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Continuity, Commitment, and Survival: Jewish Communities in the Diaspora
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Continuity, Commitment, and Survival: Jewish Communities in the Diaspora (Hardback)

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Issues of continuity, survival, and identity have generated apparently unending debates throughout the Jewish world for centuries. While similar issues arise in all Jewish communities, there are significant differences between them. This collection was designed to highlight differences as well as similarities by devoting a chapter to each of seven countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In four communities-those in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States-debates about continuity are mainly concerned with the loss of Jewish identity through assimilation. In Argentina and South Africa, the main issue is with physical survival in the face of chaotic social conditions. In France, although the situation is less dire, the community feels threatened by the rise of xenophobic political movements and the hostility of Arab groups. Apart from external factors, all the contributors review debates over the relative importance of religion and ethnic identity, and the contrasting positions taken by religious leaders and secularists.

While the study offers no clear-cut answers, it does aim to broaden the debate by exposing national differences.

SOL ENCEL is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of New South Wales. Since 1991, he has been an honoarary research associate at the Social Policy Research Centre, also at the University of New South Wales. His previous publications include The New South Wales Jewish Community and The Arab-Israeli Conflict. LESLIE STEIN is Senior Research Fellow at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of The Hope Fulfilled: The Rise of Modern Israel and series editor for the Praeger series on Jewish and Israeli Studies.

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