Contemporary Jewries: Convergence and Divergence

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This is a book about Klal Yisrael, the worldwide commonwealth of the Jewish people. The main question asked, is whether one can still speak of 'one' Jewish people, encompassing all Jews in the world.
The Jewish collective identity stands at new crossroads of multicultural ideologies and transnational diasporism. Jewry is experiencing an existential problem in today's changing society, shifting between convergence and unity on the one hand and divergence and division on the other hand. Quo vadis, O Jewish people? Rather than fully answering this question, researchers from Israel, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, Russia, France and Belgium try to open up the discussion in this book.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Eliezer Ben-Rafael is Weinberg Professor of Political Sociology and co-director of the Klal Yisrael Project at the Tel-Aviv University. He is the President of the International Institute of Sociology and has published extensively, including Ethnicity, Religion and Class in Israeli Society (1991), Language, Identity and Social Division: The Case of Israel (1994), Crisis and Transformation (1997) and Jewish Identities: Fifty Intellectuals Answer Ben-Gurion (Brill, 2002). He has co-edited Language and Communication in Israel (2001) and Identity, Culture and Globalization (Brill, 2002).
Yosef Gorny is Professor of History and co-chair of the Klal Yisrael Project at Tel-Aviv University. He is the incumbent of the Speigel Family Chair of the History of European Jewry. He has published numerous books, including The British Labor Movement and Zionism (1948), (1972), Zionism and the Arabs 1882-1948- A Study of Ideology (1979), The State of Israel in Jewish Public Thought: The Quest for Collective Identity (1994), From Rosh Pina and Deganya to Dimona: A History of Constructive Zionism (1992) and Between Auschwitz and Jerusalem (Jewish Books, 2004).
Yaacov Ro'i is Research Fellow of the Cummings Center and Professor of History at Tel-Aviv University. He is the author of numerous works, among them Soviet Decision Making in Practice, The USSR and Israel 1947-1954 (1980) and The Struggle for Soviet Jewish Emigration 1948-1967 (1991). He is the editor of Jews and Jewish Life in Russia and the Soviet Union (1995), and co-editor of Soviet Jews Culture and Identity (1991) and of Russian Jews on Three Continents – Migration and Resettlement (1997).
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Klal Yisrael: From Halakha to History 13
2 Is the Jewish Diaspora Unique? 23
3 World Jewish Population at the Dawn of the 21st Century 45
4 The Meaning of Jewish-Israeli Identity 65
5 Israel and its Covenant: Religious-Zionist Thought 78
6 Israeli-Jewish Identities 93
7 The Significance of Israel in Modern Jewish Identities 118
8 Between Two Zions 103
9 Unraveling the Ethnoreligious Package 143
10 Identity and Identification of Jewish Baby Boomers 151
11 Jewish Continuity from the Reform-Judaism Perspective 161
12 Soviet Jewry from Identification to Identity 183
13 The Meanings of Jewishness in Russia and Ukraine 194
14 Russia-Jewish Ethnicity: Israel and Russia Compared 216
15 The Dilemma of Russian-Born Adolescents in Israel 235
16 The Changing French Jewish Identity 255
17 Is the French Model in Decline? 266
18 To be Jewish in Belgium These Days 282
19 Israel in Jewish Communal Life - South America 291
20 Israel and Argentine Jews: Complementary or Conflicting? 306
21 Argentine Jewry in a Period of Economic Crisis 335
22 The Space and Dilemmas of Contemporary Jewish Identities 343
Glossary 360
Bibliography 363
Contributors 382
Index 385
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