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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of kashrut among women, thus challenging the scholar Haym Soloveitchik’s famous claim that text-based learning has superseded mimetic learning in the modern Jewish world.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.
Author(s): Feigin, Elizabeth
Date: 2024
Abstract: This research considers an existential exploration of the experience of coming out in the Orthodox Jewish community. It is grounded in a qualitative, phenomenological and existential methodology. Eight participants were interviewed, all male between the ages of 20-30, who grew up in the Orthodox Jewish community and came out as gay, a minimum of three years ago. The interviews were semi-structured in nature; they were recorded and transcribed. The interview transcripts were analysed using SEA, a phenomenological and existential research tool. It used two specific features of SEA; the four worlds and its paradoxes, and the timeline tool. Accordingly, data was analysed against the four existential worlds, and the four periods of time identified in the timeline tool; with the moments of coming out being the present focus. Key themes, paradoxes and similarities were drawn out from across the analysis. They were then analysed alongside a consideration of relevant literature, also presented in this study. Overall, significant findings were identified, which both resonated with, supported and questioned existing literature. Findings were linked to four particular time periods: before, during and after coming out, and the ongoing state of participants. The findings relating to the time period before coming out mainly linked to matters around identity and findings linked to the actual moments of coming out mainly related to embodiment overall. The findings of the time period immediately after coming out linked to relationships and emotions, whereas the findings linking to the ongoing state of participants were to do with spirituality and meaning. This study concludes by outlining the valuable contribution these findings have made to Counselling Psychology, as well as areas that have been highlighted as ripe for further research.
Date: 2022
Abstract: Cette recherche envisage la tension entre une conception englobante de la religion portée par les juifs orthodoxes et une conception privatisée et plurielle en vigueur dans la société française, une société laïque et sécularisée, des années 1980 à nos jours. Cette tension est explorée depuis ces deux points de vue. D’une part, elle interroge comment les juifs orthodoxes s’organisent pour ménager l’espace jugé nécessaire à leur pratique religieuse. Pour ce faire, elle explore leurs besoins, leurs demandes, ainsi que les stratégies qu’ils mettent en œuvre pour les porter. D’autre part, elle soulève la question de la gouvernance publique du religieux. Pour ce faire, elle étudie la manière dont l’État laïc appréhende une minorité religieuse, qui semble aller à contre-courant du mouvement de fond de la sécularisation. A partir d’un protocole de recherche mixte, et en mobilisant la sociologie électorale, la sociologie de l’action collective, l’analyse des politiques publiques, et des outils de sociologie de la religion, elle teste la consistance de l’intégralisme des juifs orthodoxes dans la société française. Elle réfléchit ainsi à la gouvernance de minorités religieuses intégralistes, à partir d’un autre cas que l’islam, et distingue ce qui relève d’une religion en particulier ou de l’orthodoxie. Elle montre une érosion de l’intégralisme religieux, du fait de réponses défavorables des institutions publiques et de la sécularisation qu’il ne parvient pas à enrayer.
Date: 2023
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2023
Author(s): Wilson, Nissan
Date: 2022
Abstract: The indoctrination charge has been levelled at religious studies teachers who teach controversial propositions as fact (see for example Snook, 1972; Hand, 2004). On this view, indoctrination takes place when the process which brings children to believe controversial propositions bypasses their rational autonomy. Taking into account the above argument and the proposed responses, my study goes beyond the arena of normative philosophy and looks at teachers’ conceptions of their role, asking whether they experience tensions between their mission as religious studies teachers and the values of the Western, liberal polity in which they live. I focus on a unique subset of Orthodox Jewish schools, where the schools’ religious ethos appears to be at odds with many of the parent body who are not religiously observant, and I ask to what extent religious studies teachers take parental wishes into account in choosing what and how to teach their subject. Using grounded theory methods in a critical realist paradigm, field work takes the form of in-depth interviews with religious studies teachers in the above group of schools. Working from initial codes to higher levels of theoretical abstraction led to clear findings on teachers’ conceptions of their role and their response to the indoctrination charge. For the purposes of their role at least, religious studies teachers describe religion using the language of the market and getting pupils to “buy-into the product” rather than necessarily to believe its propositions as true. As a corollary to this, participants see autonomy as having to do with choice, rather than with rationality, suggesting that while scholars, in their critique of religious nurture view a rationalist conception of autonomy based on Kant as the dominant paradigm, in the real world (of my research field at least) a more existentialist Millian conception sets the terms of the discourse.
Date: 2022
Author(s): Tóth, Katalin
Date: 2019
Abstract: Selon la tradition, ce n’étaient pas les Juifs qui gardaient le Shabbat, mais c’était le Shabbat, qui gardait les Juifs pendant des milliers des années. Malgré le fait que le contenu et le sens de l’institution du Shabbat est caractérisé par de changements continus, il représente, en effet, un élément de la tradition multicolore et complexe du peuple Juif, contribuant à la construction et à la maintenance de l’identité même au 21ième siècle. Dans mon étude, j’examine l’importance du Shabbat dans les vies des individus, et dans celles des communautés de deux synagogues budapestoises de nos jours. Je m’appuierai sur mes deux études sur le terrain réalisées dans deux synagogues des courants neo-orthodoxe et néologue. En comparant les résultats de ces recherches, je démontrerai comment les interdictions du Shabbat puis les conditions, et les défis du monde moderne – par exemple le renoncement aux outils de la télécommunication ou bien aux moyens du transport public – résultent de stratégies d’harmonisation différentes. Les communautés Juives modernes et postmodernes doivent faire face aux problèmes inconnus auparavant: chaques communautés disposent de réponses officielles aux questions de la circulation, ou du réchauffement du repas pendant Shabbat, de l’usage du smartphone ou l’ordinateur, etc., et entre les murs de la synagogue, les membres de la communauté sont obligés de se comporter selon ces règles. D’après mes expériences les réponses individuelles diffèrent souvent de la résolution officielle, et la communauté peut prendre des sanctions contre les offenseurs d’un comportement impropre – en général ce sont plutôt des avertissements oraux. L’examen de la vie privée est hors contrôle de la communauté, puisque c’est l’individu soi-même qui construit son identité, et qui décide s’il préfère adhérer aux régulations de Shabbat ou acheter une paire de jeans. Toujours est-il, que dans la majorité des cas il y a une contradiction entre la pratique réelle et l’image idéalisé du comportement individuelle. Par de réponses et de réflexions individuelles, je montrerai un aperçu de la vie Juive de Budapest de nos jours. Une des forces organisatrices de cette vie est l’effort fait pour s’identifier dans une société du 21ième siècle déterminée par de règles religieuses, la tradition, mais également par la science et la technique.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Cultural factors are influential in the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment efficacy of mental health conditions. Although the literature has advanced substantially towards the development of cultural adaptations of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for various minority cultural groups, research into cultural adaptations of CBT for the Orthodox Jewish community has been scarce. This qualitative study interviewed five CBT therapists about their experiences working with clients from the London Orthodox Jewish community and uncovered several key practical implications for the clinical practice of CBT with this client group. This study indicates that CBT is a culturally appropriate psychological treatment for this client group that accords with Orthodox Jewish teachings and religious beliefs. CBT therapists are encouraged to become familiar with Orthodox Jewish cultural practices and beliefs and adopt a culturally sensitive approach to treatment. Despite the reduced mental health stigma within the community, this study recommends that CBT therapists normalise mental health conditions and therapy with Orthodox Jewish clients. Due to the close-knit nature of the community, it is suggested that CBT therapists display heightened confidentiality with this client group. To overcome the mistrust of their Orthodox Jewish clients, CBT therapists are advised to display cultural sensitivity and genuine respect for the Orthodox Jewish way of life, in addition to building a strong therapeutic alliance. Further qualitative research exploring different perspectives is necessary to produce evidence-based guidelines for the cultural adaptation of CBT for the Orthodox Jewish
Abstract: When older people move from where they live to go elsewhere, if the distances are short it is called relocation, or if the move is over state or national borders, migration. Push factors are dissatisfaction with the present residence, or incapacities; leading to short-distance moves to be near, or to cohabit with, adult children, in order to receive support. These individuals are the ‘old-old’ and ‘oldest-old’, mostly single, poorer, and less healthy. A pull factor is when people want to access a better lifestyle and an increased standard of living. These long-distance migrants tend to be ‘young-old’, healthier, financially secure, newly retired, and married. This thesis explores the migration and relocation of older Orthodox Jews from Gateshead, and studies the priorities and criteria that influence the decision-making process, as well as triggers and barriers to leaving. Being a member of this community, I conducted this research as an insider using constructivist grounded methodology. I conducted 33 in-depth interviews with older people who have migrated or not, including nine with adult children. The migrants ranged from ‘young-old’ to ‘oldest-old’, were married, generally in good health and well-rooted in their community, with extensive social and work attachments in Gateshead. This represents a unique migration in that they are not moving for care, or out of necessity or dissatisfaction, nor are they aiming to increase their standard of living, but to live near and help their children. The decision-making process is both complex and multi-layered. The older people ordered their priorities and considered how their decisions would affect them and their wider network, and taking into account all their resources, select the option that best met everyone’s needs. Decisions were influenced by interdependency with children, neighbours, friends and work colleagues. This interdependency, in which work and volunteering played significant roles, was mediated by reciprocity, the desire not to be a burden, and to remain independent and autonomous. The children facilitated anything that aided these priorities. It was also clear that the demarcation of 65 years as the beginning of an ‘old age’ marked by dependency and infirmity is both arbitrary and inaccurate. Policy makers should recognise the contributions older people can and do make to families and communities. Facilitating and supporting these contributions would improve the health and well-being of older people.
Author(s): Kowalska, Katarzyna
Date: 2021
Abstract: Shabbat day with its ritual phases and liturgies, chosen as a focus for this study, presents an ideological paradox, with notions of both particularism and universalism (P/U) in the core of its narrative. Ritual with all its elements, such as participants, objects, space, music, body gestures and style of service, provide additional meaning to what is embedded in the words, and this needs to be taken into consideration while examining the ideology of a prayerbook. The ritual process may affect or alter their P/U meaning.

Thus, to advance the debate in discussing P/U in the contemporary British Jewish Orthodox, Reform and Liberal prayerbooks and ritual, I engage here with Judaism as a vernacular religion. Because it is not enough to examine only verbal expressions of the prayerbooks, I also consider the verbal, behavioural and material expressions of religious belief. I identify and critically assess various strategies, which depend for their effectiveness on the approach to change of specific worshippers and prayer leaders, and that are deployed in order to remove or minimize the impact of undesired particularistic formulations.

Drawing these threads together, I triangulate the reading of Shabbat texts with ethnographical methodologies, thereby providing a better understanding of the way in which Jewish liturgy works as lived religion. The thesis contributes to further discussion of P/U notions within Jewish liturgy and serves to advance methodological thinking about siddurim and Jewish ritual.
Author(s): Ostrovskaya, Elena
Date: 2016
Author(s): Ostrovskaya, Elena
Date: 2016
Author(s): Ostrovskaya, Elena
Date: 2021
Author(s): Sheldon, Ruth
Date: 2021
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2021
Abstract: Maintaining ‘faith’ in vaccination has emerged as a public health challenge amidst outbreaks of preventable disease among religious minorities and rising claims to ‘exemption’ from vaccine mandates. Outbreaks of measles and coronavirus have been particularly acute among Orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods in North America, Europe and Israel, yet no comparative studies have been conducted to discern the shared and situated influences on vaccine decision-making.

This paper synthesises qualitative research into vaccine decision-making among Orthodox Jews in the United Kingdom and Israel during the 2014–15 and 2018-19 measles epidemics, and 2020–21 coronavirus pandemic. The methods integrate 66 semi-structured informal interviews conducted with parents, formal and informal healthcare practitioners, and religious leaders, as well as analysis of tailored non-vaccination advocacy events and literature.

The paper argues that the discourse of ‘religious’ exemption and opposition to vaccination obscures the diverse practices and philosophies that inform vaccine decisions, and how religious law and leaders form a contingent influence. Rather than viewing religion as the primary framework through which vaccine decisions are made, Orthodox Jewish parents were more concerned with safety, trust and choice in similar ways to ‘secular’ logics of non-vaccination. Yet, religious frameworks were mobilised, and at times politicised, to suit medico-legal discourse of ‘exemption’ from coercive or mandatory vaccine policies. By conceptualising tensions around protection as ‘political immunities,’ the paper offers a model to inform social science understandings of how health, law and religion intersect in contemporary vaccine opposition.
Author(s): Flax, Maya
Date: 2019
Abstract: Records of antisemitic incidents in the UK have reached an all-time high in the last 3-5 years. I have used antisemitism to mean in this study: any form of hostility or prejudice towards Jews based on their identity. The main objective of this study is to explore a section of the Jewish community, which has been marginalised in research on antisemitism: The Orthodox Jewish community. Being most visible, as identifiable Jews, within the Jewish community, they are also the ones most frequently targeted. Drawing on qualitative data resulting from 28 interviews with Orthodox Jewish individuals as well as five focus groups with key stakeholder, this thesis explored the lived experienced of antisemitism within the Orthodox Jewish community. It investigated the types of antisemitic incidents, the impacts and meaning which participants attached to these incidents, the perceptions of antisemitism, the coping mechanisms which were adopted in order to respond to the climate of antisemitism and the perceptions of agencies which respond to antisemitism. The thesis generated four main findings. First, the pervasive nature of antisemitism and its prevalence within the lives of Orthodox Jews. Second, the awareness that there is a resurgence of antisemitism and that there has been a shift in its manifestation, making it more institutionalised and therefore powerful. Third, that despite the high prevalence rate of incidents among the community, most respondents chose to normalise and accept the victimisation. My thesis proposes that the reasons respondents were able to show agency and to accept the incidents is due to their strong religious identity and their close 3 community ties. Finally, this study offers recommendations to support the Orthodox Jewish community; to address in a practical way some remediable issues uncovered by this study.
Date: 2021
Date: 2020
Abstract: Written by the world’s leading Jewish demographer, Professor Sergio DellaPergola, and Dr Daniel Staetsky, Director of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, this report shines a light on the demography of Jewish in Austria today, and presents in-depth analysis of fertility rates, age distribution data, patterns of Jewish identity, migration and intermarriage rates to predict Austrian Jewry’s future. It demonstrates, through careful and methodical analysis, that the population is projected to grow.

Whilst the Austrian Jewish population is small, its projected growth constitutes an important finding in European Jewish demography. The Jewish population of Europe has declined dramatically over the past century and a half, particularly as a result of mass migration and the Holocaust. Yet today, in several European countries, demographers are beginning to see signs of growth, driven particularly by high birth rates in the strictly Orthodox population. This study provides an important example of this phenomenon.

The report is a publication of JPR’s European Jewish Demography Unit, an initiative established in 2019 to produce new data to support Jewish community planning across Europe. Funded by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, the Unit is working to produce country-specific reports annually, and this study about Austria is the first of these.

The report draws on three major sources of data: the 2001 Austrian Census, comprehensive records of the Austrian Jewish community and a survey carried out by a JPR/Ipsos consortium in 2018 for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

Key findings include:

Today the core Jewish population of Austria is estimated to be just above 10,000. The ‘core Jewish population’ consists of people who would explicitly identify themselves as Jews. This is the highest number of Jews observed in Austria since the 1960.
According to the Israeli Law of Return – which uses a broader definition to determine who is entitled to migrate to Israel and immediately apply for Israeli citizenship – the eligible Jewish population in Austria is currently about 20,000.
The core Jewish population constitutes 0.1% of the total population of Austria. 64% of all Austrians are Roman Catholics, 17% are unaffiliated in religious terms, and 8% are Muslims.
The Jewish population of Austria is growing and may reach 11,000-12,000 by the mid-2030s.
About 86% of all Austrian Jews reside in Vienna. Only 19% of all Austrians live in Vienna
The average number of children that a Jewish woman in Austria is expected to have in her lifetime is 2.5; strictly Orthodox Jewish women have 6–7 children per woman, on average, while non-strictly Orthodox Jewish women typically have about 2. The average among Austrian women in general is 1.5.
Migration has been a powerful factor of growth in the Austrian Jewish population. Jews born in Israel constitute about 20% of Jews in Austria today.
About 78% of Jewish households in Austria are affiliated with the Jewish community through membership of its representative organisation. Compared to other communities around the world, this is a very high level of affiliation.
About 30% of Jews in Austria identify as ‘Orthodox’ or ‘Traditional’ and 19% as ‘strictly Orthodox.’ 15% identify as ‘Reform/Progressive’ and 19% as ‘just Jewish.’ Austrian Jewry has one of the highest proportions of strictly Orthodox Jews of all European Jewish communities.
Due to their high fertility, the strictly Orthodox represent the main engine of population growth for the Jewish community as a whole. For the same reason, their share in the Jewish population is expected to increase significantly in the medium term.
About two thirds (70%) of partnered Austrian Jews have a Jewish partner.
About 70% of all Jewish children of compulsory school age in Austria attend Jewish schools. While 100% of strictly Orthodox Jews attend Jewish schools, among the non-strictly Orthodox uptake is still significant – about 52%.
Author(s): Fromson, Hadassah
Date: 2018
Abstract: This thesis aimed to explore whether religion, sexual knowledge and sexual attitudes impact sexual satisfaction amongst Orthodox Jews. This thesis intended to address weaknesses of previous research by using robust multidimensional measures of religion and sexuality and focusing on a specific religious group. 515 participants completed measures circulated through an online survey. The measures used were: The New Sexual Satisfaction Scale; Centrality of Religiosity Scale (CRS); threes subscales of the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale (Permissiveness, Communion and Instrumentality); and a new measure, the Brief Sexual Knowledge scale, developed for this study. Participants were also presented with optional open-ended questions that asked about their sexual expectations and sexual education. Religious level was categorised using self-defined groups for Religious Culture; Ultra-Orthodox, Modern-Orthodox and Non-Orthodox groups as well as CRS categories for Religious Practice; Highly Religious, Religious, Not Religious. The findings show significant differences in the sexual satisfaction between Religious Practice groups but not Religious Culture groups. Significant differences in sexual knowledge and sexual attitudes were found for both types of religious variables. A correlation analysis revealed that sexual satisfaction is positively correlated with CRS and Communion scores whilst negatively correlated with Sexual Knowledge, Permissiveness and Instrumentality scores. Communion and Sexual Knowledge were significant predictors of sexual satisfaction in a multiple regression analysis. The findings of this study enhance theoretical understanding of religion and sexuality and address gaps in the literature. Clinical implications for therapists working with Orthodox Jewish clients suffering from sexual dissatisfaction are discussed.
Date: 2004