygiene supplies to the oldest members of the community, facilitate the vaccination of Holocaust survivors. Part of Slovak society compared restrictions on social contacts, a mask mandate, and a limitation on free movement to the suffering of the Jews in the Wartime Slovak State, highlighting this supposed parallel by wearing yellow stars. The effective limits on social contacts brought communal life within the community to a standstill, which had a particular effect on the older generations. The pandemic also inevitably led to a ban on communal worship and necessitated adjustments in the observance of traditional Jewish holidays, particularly Pesach. In many families, the communal Seder supper was held online via Zoom or Skype. The community had also to improvise during Hannukah, with an Orthodox or liberal rabbi assisting in the lighting of candles in the homes of members who requested it.
Date: 2020
Abstract: ο ανά χείρας βιβλίο συνιστά μια απόπειρα διερεύνησης της ελληνο-εβραϊκής ταυτοτικής αναφοράς στο πλαίσιο της σύγχρονης ελληνικής κοινωνίας, αφού η μοντέρνα εκδοχή της εβραϊκότητας ξεδιπλώνεται με ορόσημο την νεωτερικότητα. Μέσα από την εκπόνηση μιας επιτόπιας εμπειρικής έρευνας επιδιώκεται η διερεύνηση, αφενός του τρόπου με τον οποίο οι Έλληνες/δες Εβραίοι/ες αυτο-προσδιορίζονται, όσον αφορά την ατομική και συλλογική διάσταση της εθνικής, εθνοτικής και θρησκευτικής τους ταυτότητας, αφετέρου του τρόπου με τον οποίο διακλαδώνονται και συμπλέκονται οι μεταλλαγές και οι μεταμορφώσεις αυτής της ταυτότητας με ορόσημο το Β' Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο.
Η έρευνα εστιάζει συγκριτικά, στις Ισραηλιτικές Κοινότητες των Αθηνών, της Θεσσαλονίκης, της Λάρισας και του Βόλου, και επιχειρεί να απαντήσει στα ακόλουθα ερωτήματα. Πως βλέπουν τον εαυτό τους οι Έλληνες/δες Εβραίοι/ες: ως θρησκευτική μειονότητα, ως εθνοτική ομάδα ή απλώς ως κανονικά και πλήρη μέλη της ελληνικής κοινωνίας; Πως αντιλαμβάνονται την ιουδαϊκή τους ταυτότητα: ως θρησκευτική πίστη ή ένταξη, ως τήρηση των ιουδαϊκών τελετουργικών και εθίμων ή ως εθνο-πολιτισμική παράδοση; Ποιες είναι οι επιρροές της μεταβαλλόμενης (εκκοσμικευόμενης) ελληνικής κοινωνίας στην ελληνο-εβραϊκή ταυτότητα; Ποιο ρόλο παίζει το Ισραήλ στην ταυτοτική τους αναφορά; Πως βλέπουν τους μη Εβραίους, Έλληνες συμπολίτες; Με τη χρήση ποιοτικών και ποσοτικών μεθοδολογικών εργαλείων, μέσα από μια συγκριτική προοπτική τριών γενεών από το τραυματικό γεγονός του Ολοκαυτώματος, εξετάζονται οι εκφράσεις και οι συνιστώσες, οι υποδηλώσεις και οι συνισταμένες, οι διαφοροποιήσεις και οι περιδινήσεις του ταυτοτικού αυτο-προσδιορισμού των Ελλήνων/δων Εβραίων, στη συνεχώς μεταβαλλόμενη και κατά επίπεδα εκκοσμικευμένη, ελληνική κοινωνική πραγματικότητα. (Από την παρουσίαση στο οπισθόφυλλο του βιβλίου)
Date: 2021
Abstract: Taking traditional communities as exemplifiers of 'tradition-in-action', this thesis is based on semi-structured interviews and observations with Amish communities in the United States and a Jewish community in the United Kingdom. This research challenges antithetical notions of inert tradition versus a fluid, dynamic modernity within sociological literature, which has a tendency to posit tradition as temporally and spatially outside of modernity. Drawing on literatures that intersect sociological disciplines, particularly community studies, religion, diasporas, tradition and theories of contemporary (late/liquid) modernity (Giddens, 1991; Bauman, 2000), it explores ways in which these Amish and Jewish communities - described here as religion-oriented diasporic communities - negotiate the fluid conditions of contemporary modernity. It asks questions about what these negotiations reveal about the nature of contemporary modernity and how shedding new light on community boundaries, belonging and practices helps us to rethink and challenge prevailing meanings of community under contemporary conditions. Through the findings, the research asserts that rather than being fixed, these communities exhibit varied communal boundaries, from non-negotiable to fluid, as well as fluctuating and contingent levels of belonging and socially situated practices and narratives that adaptively reproduce community to enable communal thriving. In so doing, it explores themes such as boundary-keeping processes, the appeal of embedding and the social/kinship networks that comprise community and form a basis for 'doing' community together. This research project makes methodological contributions, reflecting on the 'insider/outsider' researcher positionality, as well as cultural and logistical considerations with harder-to-access communities. Though these case studies are not intended to provide direct or simple 'like for like' comparison, themes emerging from both case studies highlight the multi-layered nature of belonging to communities conceptualised as traditional in a fluid, ever-changing modernity, effectively siting such communities and modernity as inseparable and co-constitutive.
Date: 2015
Abstract: Настоящият сборник съдържа устни разкази на еврейските общности за самите тях и живота им в Русе, Шумен и Варна. Разказите са подредени в осем глави, които съответстват на различните антропологически категории и представят чуто или преживяно от първо лице. Хронологията в книгата е съобразена единствено с битието в житейските цикли и поради това във всяка отделна глава може да се проследи картината за свят на различните поколения хора.

Разказите са резултат от теренно проучване, проведено през пролетта на 2015 година. То отразява не само състоянието на градските общности на евреите в Русе, Шумен и Варна, но осветлява паметта за тях, описва хора и събития, отнасящи се и за онази част от българските евреи, които днес живеят в държавата Израел. Тридесет наши сънародници – 17 жени и 13 мъже, чрез своите разкази и спомени изграждат впечатляващ териториален обхват на проучването, който включва 27 български населени места и в действителност покрива картата на страната.
Date: 2011
Abstract: The saving of 50,000 Bulgarian Jews from the death camps during the Second World War is one of Bulgarian modern history events, which became a source of national pride and which generated moral capital. It has been used to present the country before the world ever since the end of the war. At the same time, it has proved to be one of the most manipulated facts, which seems to be a hostage to different ideological and political interpretations. By completely ignoring or, conversely, strongly emphasizing one aspect of the historical truth at the expense of another, both during the communist times and the transitional period to democracy since 1989, it blurred the concept of the real significance of this event and turned it into a myth and a cliché. The author of this paper follows the chronicle of the debate on this issue during the period of democratization after 1989 and tries to answer the question how the changes towards democracy influenced the attempts to rewriting Bulgarian history. Also taken into account is the fact that The Rescue had a fundamental impact on the identity of the Bulgarian Jews. This conclusion is important for two reasons. First, because turning a deaf ear to the voices of the rescued in the discussions about their own experiences during the war turned out to be an essential part of the problem about the absence of a real public debate, in which the key questions dealt with tolerance and recognition of other ethic groups.. Second, the political and ideological confrontation concerning The Rescue issue found place within the Jewish community itself. This conclusion is important in order to understand how the collective memory of the Bulgarian Jews at present is being formed in terms of its own Jewish community context as well as in a specific Bulgarian-Jewish setting.