The Jews of Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk: Identity, Antisemitism, Emigration

Overview

The Jews of the former Soviet Union have always been the subject of intense controversy. In the past 25 years, especially, they have been the source of considerable speculation. How many of them are there? How strongly do they identify themselves as Jews? How do they perceive antisemitism in their countries? Will they leave or will they stay? If they leave, where will they go? The issues swirling around the Jews in the republics now known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have sparked debate because...
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Illustrated with several black and white photographs. Includes subject index, name index, and 8-page section of sources cited. 142 pages.

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Overview

The Jews of the former Soviet Union have always been the subject of intense controversy. In the past 25 years, especially, they have been the source of considerable speculation. How many of them are there? How strongly do they identify themselves as Jews? How do they perceive antisemitism in their countries? Will they leave or will they stay? If they leave, where will they go? The issues swirling around the Jews in the republics now known as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have sparked debate because the status of these Jews has deep policy implications for Russia, Israel, the United States, and other countries. Too little fact has informed this debate, and even less theory. Until very recently, surveys of the actual intentions, perceptions, motivations, and fears of Jews in the region were out of the question. For obvious reasons, this has all changed. This volume is the first based on an on-site survey of Jews in the CIS. In addition to providing data on the Jews of Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk - who collectively account for over a quarter of all Jews residing in the three Slavic republics of the CIS - the author places the survey results in their social and historical contexts. He explains why ethnic distinctiveness persisted and even became accentuated in the Soviet era and also describes the position of Jews in Soviet and post-Soviet society and some of the dilemmas they face. This book will be crucial reading for anyone interested not only in the general situation of the Jews of the former Soviet Union but in their actual perceptions, worldviews, and plans for the future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814712306
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/1994
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 5.45 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert J. Brym teaches in the Department of Sociology and the Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Photographs
Foreword
Preface
1 The Scope of the Study 1
2 The Jews in Soviet and Post-Soviet Society 6
The Persistence of Ethnicity in the Soviet Era 6
The Jewish Dilemma 11
3 Identity 19
How Many Jews Live in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus? 19
How Jewish Are They? 24
What Determines Jewishness? 27
4 Antisemitism 38
Antisemitism as a Reaction to Post-Communism 38
Antisemitism and Public Opinion Polls 39
The Frequency of Antisemitic Attitudes in Moscow 41
Antisemitic Attitudes in the CIS 45
The Social Determinants of Antisemitism 48
Jewish Perceptions of Antisemitism 52
Sociodemographic Variations 57
5 Emigration 66
The Size and Direction of the Emigration Movement, 1966-93 66
How Many Want to Leave? 75
Why Do They Want to Go? 78
Determinants of Migration Plans 82
Emigration Projections, 1994-99 88
6 Between East and West 94
Patterns of Accommodation 94
Summary of Main Findings 99
A Final Word on Method 101
Appendix A Methodological Notes 105
Appendix B The Questionnaire 112
Sources Cited 132
Name Index 140
Subject Index 142
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