Topics: Jewish Revival, Jewish Studies, Universities / Higher Education, Jewish Education, Main Topic: Education, Holocaust Education, Interfaith Dialogue, Post-1989
Abstract: Jewish Studies in Germany reflects the tremendous demographic transformations of the Jewish community since 1990. Yet, this article also posits that non-Jewish Germans too have changed substantially due to immigration and new generational views on the legacy of the Holocaust. As such, Jewish Studies has to communicate the history of the German Jewry to Jews and Gentiles mostly unfamiliar with its rich legacy. It needs to comment on Holocaust memorialization to educate new generations of Gentiles as well as Jewish immigrants, for whom the end of the Cold War bears more significance than the Holocaust. Finally, it needs to be part of new conversations between Christians and Jews that also includes the large Muslim minority in Germany. While the changing audiences in Germany dictate a focus on Jews in Germany, Jewish Studies also needs to embrace a more European perspective reflective of the more comparative and transdisciplinary scholarship abroad. Despite the significant growth of Jewish Studies in Germany over the last two decades, these challenges call for even greater efforts.
Topics: Jewish Revival, Jewish Organisations, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Jewish Studies, Universities / Higher Education, Jewish Education, Main Topic: Education, Outreach
Convergent Aims: The revival of Jewish Studies in St. Petersburg and the search for Russia’s “unaffiliated Jews”
Topics: Assimilation, Jewish Revival, Jewish Organisations, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Affiliation and Belonging, Jewish Studies, Universities / Higher Education, Jewish Education, Main Topic: Education, Outreach
Abstract: Twentieth-century events in Russia and Eastern Europe resulted in complex definitions of Jewish identity and communal relations. When the Soviet Union disbanded, foreign agencies pushed funds and resources to rebuild Jewish communities and institutions. One of the avenues for this funding is the creation and support of academic research centers responsible for training students and scholars. Organizations interested in Russia’s “unaffiliated Jews” and the research centers responsible for the revival of Jewish Studies form unique partnerships that bridge academic and public arenas. Reclaiming Jews who do not identify with Judaism or Jewish culture (unaffiliated Jews) in Russia is a significant goal of some Jewish funding agencies in the United States and Israel. An examination of mission statements by these philanthropic agencies reveals narrow definitions of “Jews” that ignore major contributions from Jewish Studies scholars focused on understanding a diverse population with disparate self-understandings.