Search results

Your search found 106 items
Previous | Next
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year View all 1 2 3
Home  / Search Results
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.
Author(s): Franklin, Claire E.
Date: 2023
Abstract: No published research to date has investigated the mental health experiences of Orthodox Jewish adolescents in the UK, although anecdotally, the Jewish mental health community is aware of the prevalence of mental health difficulties amongst young people. This lack of research highlights a serious gap in how to best support this population in the community and in mainstream services. As a first step into this field of study, this research explored the experiences of seven London-based Orthodox Jewish female therapists offering talking therapy to strictly Orthodox Jewish (Chareidi) female adolescents in the private sector, using semi-structured interviews. An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the interview data identified several themes: The therapists navigated personal and professional overlap when working within their own community, dealt with blurred boundaries, and managed the complexities of confidentiality within a close-knit community context. Furthermore, their therapeutic practice was culturally informed, and they applied cultural sensitivity with their clients. The therapists talked about how they helped Chareidi Gen Z on their journey to adulthood and how they experienced both feeling connected to their clients, and feeling disconnected when values were at odds with each other. The implications from this study included the need to engage Orthodox Jewish adolescents in future research so that their voices can be captured, the importance of continuing to increase culturally sensitive mental health promotion, education, and provision within the Chareidi community, and for mainstream services to facilitate access for the Chareidi community by prioritising culturally informed practices and community partnership work.
Date: 2023
Abstract: Using a ‘lived religion’ approach, this chapter analyses interviews conducted with Orthodox Jewish women to investigate how women learn about kashrut [Jewish dietary] rules, the resources they use when dealing with kashrut problems, and the kashrut practices that they develop themselves. The research shows the persistence of mimetic, family-based models in the transmission and practice of kashrut among women, thus challenging the scholar Haym Soloveitchik’s famous claim that text-based learning has superseded mimetic learning in the modern Jewish world. The chapter suggests that the two types of learning are strongly gendered, and it explores the differences between the ways men and women learn about and understand kashrut practices. The research highlights the difference, and the tense relationship, between elite text-based culture (almost exclusively male in the Orthodox Jewish world) and popular practice (largely in the hands of women in Orthodox daily kashrut observance) and raises issues of rabbinic control and authority versus family loyalty and self-confidence. The study reveals the divergence between a nominally hegemonic authority of elite, male-authored texts and their interpretation by rabbis, and an unacknowledged lived religion in which women decide everyday ritual practice. Taylor-Guthartz suggests that to gain a complete picture of any religious tradition, knowledge of its elite written aspects must be balanced with the investigation of lived, everyday religious practice, and the complex relationships between these two elements must be appreciated and understood.
Date: 2024
Abstract: Tarkastelemme kahden eri etnografisen aineiston pohjalta suomenjuutalaisten naisten kokemuksia antisemitismistä nyky-Suomessa. Aineistomme koostuu Ruth Illmanin Minhag Finland -hankkeessa tehdyistä suomenjuutalaisten haastatteluista (2019–2020) ja Elina Vuolan Ruumiillinen uskonto -hankkeessa tehdyistä haastatteluista (2015–2016). Vuola haastatteli vain naisia, Illmanin aineistossa on sekä naisia että miehiä. Keskitymme artikkelissamme naisiin. Myös antisemitismin kokemukset ovat joiltakin osin sukupuolittuneita. Pääasiallisena teoreettisena tulokulmana käytämme Helen Feinin (1987) kulttuurihistoriallista määrittelyä, jonka mukaan antisemitismillä on rakenteellinen, diskursiivinen ja yksilöllinen ulottuvuus. Fein kuvailee antisemitismiä kolmiona, jonka pohja on yhteiskunnan rakenteisiin upotettu juutalaisvastaisuus, joka ilmenee tietämättömyytenä, ymmärtämättömyytenä tai suorana syrjintänä. Tämän päälle rakentuu diskursiivinen ulottuvuus, joka tuo esille kulttuurisidonnaiset tavat puhua juutalaisuudesta, ja näyttäytyy stereotypioina ja ennakkoluuloina yleisessä keskustelussa. Kolmion huipulla ovat yksilön kokemukset suorasta tai välillisestä antisemitismistä omassa arjessaan. Tarkastelemme, miten Feinin malli näkyy (tai ei näy) aineistoissamme ja sitä, miten sen avulla voidaan jäsentää haastateltavien kokemuskertomuksia. Sukupuoliteoreettinen lähestymistapa puolestaan auttaa ymmärtämään koetun antisemitismin sukupuolittuneisuutta. Feinin malli osoittautui käyttökelpoiseksi, mutta jäykäksi tavaksi jäsentää arkisiin kokemuksiin keskittyvää etnografista aineistoa. Lisäksi havaitsimme, että paikkasidonnainen ja kokemuksiin keskittyvä analyysimme tuo uutta tietoa antisemitismin ilmenemismuodoista ja siinä tapahtuneissa muutoksissa Suomessa. Suomenjuutalaisten naisten kokemuksissa antisemitismi sekä uhan ja pelon tunne ovat lisääntyneet.
Date: 2023
Date: 2023
Abstract: This article explores the relationship between marriage and conversion from a critical gender perspective, based on a comparative ethnographic study of women’s conversion to Judaism, Islam and Christianity in the Netherlands. In the study of religion and gender, a valuable conceptual framework developed that questions the limited representation of religious women (as somehow ‘oppressed’) and recognises agency within observance. However, up to now, theories and conceptualisations of female conversion have not been able to successfully deal with the tension between individual agency and relationality, more concretely: between individual choice and the impact of intimate relationships. This article suggests a framework more capable of grasping the complexities of conversion and marriage, by introducing the concept of mixedness. In this approach, relationships are understood as agential spaces of religious becoming. Conversion forms and reforms what is ‘mixed’ within a relationship, and intimate relationships indeed play an important role in religious becoming. The goal is to move beyond the binary options that women seem to have to vocalise their process: either they convert because of someone else (implying less agency) or their religious transformation is an expression of autonomous, individual choice (neglecting the impact of relationships). Mixedness highlights the dynamic and fluid aspects of intimate relationships, whilst simultaneously focusing on the interactions between the couples’ experiences of mixedness and social norms of majority and minority religio-racial groups.
Date: 2023
Author(s): Tzadik, Efrat
Date: 2014
Abstract: For many years anthropologists have researched other cultures. They were separate from the group they researched (Peirano, 1998). In recent years, anthropologists have started to conduct their research ‘at home’. Researching one’s own culture raises many questions regarding the position of the researcher in the field. It differs from a simple participatory observation since the researcher does not leave his or her own field, but belongs culturally to the field being studied, and as such gains access to more intimate topics. This special position the researcher has the advantage of being familiar with the field, but it may also cause conflicts and obstacles. This paper will reveal to the reader some of the experiences in the field and the mechanisms used to deal with these conflicts. In this chapter I situate myself as a Jewish Israeli woman seeking to explore my own community within the context of Jewish Israeli women in the Belgian Diaspora. Utilising the participatory observation approach I explore the questions concerned in "insider-outsider" research and the ethical considerations that underpin social science research of this kind. My starting point involves questions of "self" and identity before attempting to discuss my community; drawing on appropriate theorists, I explicate my particular religious-ethnic grouping with reference to the experiences, views and roles of women in this group. The chapter analyses the challenges faced by an anthropologist in conducting participatory observation into her own peer group, and in its conclusion will explain some of the mechanisms an anthropologist can incorporate in order to overcome these challenges. Looking into my own culture and conducting research into my own surroundings stemmed from the need to understand the steps leading to a person’s decision to migrate. I wanted to understand my own experience as an immigrant.
Author(s): Tzadik, Efrat
Date: 2012
Abstract: This research introduces an anthropological perspective in the debate on religious identity and the workplace. In particular, it examines the relationship between Jewish identity and practices and the workplace in Belgium, with a focus on gender issues. Thanks to in-depth interviews with a number of Jewish women in Brussels about their daily experiences in the workplace and extensive field work in this community, valuable and generally difficult to access data regarding Jewish women’s workplace participation, perceptions, and experiences has been collected and analyzed. There is a complex relationship between Jewish identity, practices and the perception of the respondents as it relates to the workplace and their own position. Perceived hostility towards Israel and the Jewry is a recurrent issue amongst the respondents. As Judaism is often connected to the State of Israel and the current political climate, individual Jewish women are sometimes confronted with unpleasant or negative comments or experiences in the workplace. Besides forming a strong deterrent for many of the respondents to participate in the mainstream workforce, this puts a lot of pressure on those women working for non-Jewish organizations. To a certain extent, Jewish practices are adapted, modified and negotiated by the working Jewish women to meet the demands of dominant norms in the modern Belgian workplace. In addition, the ‘coping mechanisms’ that are applied by the respondents are frequently gender-specific and family-motivated.
Author(s): Stögner, Karin
Date: 2008
Abstract: Thema dieser Dissertation sind die Strukturverwandtschaften und gesellschaftlichen Funktionsähnlichkeiten von Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus. Der Schwerpunkt der Analyse liegt auf der gesamtgesellschaftlichen Makroebene, wo die Intersektionen sich sowohl über die Korrespondenzen als auch über die Eigenheiten und Differenzen beider Kategorien manifestieren. Aus der Perspektive soziologischer, politischer, ökonomischer und geistesgeschichtlicher Erklärungsansätze wird der Frage nachgegangen, wogegen sich Feindschaft und Abwehr im Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus richten und was der jeweilige Gehalt von Konstrukten des Jüdischen und des Weiblichen ist, die beide im Bereich des Phantasmagorischen und Ideologischen anzusiedeln sind. In sie geht die gesellschaftliche Vorstellung von Natur ebenso ein wie die Überhöhung von Stärke bei gleichzeitiger Abwertung von Schwäche.
Geschlechterbilder und -normen spielen dabei eine bedeutsame Rolle. Nach einer analytischen Auseinandersetzung mit den gesellschaftlichen, historischen, ökonomischen und politischen Fundierungsverhältnissen von Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus werden anhand des antisemitischen und frauenfeindlichen Bildarchivs der Moderne, zumal jenes des Fin de Siècle, die Intersektionen von Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus einer genaueren Betrachtung zugeführt. Auffallend sind vor allem die deutlich gegenderten und rassisierten Imagines des Juden und der Frau, denen gleichermaßen eine Transgression der Geschlechtergrenzen immanent ist.
Sie alle gruppieren sich um einen antiemanzipatorischen Gestus. Diese Imagines sind als performative Akte des Antisemitismus und des Antifeminismus zu fassen, und werden somit nicht bloß als Ausdruck diskriminierender und unterdrückender Diskurse und Strukturen der Gesellschaft analysiert,
sondern als diese Strukturen selbst beständig (re)produzierend. Sie tragen damit zu einer kaum mehr durchdringbaren weil verselbständigten Institutionalisierung von Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus bei. Dieser Institutionalisierung wird in einem Abschnitt über den Umgang mit dem Nationalsozialismus gesondert nachgegangen. Ein weiterer Abschnitt ist der Durchsetzung von Antisemitismus und Antifeminismus auf der Mikroebene des doing difference gewidmet, wo der erlebnisanalytische Aspekt von Juden- und Frauenfeindlichkeit anhand einer Auswertung qualitativer Interviews im Zentrum steht.
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: This chapter analyses the intersections between Judaism, conversion, belonging, and gender, through the lived material practice of the tallit. Conversion to a religious tradition is not merely a change in mind set, but rather implies the learning, performance and negotiation of a religious habitus. This is especially the case with conversions to Judaism, or giyur, which focuses on the learning of practices and commitment to synagogue life. Such process of ‘self-making’ is directly related to questions of gender and the possibility of taking on certain objects and tasks. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this chapter traces how conversion materialises in daily ritual practice for women in various Jewish communities in the specific ritual use of the prayer shawl, or tallit. Gender equality has been one of the prime topics by which liberal Judaism came to distinguish itself from orthodoxy in the Netherlands. A symbol of this difference is the use of the tallit by women, both in the local Dutch context as well as internationally. Historically, women have been excluded from Shul life, and wearing a tallit, as is permitted in liberal synagogues, can be revolutionary as a marker of inclusion. For converted women in the Jewish diaspora of the Netherlands, wearing the tallit in service can be a confirmation of their Jewishness, but is more often met with ambivalence. Some don’t practice, because they do not want to disturb the status quo, or because they see value in gender segregation in shul. Others do, for equally varied reasons, from political quests for emancipation, to pious desires for submission and devotion. As a compromise, specific forms of ‘women’s tallit’ have entered the synagogues, worn by women who do so out of pious desire. This chapter starts from these various prayer shawl practices, to trace broader questions of belonging. It asks not only how this object is used, but also which types of gender discourses, pious desires, and notions of agency are expressed through the use (or lack thereof) of a tallit.
Date: 2018
Author(s): Koch, Magdalena
Date: 2018
Author(s): Kuperberg, Rebecca
Date: 2021
Date: 2018
Date: 2020
Abstract: In the Netherlands, religions are often positioned as opposite to secular ideals of women’s freedom. While women’s emancipation supposedly grants women their autonomy, religions are suspected of reaffirming gender inequality. In this religion-versus-emancipation dilemma, questions of the body are pertinent, since traditional religions are framed as restricting and regulating women’s bodies. Questions about modesty, sexual relations, clothing and food preparations often come up in such debates. There seems to be a particular tension for women who convert to religions that are often regarded as ‘gender conservative’, and this chapter sheds light on that field of tension. This expands the field of women’s conversion – which has typically focused on Islamic women – by employing a comparative analysis of interviews and participant observation with Jewish, Christian and Muslim Dutch women converts. Joining a religion that one was not raised in is a process of ethical self-fashioning through training and disciplining of both the body and mind. Converts have to learn how to eat, how to pray, how to dress and how to have sex in such a way that it permits them to give shape to their religious subjectivity and pious desires. What I found is that performing authenticity is a central and embodied characteristic of modern-day conversion stories in the ‘age of authenticity’. This performance is often played out through the sexual and gendered body and religious subject transformations were closely related to sexual self-fashioning. In order to understand these links between conversion, sexuality and the body, I focus on experiences and ideas about virginity and marriage, menstruation and homosexuality. In this chapter, I aim to show that sexual embodiments and ethics cannot be understood as either religious or secular, but rather as a new form of religious subjectivity within Europe as a space where authenticity has become the most important mode for selfhood.
Date: 2021
Abstract: With Finnish independence in 1917, long-awaited legislative reforms were put in force in the country. Jews gained the right to obtain Finnish citizenship. The same year, the Finnish Parliament implemented the Civil Marriage Act (CMA), allowing the country’s Jewish citizens to marry non-Jews without converting to Christianity. In 1922, the constitutional right to freedom of religion was affirmed in the Freedom of Religion Act (FRA), granting the right to practice religion in public and private and allowing Finnish citizens to refrain from belonging to any religious community altogether. The FRA also addressed the question of children whose parents belonged to different religious congregations or who were unaffiliated. The FRA defined the religious affiliation of children after their father; this was, however, against the Orthodox Jewish law (halakhah) that the local Finnish Jewish communities wished to follow, which traced a child’s religious affiliation matrilineally.

Due to the small size of the Jewish marriage market and to the secularizing tendencies of the Jewish congregations, the number of intermarriages started to grow in the early twentieth century, and soon, they became a characteristic phenomenon of Finnish Jewish realities. This resulted in a growing number of halakhically non-Jewish children. Thus, the communities faced several challenges in terms of their administration and everyday practices.

This article-based dissertation provides an overview of Finnish-Jewish intermarriages from 1917 until the present by analyzing archival materials together with newly collected semi-structured ethnographic interviews. The interviews were conducted with members of the communities who are partners in intermarriages, either as individuals who married out or as individuals who married in and converted to Judaism. The key theoretical underpinning of the study is vernacular religion, which is complemented by relevant international research on contemporary interreligious Jewish families.

The results of the study show that while most informants understand Jewish law flexibly and rarely consider themselves “religious,” the differences between the practices of intermarried men and women are remarkable. Whereas women employ creativity and “do Judaism” to establish practices they consider meaningful for their Jewishness and Jewish identity, men tend to draw on their cultural heritage and often refrain from creative practices. The study also indicates that the adult conversion of women is far more common than that of men, making conversion a gendered phenomenon in the Finnish Jewish communities. Most informants of this study “do Judaism” in various ways and often choose to perform certain traditions to strengthen their connection to Judaism and ensure Jewish continuity through their children. Intermarried members and converts form a large part of the Finnish Jewish communities, and thus the results shed light on patterns that can be assumed to characterize multiple Finnish Jewish households.
Date: 2021
Date: 2016
Abstract: Objective: To explore determinants of participation in breast cancer screening in orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, and to uncover their opinions and attitudes towards screening, and thereby to detect ways to optimize participation. Study design: Focus group discussions were performed during the last months of 2011 and the first half of 2012 to explore motivation to participate or not in breast cancer screening. Groups consisted of five to seven women. Inclusion criteria were: being female, considering oneself as orthodox Jewish, aged between 50 and 69 years. Results: Three focus group discussions with in a total of 20 women had taken place. All participants in the focus group discussions had a screening mammography taken on a regular base. All participants agreed that the social cohesion between Jewish orthodox women and the importance that is given to healthcare within the Jewish tradition are important contributors to their participation in a breast cancer screening program. Pain, lack of information during the exam, lack of confidence in the quality of the exam, perceived problems when the examining doctor/technician is male, and fear of the results are mentioned as barriers. The participants, however, state that these were not important enough to result in non-participation. Barriers could be diminished by information sessions specifically aimed at orthodox Jewish women. Conclusion: This qualitative research demonstrates a generally positive attitude of orthodox Jewish women living in Antwerp, Belgium, towards mammographic breast cancer screening. Increased and repeated structured information sessions are likely to improve breast cancer awareness in this population.
Author(s): Yakimenko, Svetlana
Date: 2016
Abstract: Since 1989 Project Kesher has worked bringing women together, creating a network of Jewish women, helping women who knew nothing or very little about what it means to be Jewish, not only to become Jewish, but to create and strengthen Jewish community life in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova. We shared success and analyzed the changes. We felt that we were one people.

Due to the present political crises we lost our vision as one Jewish people, we became divided. It was clear Project Kesher needed to take action. We started with International Skype calls. Every evening one woman from Russia, one from Ukraine, one from Belarus, one from Israel called a woman in another country: talking, sharing our love and support, wishing peace. When women started calling each other again and restoring broken relationships we saw that “KESHER” – connection – is working.

One day when there was a serious military clash in the area where she lived one of our leaders proposed to read Tehilim (Psalms), as prayers for peace. Soon more than one hundred women were reading Psalms, creating a chain of peace. Such a spirit of peace prevailed even at a time when the air was filled with war.

In Russia there are refugee families from different regions of the Ukraine. Sometimes they lost everything. Project Kesher women’s groups in cooperation with other Jewish organizations collected clothes, foot-wear as well as school-bags, school record books, sketchbooks, colored paper, paperboard, plasticine, pencil boxes, paints and markers for refugee children. Project Kesher activists also actively participated in organizing camps for refugees in Kharkiv and the Dnipropretrovsk region (Ukraine).

In times of conflict the wish to live in peace is not enough. Women needed instruments for conflict resolution. Project Kesher developed a unique leadership training program with the aim to enable the participants to conduct trainings in conflict resolution themselves in Jewish communities and partner organizations and to engage in mediation. These trainings are often based on Jewish tradition and text study.

A special event is Project Kesher’s Global Women’s Seder that was celebrated in 2015 for the 21st time. No less than 2500 members of 140 Project Kesher women’s and youth groups in 110 cities and five countries – Belarus, Georgia, Israel, Russia and the Ukraine – participated this year. The participants spoke about peace and declared that they intended to do everything possible to maintain peace in their families and in society. With the energy it sets free Project Kesher continues to initiate positive changes.
Author(s): Graff, Agnieszka
Date: 2018
Date: 2017
Abstract: Η μακρόχρονη ελληνο-εβραϊκή παρουσία στην Ελλάδα παρακολουθεί τις πολιτικές και κοινωνικές αλλαγές που επισυμβαίνουν στην ελληνική κοινωνία, η οποία βαθμιαία εκκοσμικεύεται και εκσυγχρονίζεται. Εξετάζοντας την περίπτωση της ελληνο-ισραηλιτικής παρουσίας, βάση οργάνωσης των Ισραηλιτικών Κοινοτήτων είναι η κοινότητα (ένας κοσμικός θεσμός) και όχι η θρησκεία (ο θρησκευτικός θεσμός), κατά συνέπεια η ταυτότητα των σύγχρονων Ελληνίδων Εβραίων γυναικών παρουσιάζεται εκμοντερνισμένη. Και αυτό, επειδή αφενός ο θρησκευτικός προσδιορισμός έχει λάβει περισσότερο πολιτιστική σημασία και αφετέρου, διότι οι γυναικείοι ρόλοι διαδραματίζονται εντός και εκτός του εβραϊκού περιβάλλοντος, αφού οι δρώντες άνθρωποι περιδιαβαίνουν τόσο εντός των ιουδαϊκών ορίων, όσο και εντός της εκκοσμικευμένης ελληνικής κοινωνίας.

Στο πλαίσιο της μοντέρνας αυτής πραγματικότητας, ο ρόλος των γυναικών κινείται ανάμεσα στην παράδοση και στη νεωτερικότητα, εφόσον τα γυναικεία υποκείμενα από τη μία πλευρά αποδέχονται την πλήρη ενσωμάτωσή τους στην κοσμική ελληνική κοινωνία, και από την άλλη πλευρά θεωρούνται άτυποι φορείς διατήρησης της ιδιαίτερης παραδοσιακής εβραϊκής τους ταυτότητας. Στόχος της παρούσας εισήγησης, είναι να διερευνήσει τον τρόπο με τον οποίο οι Εβραίες γυναίκες στην Ελλάδα διαχειρίζονται την παραδοσιακή και ηθική πλευρά της ταυτότητάς τους, σε πλήρη συνάρτηση με το εκκοσμικευμένο ελληνικό πλαίσιο.
Date: 2020