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Author(s): Lev Ari, Lilach
Date: 2013
Abstract: This paper describes and analyzes the multiple ethnic identities and identifications among first-generation Jewish Israeli immigrants in Europe, and specifically in London and Paris, by means of closedend questionnaires (N=114) and in-depth semi-structured interviews (N=23). Israelis who live in Europe are strongly attached to Israel and are proud to present themselves as Israelis. Despite their place of residence, these Israelis, particularly those residing in London and over the age of 35, manage to find ways to preserve their Israeli identity. They also perceive the need to expose their children to other Israelis as another means of preventing assimilation. On the other hand, those who are under the age of 35, and in particular those residing in Paris, have less opportunity or less need to maintain their Israeli identity in Europe. The older Israelis in London are also somewhat more integrated with the proximal host and have a stronger Jewish identity than do younger Israelis, particularly those residing in Paris. Living in Europe allows Israelis to flourish economically without having to identify with or belong to a cultural and social ethnic niche. The ethnic identity of first-generation Israeli immigrants in Europe is multifaceted. While it is primarily transnational, it is also dynamic and constantly changing though various interactions and is, of course, susceptible to current local and global political and economic events. For younger Israeli immigrants, assimilation into the non-Jewish population appears to be a possible form of identity and identification. This assimilation may be moderated among young adults who build bridges with local Jewish communities in tandem with their transnational formal connections with Israel, a process that can benefit both sides. Such a process - the reconstruction of ethnic Israeli-Jewish identity and collaborative identification with local Jews - has the potential to strengthen and enhance the survivability of European Jewry at large.
Author(s): Miller, Helena
Date: 2010
Abstract: Whilst the focus for the community in the last twenty years has been on putting enormous resources into developing the day school system in the UK, the result has been that the supplementary system has lagged behind in every sense. One reason for this deficiency of resourcing is that the community has been focusing their attention on the goal of having almost all Jewish children in Jewish day schools by 2020. A consultative research project has taken place to determine recommendations to take to the UJIA to invest in a strategy which addresses the needs of those children who attend supplementary Jewish schools and not Jewish day schools, as the locus for their Jewish education. Stage One was comprised of desk research to determine the history, demography, and quantitative data related to the field of supplementary Jewish schooling in the UK. Stage Two involved interviews with professionals and lay leaders throughout the different denominational sectors (Liberal, Reform, Masorti, and Orthodox). 14 individual semi-structured interviews were conducted over a four week period. Stage Three put theory and research into practice. A series of group meetings attended by key professionals and stakeholders working in central agencies and synagogues in supplementary education across the community took place. The purpose of these meetings was to work towards recommendations for a strategy to re-energize the cheder system. At present, one year later, such a strategy is already in place to address the outcomes of the research.