Russian Jewish Immigrants as the Catalyst of New Jewish Pluralism in Re-Unified Germany
Euro-Asian Jewish Policy papers No 15 (March 11, 2019) — Фото: Bild.de
Russian Jews have immigrated to re-unified Germany in surprisingly huge numbers since the early 1990ies. Their arrival made almost no impact on politics and society in Germany, and in public life Russian Jews are usually not distinguished from other people coming from the former Soviet Union and its successor states. Though, the Russian Jewish immigration has radically changed Jewish community life in Germany, making Jews in Germany today constitute the third biggest Jewish community in Western Europe. In addition, they used a chance to develop distinct pluralistic structures ranging from liberal, Reform and rather cultural projects to orthodox and modern-orthodox, independent educational institutions, academic Jewish studies till intellectual clubs, theatres and political initiatives. On the other hand, the first generation of Russians Jews came to Germany was strongly disappointed by professional downgrading and longstanding unemployment. The second generation of Russian Jews in Germany does not face the integration problems of their parents at all, and this makes them different also from other immigrated minorities in Germany – but their very fragmented and added identities makes a new challenge to the local Jewish communities’ future.
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