The countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) are the home today for a substantial number of Jews, many of whom live in poor, economically disadvantaged communities. Throughout the FSU, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has supported the development of Hesed welfare and Jewish community centers to assist in the provision of services to Jews in need and to support the renewal of Jewish life after years of suppression. The present report is designed to review the current economic, health, and social conditions of these elderly Jews in need in the FSU and to compare their circumstances, as best possible, to their counterparts who live in western countries such as the United States.
Data from a large number of sources are reviewed and analyzed, including national statistics, national and local surveys, and client-level data. The data indicate clearly that, in view of demographic composition, as well as economic and social conditions, elderly Jews in the FSU have tremendous needs for supportive services funded by philanthropy compared to their peers in the United States. The comparisons also highlight the disparities in available care among those most in need.
There is a clear need for external support for basic health and social services for elderly Jews in the FSU. Twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there is not an adequate safety net for the elderly. The situation is in flux and there are unique challenges associated with understanding service delivery in societies that are in transition. The available data on pensions and living circumstances make clear that the economic situation for elderly in the FSU who seek Hesed services is dire. Faced with increasing costs for basic needs such as utilities and food, along with health services including essential medicines, quality care and homecare, the pension amounts that Hesed clients rely on are inadequate to meet their needs.
This innovative empirical study examines written examples of antisemitism in contemporary Germany. It demonstrates that hostility against Jews is not just a right-wing phenomenon or a phenomenon among the uneducated, but is manifest among all social classes, including intellectuals.
Drawing on 14,000 letters and e-mails sent between 2002 and 2012 to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and to the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as communications sent between 2010 and 2011 to Israeli embassies in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain, this volume shows how language plays a crucial role in activating and re-activating antisemitism. In addition, the authors investigate the role of emotions in antisemitic argumentation patterns and analyze “anti-Israelism” as the dominant form of contemporary hatred of Jews.
The author explains the situation of the Lithuanian Jewish community, situating it in its historical and geopolitical context. The tiny remaining community (5,500) constitutes 0.2% of the population of Lithuania, has a 41% rate of intermarriage, and 56% of their children are born into families of mixed-origin. Only 42% of them identify themselves as Jewish. To what extent Jews might disappear in Lithuania and how quickly that could occur depends on the current and future Jewish identity of children from mixed marriages, and the focus of the author's research is the role of Jewish women in the promotion of children's Jewish identity in the mixed family.
The author provides an overview of Jewish history in the former Yugoslavia, with an emphasis on the lives and activities of women. Until the Holocaust, the diverse Jewish community prospered and Jewish women's organizations multiplied and grew. Jewish women were active in organizing and providing aid, in supplies and medical work, in every Balkan war. After the decimation of the Holocaust, only a fraction of the community remained. Yugoslavia enjoyed relative freedom of movement and freedom of religion under communism, however, and eventually some women's organizations were rebuilt and were able to continue their benevolent work throughout the modern conflicts, even at the high point of violence in Sarajevo. Each of the new countries continues to have its own women's organizations, even in smaller communities like Split, where the Jewish population is only 120.
In giving an overview of Jewish women in Great Britain I intend to touch on three areas: Jewish organizations; participation in synagogue life; and the position of Jewish women's research in Britain. The main sources for the data I quote are the regular compilations of synagogue membership and estimates of population which the Board of Deputies Community Research Unit has conducted regularly the past thirty years; and two recent large scale-studies: The Review of Women in the Jewish Community in 1993 for the Chief Rabbi's Commission on Women; and The Survey of Social Attitudes of British Jews conducted by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in 1995.
The author presents an outline of the history of Jewish women in Italy, going back to their involvement with Jewish and Christian courts in the late Middle Ages. Highlights include women's struggles against forced conversion, anti-Semitism, and the creation of the Italian ghetto; women's involvement in Garibaldi's Resorgimento; the early popularization of the Bat Mitzvah celebration; the first Italian Jewish woman to have a rabbinic education; women's role in the anti-Nazi resistance and later in Holocaust awareness; and finally women's active leadership in the modern Italian Jewish community.
• Foreword—Sylvia Barack Fishman
• Preface—Joanna Beata Michlic
• Jewish Families in Europe, 1939–Present: History, Representation, and Memory—An Introduction—Joanna Beata Michlic
• PART I: PARENTHOOD AND CHILDHOOD UNDER SIEGE, 1939–1945
• Parenthood in the Shadow of the Holocaust—Dalia Ofer
• Clandestine Activities and Concealed Presence: A Case Study of Children in the Kraków Ghetto—Joanna Sliwa
• Resistance in Everyday Life: Family Strategies, Role Reversals, and Role Sharing in the Holocaust—Lenore J. Weitzman
• The National Institute for the Israelite Deaf-Mute in Budapest, 1938–1948: A Case Study for the Rescue Strategy of Continuously Operating Jewish Communal Institutions—Kinga Frojimovics
• Moving Together, Moving Alone: The Story of Boys on a Transport from Auschwitz to Buchenwald—Kenneth Waltzer
• Life in Hiding and Beyond—Jennifer Marlow
• PART II: AFTER THE WAR: REBUILDING SHATTERED LIVES, RECOLLECTING WARTIME EXPERIENCES
• A Zionist Home: Jewish Youths and the Kibbutz Family after the Holocaust—Avinoam Patt
• What Does a Child Remember? Recollections of the War and the Early Postwar Period among Child Survivors from Poland—Joanna Beata Michlic
• Memory Imprints: Testimonies as Historical Sources—Rita Horváth
• “I Will Not Be Believed”: Benjamin Tenenbaum and the Representation of the Child Survivor—Boaz Cohen and Gabriel N. Finder
• Transcending Memory in Holocaust Survivors’ Families—Uta Larkey
• Holocaust Child Survivors, Sixty-Five Years after Liberation: From Mourning to Creativity—Eva Fogelman
• Afterword: In Defense of Eyewitness Testimonies: Reflections of a Writer and Child Survivor of the Holocaust—Henryk Grynberg
• List of Contributors
Hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and their children currently live in North America. The Jewish identity of the young adults in this group is a source of broad concern in the Jewish community. Taglit-Birthright Israel (Taglit), which provides 10-day educational trips to Israel for Jewish young adults ages 18 to 26, is one program that has successfully engaged Jewish young adults with roots in the FSU. Drawing on draws on data collected in a set of surveys conducted approximately three months before and after the Taglit trips in summer ’07, winter ’07-’08, and summer ’08, as well as focus groups and in-depth interviews, this report paints a comprehensive portrait of Russian-speaking Taglit participants.
This report examines the sociodemographic characteristics, backgrounds and current Jewish and Russian identities and engagement of Taglit participants with roots in the FSU. It then examines their Taglit experience and the impact of the trip. Finally, the report explores potential avenues to engage this group’s unique Russian-Jewish cultural and linguistic heritage and draw them into American Jewish life.