Jewish Political Studies Review Abstracts
Volume 14, Numbers 1-2 (Spring 5762/2002)
"Jewish Politics and Community-Building
in the Former Soviet Union"
INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF THE POST-COMMUNIST JEWISH MOVEMENT: ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES, RULING ELITES, AND POLITICAL CONFLICTS
Vladimir (Ze'ev) Khanin
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.
ORGANIZED NATIONAL LIFE OF RUSSIAN JEWS IN THE LATE SOVIET AND POST-SOVIET ERA:
A VIEW FROM MOSCOW
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.
THE PHOENIX REVISITED -
THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF RUSSIA SINCE PERESTROIKA:
A VIEW FROM JERUSALEM
Theodore H. Friedgut
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.
WELFARE POLICY AND SOCIAL SECURITY IN POST-COMMUNIST JEWISH COMMUNITIES:
THE CASE OF UKRAINE
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.
SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF THE
COMMUNAL REVIVAL: YIDDISH CULTURE AND POST-SOVIET JEWRY
Even though Yiddish as a spoken language will most likely disappear in the former Soviet Union, it will still be needed as a symbol of Jewish identity - one that is not overtly Zionist or religious. Yiddish, with its rich culture and literature, can be utilized to help Jews reconnect with their roots. In Israel, older immigrants, whose knowledge of Yiddish is not fluent, and who are unable to master Hebrew, employ Yiddish in order to communicate. Zionist Yiddishism has become one of the ideological components in the identity of immigrants from the former USSR, and enables them to link up with some form of Jewish culture as they integrate into the life of Israel.
PRINCIPLES OF TEACHING HEBREW AND JEWISH SUBJECTS TO RUSSIAN SPEAKERS IN THE FSU AND ISRAEL
(Article in Hebrew)
This essay deals with the proper policy for Hebrew language instruction for Russian speakers in the FSU and Israel. Such a policy should be formulated in light of the unique background of the immigrants, to enable them to achieve the goal of learning the language in order to integrate into Israel and its culture, using the appropriate methods and tools. It is necessary to adopt different policies than are used in ulpans in the diaspora and in Israel. Hebrew language instruction should act to deepen an individual's identification with the State of Israel and the people of Israel, and serve as a tool for understanding the rich Jewish-Israeli cultural background in all its facets.