Search results

Your search found 24 items
Sort: Relevance | Topics | Title | Author | Publication Year
Home  / Search Results
Date: 2020
Date: 2020
Abstract: This chapter analyses the intersections between Judaism, conversion, belonging, and gender, through the lived material practice of the tallit. Conversion to a religious tradition is not merely a change in mind set, but rather implies the learning, performance and negotiation of a religious habitus. This is especially the case with conversions to Judaism, or giyur, which focuses on the learning of practices and commitment to synagogue life. Such process of ‘self-making’ is directly related to questions of gender and the possibility of taking on certain objects and tasks. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this chapter traces how conversion materialises in daily ritual practice for women in various Jewish communities in the specific ritual use of the prayer shawl, or tallit. Gender equality has been one of the prime topics by which liberal Judaism came to distinguish itself from orthodoxy in the Netherlands. A symbol of this difference is the use of the tallit by women, both in the local Dutch context as well as internationally. Historically, women have been excluded from Shul life, and wearing a tallit, as is permitted in liberal synagogues, can be revolutionary as a marker of inclusion. For converted women in the Jewish diaspora of the Netherlands, wearing the tallit in service can be a confirmation of their Jewishness, but is more often met with ambivalence. Some don’t practice, because they do not want to disturb the status quo, or because they see value in gender segregation in shul. Others do, for equally varied reasons, from political quests for emancipation, to pious desires for submission and devotion. As a compromise, specific forms of ‘women’s tallit’ have entered the synagogues, worn by women who do so out of pious desire. This chapter starts from these various prayer shawl practices, to trace broader questions of belonging. It asks not only how this object is used, but also which types of gender discourses, pious desires, and notions of agency are expressed through the use (or lack thereof) of a tallit.
Date: 2013
Abstract: The ways in which memories of the Holocaust have been communicated, represented and used have changed dramatically over the years. From such memories being neglected and silenced in most of Europe until the 1970s, each country has subsequently gone through a process of cultural, political and pedagogical awareness-rising. This culminated in the ’Stockholm conference on Holocaust commemoration’ in 2000, which resulted in the constitution of a task force dedicated to transmitting and teaching knowledge and awareness about the Holocaust on a global scale. The silence surrounding private memories of the Holocaust has also been challenged in many families. What are the catalysts that trigger a change from silence to discussion of the Holocaust? What happens when we talk its invisibility away? How are memories of the Holocaust reflected in different social environments? Who asks questions about memories of the Holocaust, and which answers do they find, at which point in time and from which past and present positions related to their societies and to the phenomenon in question? This book highlights the contexts in which such questions are asked. By introducing the concept of ’active memory’, this book contributes to recent developments in memory studies, where memory is increasingly viewed not in isolation but as a dynamic and relational part of human lives.

Contents: Introduction: the Holocaust as active memory; Linking religion and family memories of children hidden in Belgian convents during the Holocaust, Suzanne Vromen; Collective trajectory and generational work in families of Jewish displaced persons: epistemological processes in the research situation, Lena Inowlocki; In a double voice: representations of the Holocaust in Polish literature, 1980-2011, Dorota Glowacka; Winners once a year? How Russian-speaking Jews in Germany make sense of WWII and the Holocaust as part of transnational biographic experience, Julia Bernstein; Women’s peace activism and the Holocaust: reversing the hegemonic Holocaust discourse in Israel, Tova Benski and Ruth Katz; ’The history, the papers, let me see it!’ Compensation processes: the second generation between archive truth and family speculations, Nicole L. Immler; From rescue to escape in 1943: on a path to de-victimizing the Danish Jews. Sofie Lene Bak; Finland, the Vernichtungskrieg and the Holocaust, Oula Silvennoinen; Swedish rescue operations during the Second World War: accomplishments and aftermath, Ulf Zander; The social phenomenon of silence, Irene Levin; Index.