Search results

Your search found 35 items
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year
Home  / Search Results
Date: 2019
Abstract: This study investigates the ethnic identity of the 1.5 and second-generation of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants to Germany and the U.S. in the most recent wave of immigration. Between 1989 and the mid-2000s, approximately 320,000 Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants departed the (former) Soviet Union for the U.S. and an additional 220,000 moved to Germany. The 1.5 and second-generations have successfully integrated into mainstream institutions, like schools and the workforce, but not the co-ethnic Jewish community in each country. Moreover, Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants are subject to a number of critiques, most prominently, of having a ‘thin culture’ that relies on abstract forms of ethnic expression and lacks in frequent and concrete forms of identification (Gitelman 1998).

The study asks several questions: how the 1.5 and second-generation see themselves as a distinctive social group? Where do they locate social boundaries between themselves and others? How do they maintain them? Close family ties lie at the center of the group’s ethnic identity. Russian-speaking cultures offer an alternative, and in the mind of the 1.5 and second-generation, superior approach to relating to family and friends, where, for example, being an unmarried adult does not contradict living at home or where youths and adults can socialize in the same setting. Their understandings and practices of family often run counter to the expectations of the mainstream in both Germany and the U.S. of what it means to be an independent adult. The organization and expectation of social relations among these immigrants reflect not only their different national origins, but their constitution as a distinctive moral community. Different foods and language use support these immigrants’ sense of group distinctiveness and reinforce the centrality of family as a shared ethnic practice.

Immigration has endowed family practices with the capacity to impart a sense of distinctiveness to the 1.5 and second-generation by changing the context in which close family ties are practiced. Transported across national borders these practices now contrast with prevailing understandings of family and serve as a cultural resource. Moreover, Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants have benefited, both culturally and economically, from state policies that granted them refugee status and enabled them to cross national borders as families and avoid years of separation other immigrants often must endure. The distinctiveness of Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants’ family practices is relative to those of the receiving country’s mainstream, but not those of other immigrant groups. As a result, a sense of group difference and belonging anchored in these practices may be challenging to impart to the third generation, who are removed from the immigration experience. Nevertheless, the 1.5 and second-generation experience their family relationships, obligations and expectations as anything but ‘thin’. They inform consequential decisions, are encountered regularly, and offer meaning to their lives as individuals, children and members of an immigrant and ethnic group.

This study draws on in-depth interviews in New York City and multiple locations in Germany with 93 Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants who arrived at the age of 13 or younger or were born in the U.S. or Germany. Despite the different history and structure of Jewish communities in the U.S. and Germany, 1.5 and second-generation Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants’ experience in each country have much in common with one another, a finding that emerged as a result of the study’s comparative design.
Date: 2021
Abstract: Overt state-sponsored antisemitism ended in Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union. Antisemitic attitudes, however, remain prevalent in Europe, and some European political actors have instrumentalized antisemitism for political gain. This report examines both the conscious use of antisemitism in European politics and the calculated tolerance of antisemitism, demonstrating that the oldest hatred remains a modern political tool.

Unlike antisemitic incidents of violence, vandalism, or insults, the political use of antisemitism does not target Jews themselves. Instead, antisemitic propaganda targets domestic or foreign audiences as a means of gaining political support. Demonstrating tolerance for antisemitism is another tactic of attracting political support. Polling data shows that these strategies have a rational basis. ADL’s 2019 Global 100 survey of antisemitic attitudes found that one in four Europeans polled harbored antisemitic beliefs.

Antisemitic propaganda has as its goal to energize and attract followers. Antisemitic propaganda is also used to tarnish political opponents in the eyes of a specific audience by intimating that someone is Jewish, supportive of Jewish causes or of the State of Israel. Other times, political opponents are slandered as antisemites or Nazis to diminish their reputations with specific audiences. Each of these techniques will be covered in this report, which focuses on the conscious choice of instrumentalizing or tolerating antisemitism for political gain. Antisemitic rhetoric by political actors as an indicator of bias is a much broader topic, and this report does not cover those instances.

The broad categories of the politicization of antisemitism include (1) politically motivated accusations of, or uses of, antisemitism against political opponents; (2) political appeals to antisemitic beliefs among the public, including the conspiracy theories about Jewish control of government, economy, media; and (3) tolerance of antisemitism within political movements as a strategy for increasing popular support. This list not exhaustive of the political instrumentalization of antisemitism, but this report provides illustrative examples from recent years in these broad categories.

Why is this report important? While violent antisemitic attacks receive wide publicity – and rightly so – the politicization of antisemitism can also severely impact Jewish communities. The British Jewish community provides a compelling example.

In January 2015, 11% of British Jews were considering emigrating, according to a poll by the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. That survey was conducted before Jeremy Corbyn, widely regarded within the British Jewish community as an antisemite himself, was even a leadership candidate for the Labour party. In September 2018, after antisemitism had become a serious problem in the Labour party under Corbyn, the Jewish Chronicle poll found that 39% of British Jews were considering emigrating. And in an October 2019 poll by the UK’s Jewish Leadership Council, just prior to the UK General Election, 47% of British Jews said they would “seriously consider” leaving the UK if Jeremy Corbyn were to win the election.

Had Jeremy Corbyn won, leading a major party widely recognized as tolerating antisemitism among its members, and had even 30% of British Jews emigrated as a result of that single event, that number of roughly 90,000 Jews would have been similar to the total of all the French Jews who left France over the past 20 years.

The sections below are select examples of the different ways in which antisemitism has been instrumentalized for political gain by various actors. The purposes and tactics vary substantially, but have the common element of politicizing antisemitism:

The Russian government instrumentalized antisemitism in the forms of propaganda and “false flag” operations to influence domestic and foreign public opinion in its conflict with Ukraine.
Polish political campaigns used overt antisemitic rhetoric during elections to win votes.
The Hungarian government used coded antisemitism in political campaigns against EU migration policies.
The UK Labour party consciously tolerated antisemitism to widen its political support from far-left radicals.
Ukrainian nationalists glorified World War II era fighters to promote nationalist narratives, while trivializing their involvement in the Holocaust.
The far-right Alternative for Germany party trivialized the Holocaust as part of their appeal to “Holocaust fatigue” among German voters.
Other political actors have engaged in similar acts of politicization, and their absence from this report is not indicative of any assessment. The cases below are simply the most blatant examples of the types of politicization to be highlighted.
Author(s): Birnbaum, Pierre
Date: 2000
Author(s): Kasstan, Ben
Date: 2016
Abstract: Using an integrated archival and ethnographic approach, this study investigates how the growing Haredi Jewish minority and the UK government negotiate their positions in the context of healthcare services in Manchester as one of the few sites where they directly engage. Low-level uptake of certain maternal and infant health interventions has led to claims that Haredi Jews are ‘hard to reach’ or a ‘non-compliant community.’ This thesis critically engages the above outlook by exploring how responses to healthcare services should be framed.
Rather than evading the NHS altogether, as the ‘hard to reach’ label implies, Haredi Jews in Manchester selectively negotiate healthcare services in order to avoid a cosmological conflict with the halachic custodianship of Jewish bodies. Maternal and infant care is situated as a particularly sensitive area of minority-state relations in which competing constructions of bodily protection are at play. Whilst maternal and infant care has historically formed part of the state’s strategy to govern the population, it is increasingly being seized as a point of intervention by Haredi rabbis, doulas, and parents when attempting to reproduce the Haredi social body.
Following Roberto Esposito’s (2015 [2002]) theoretical elaboration of ‘immunitas’ the present work depicts the margins as giving rise to antonymic conceptions of ‘immunity’ as a means of protecting collective life. Interventions that the state regard as protecting the health of the nation can, in turn, be viewed as a threat to the life of the Jewish social body. Immunity at the margins can be characterised by an antonymic fault of both the Haredim and the state to understand each other’s expectations of health and bodily care. The margins of the state illustrate how responses to healthcare interventions can be entangled within a struggle of integration, insulation, and assimilation for minority groups in ways that are contiguous over time.
Author(s): Lehrer, Erica
Date: 2012
Date: 2020
Author(s): Kovács, András
Date: 2006
Abstract: [From the introduction to the article]
Between March and November 1999, under the auspices of the Minority Research Institute of the Department of Sociology, Eötvös Loránd University, I conducted a sociological survey of the current situation of the Jewish community in Hungary. In the course of the survey, 2015 respondents were interviewed. The most important demographic and social data were collected for four generations – from respondents’ grandparents to their children. Participants in the survey were asked to respond to questions concerning their relationship towards Jewish traditions and their acceptance or rejection of various forms of Jewish identity. They were also asked for their opinions on assimilation, integration and dissimilation, on Israel, and on the current significance of the Holocaust. Finally, an attempt was made to gauge the opinions of Hungarian Jews on the state of their own community, on their relationships with non-Jews, and on antisemitism in postcommunist Hungary.
My purpose in this article shall be to analyse the data that we collected in this latter area. Firstly, I shall reveal how Jews living in Hungary define antisemitism, and whether – when it comes to classifying particular statements as antisemitic – there are any significant differences between younger and older groups of Jews, between those who are better educated and those with less education, and between those with a stronger and those with a weaker sense of Jewish identity. I shall then explore how the various respondent groups judge the extent, intensity and gravity of anti-Jewish sentiment in the country, examining in particular whether respondents themselves have experienced such sentiment or have been subjected to discrimination. I shall reveal whether respondents think that antisemitism will increase or decrease in the coming years. Finally, I shall touch upon the policies that respondents consider desirable when it comes to tackling antisemitic phenomena. Evidently, the images formed by Jews and non-Jews shall determine in large part the relations between the two groups of one other.
Date: 2007
Abstract: The robbery and restitution of Jewish property are two inextricably linked social processes. It is not possible to understand the lawsuits and international agreements on the restoration of Jewish property of the late 1990s without examining what was robbed and by whom. In this volume distinguished historians first outline the mechanisms and scope of the European-wide program of plunder and then assess the effectiveness and historical implications of post-war restitution efforts. Everywhere the solution of legal and material problems was intertwined with changing national myths about the war and conflicting interpretations of justice. Even those countries that pursued extensive restitution programs using rigorous legal means were unable to compensate or fully comprehend the scale of Jewish loss. Especially in Eastern Europe, it was not until the collapse of communism that the concept of restoring some Jewish property rights even became a viable option. Integrating the abundance of new research on the material effects of the Holocaust and its aftermath, this comparative perspective examines the developments in Germany, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

CONTENTS
List of Abbreviations
Preface

Part I: Introduction

Introduction: A History without Boundaries: The Robbery and Restitution of Jewish Property in Europe
Constantin Goschler and Philipp Ther

Part II: The Robbery of Jewish Property in Comparative Perspective

Chapter 1. The Seizure of Jewish Property in Europe: Comparative Aspects of Nazi Methods and Local Responses
Martin Dean

Chapter 2. Aryanization and Restitution in Germany
Frank Bajohr

Chapter 3. The Looting of Jewish Property in Occupied Western Europe: A Comparative Study of Belgium, France, and the Netherlands
Jean-Marc Dreyfus

Chapter 4. The Robbery of Jewish Property in Eastern Europe under German Occupation, 1939–1942
Dieter Pohl

Chapter 5. The Robbery of Jewish Property in Eastern European States Allied with Nazi Germany
Tatjana Tönsmeyer

Part III: The Restitution of Jewish Property in Comparative Perspective

Chapter 6. West Germany and the Restitution of Jewish Property in Europe
Jürgen Lillteicher

Chapter 7. Jewish Property and the Politics of Restitution in Germany after 1945
Constantin Goschler

Chapter 8. Two Approaches to Compensation in France: Restitution and Reparation
Claire Andrieu

Chapter 9. The Expropriation of Jewish Property and Restitution in Belgium
Rudi van Doorslaer

Chapter 10. Indifference and Forgetting: Italy and its Jewish Community, 1938–1970
Ilaria Pavan

Chapter 11. “Why Switzerland?” – Remarks on a Neutral’s Role in the Nazi Program of Robbery and Allied Postwar Restitution Policy
Regula Ludi

Chapter 12. The Hungarian Gold Train: Fantasies of Wealth and the Madness of Genocide
Ronald W. Zweig

Chapter 13. Reluctant Restitution: The Restitution of Jewish Property in the Bohemian Lands after the Second World War
Eduard Kubu and Jan Kuklík Jr.

Chapter 14. The Polish Debate on the Holocaust and the Restitution of Property
Dariusz Stola

Part IV: Concluding Remarks

Conclusion: Reflections on the Restitution and Compensation of Holocaust Theft: Past, Present, and Future
Gerald D. Feldman

Notes on Contributors
Select Bibliography
Index