Abstract: Jews were only occasional visitors in Iceland from the 17th century onward. Until the 1930s, the Holy Scripture as well as the most recent European trends in anti-Semitism constituted nearly the only knowledge the Icelanders had about the Jews. Jews in the flesh materialized as Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Most of the refugees moved on to other countries, and some were even expelled or deported. In the postwar period, Jews living in Iceland remained an isolated group. They quickly realized that most Icelanders showed no concern about the sufferings some of them had undergone during WW II. Members of the prewar Icelandic Nazi Party became high-ranking officials, war criminals found safe haven in Iceland, and an odd, social-democratic politician even engaged in publishing an anti-Semitic journal along with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Icelandic. Possibly because of anti-Semitic sentiments, some Jews in Iceland tried to conceal their Jewish background altogether. At present, the small Icelandic Jewish community keeps a low profile amid rising anti-Semitism centered on the Middle East.
Abstract: In 2014, after 150 years of continuous existence, the Lucerne Jewish community hardly exists. The decline of the Jewish community in Lucerne is mirrored in many places throughout Switzerland. There are fewer than 18,000 Jews in Switzerland, while the number of Swiss Jews in Israel is estimated at some 14,000, with many younger and more committed Jews relocating there. The Swiss Jewish community is shrinking at an alarming rate and has far less influence than in previous years.
Topics: Finance, Poverty, Jewish Organisations, Jewish-Non-Jewish Relations, Care and Welfare, Main Topic: Other
Abstract: The development and functioning of the welfare system in Ukraine is an important condition for Jewish communal survival in post-Soviet countries. Social welfare must be based on demographics and the needs of local communities. The Joint as well as local Jewish communities must work together in order to solve current problems, especially in the area of financing the various projects. This essay outlines the problems currently facing the Jewish social welfare organizations in Ukraine and offers some solutions.
Abstract: This essay examines the roots of Jewish revival in Russia from the late Brezhnev period to the present. The development of the various institutions existing in today’s Jewish community in Russia is surveyed and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the emergence of a stable indigenous community leadership. The essay looks at the internal social and political relations within the Jewish community as well as the relations of the community with the changing post-Soviet Russian regimes.
Topics: Jewish Organisations, Jewish Leadership, Jewish Politics, Main Topic: Identity and Community
Abstract: The reestablishment of organized Jewish life in the Russian Federation involved four steps: The period of informal, mostly underground and dispersed Jewish movements of the late Soviet era (from the late 1970s until 1989); the period of the first legal umbrella organizations, which dominated organized Jewish life during 1989-1996; the second half of the 1990s, featuring the leading role of the Russian Jewish Congress and affiliated organizations; and the period of the regrouping of political and organizational structures, which began in 2000.
Institutionalization of the Post-Communist Jewish Movement: Organizational Structures, Ruling Elites, and Political Conflicts
Abstract: Soviet Jews endured administrative, political, and societal anti-Semitism for years, and by the early 1960s the rich political tradition of Eastern European Jewry had been almost totally lost. In the post-Soviet period, a Jewish institutional infrastructure began to appear and develop, leading to the political advancement of a Jewish communal elite. However, the political institutionalization of the Jewish movement has become somewhat controversial and there is still some unfinished business as to its ultimate character.