Libmonster ID: EE-664
Author(s) of the publication: N. DARAGAN (Israel)

Institute for the Study of Israel and the Middle East-Hebrew University of Jerusalem-Open University of Israel, 2000. 400 p.

The Institute for the Study of Israel and the Middle East and the Institute of Asian and African Studies at Lomonosov Moscow State University held a conference on "Society, Politics and Culture of Modern Israel" in September 2000, focusing mainly on the problems of the "big Aliyah" (1989-2000) and more broadly on the social and cultural processes of modern Israeli society. The conference was attended by prominent Israeli sociologists and cultural scientists (M. Lissak, E. Ben-Raphael, T. Fridgut, I. Peres, D. Segal, etc.), their colleagues from the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (A. Fedorchenko, E. Nosenko, I. Masyukova, N. Semenchenko, A. Kornilov) and a number of scientists who began their scientific career He has been active in the USSR, and currently works at Israeli universities (N. Zilberg, V. Hanin, B. Kotik-Friedgut, etc.).

The peer-reviewed collection, edited by A. Epstein and A. Fedorchenko, includes a significant part (17) of the materials presented at the conference. Grouped into seven sections, they introduce the reader to a wide range of issues related to Russian Jewry in both Russia and Israel at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. Part of the articles (I will highlight the works of S. Lisitsa and I. Peres "Problems of self-identification of immigrants from the USSR / CIS in Israel and their relations with the natives of the country", V. Sobkin and Yu. Evstigneeva's "Attitude of Russians to Jews in Russia") are analytical reviews of sociological research conducted in recent years; they are provided with numerous statistical tables and diagrams. Some articles, for example, by T. Friedgut ("Generations and Politics: Some Changes in Worldview and political Preferences in modern Israel") and R. Nudelman ("Rewriting anew: Israeli Society in the Ongoing Search for Self-identification"), consider the problem in a long historical perspective; they do not rely on the authors ' applied research, but generalize rich Israeli literature in Hebrew, English and Russian on the issues raised.

The introductory article by A. Epstein, N. Kazakova and A. Tomilin "A sociological analysis of the integration of various waves of immigrants in Israeli society: from the past to the present" prepares the reader who is not sufficiently familiar with the history and modern problems of Israel to perceive further materials of the collection. Aliyah's short story and a broad panorama of social ideas and concepts provide the necessary background for concrete research. The introduction has an extensive scientific apparatus, it mentions more than thirty publications, but not all the works of Israeli scientists mentioned in the text appear in footnotes.

As for the principles of selecting and editing materials, the authors obviously put ethno-cultural and political issues at the forefront, leaving economic and demographic issues in the background (they are mentioned only in connection with the state's absorption policy or the Arab-Israeli conflict); no article is specifically devoted to these issues. The Israeli policy and practice of absorption is considered not only through the prism of issues related to the social, political and cultural integration of immigrants from the CIS countries in Israel, but also in the context of more general issues, namely: how will a sufficiently high degree of readiness of state structures not to hinder the development of isolationist tendencies among Russian-speaking citizens of Israel affect the Israeli society as a whole. Recent works by a number of leading Israeli sociologists, as well as representatives of Russian-speaking Israeli studies, have been written under this point of view. For example, the articles of the new director of the Israeli Cultural Center in Moscow, I. Tavor ("The impact of various waves of immigration on the development of musical and performing life in Israel"), psycholinguist B. Kotik-Friedgut ("The Dynamics of the language situation and language Policy in Israel"), Professor-literary critic D. Segal ("The Cultural Heritage of European Jewry and the socio-cultural identity of Israeli society in the XXI century") and political scientist I. Masyukova ("The Law of Return: Israeli Society and Russian-speaking Immigration in the 1990s").

page 214


The editors tried to ensure a high scientific level of the publication. The collection is distinguished by its logical harmony of articles, rich scientific apparatus, and successful composition. At the same time, the book is full of various opinions and ideas, with which, sometimes, the compilers disagree (pp. 29-30). Moreover, in the articles by N. Semenchenko ("Some aspects of the Israeli absorption policy: from the past to the present") and Sh. The Adler report ("Professional Retraining Programs for New Immigrants in Israel"), which focuses on the State's absorption policy, provides different data on the number of repatriates for the same periods. And this shows the reader that the authors not only build ambiguous interpretations, but also observe different facts. Perhaps such collections should also include an overview of the discussion that took place at the conference, although, of course, this will require additional time to prepare the book.

Some of the articles are general in nature and do not specifically relate to the topic of the "big Aliyah", but most of the authors of the collection focus on the problems of post-Soviet Jewry and the Russian-speaking community in Israel. It is interesting that one book discusses all the stages of the migration process. E. Nosenko ("Future repatriates-who are they? Point of view of an ethnologist") conducted a survey among descendants of mixed marriages (and they predominate in the reserve of the current aliyah) and found out that they do not have conscious attitudes towards aliyah, but at the same time many consider this as a backup way out. S. Lisitsa and I. Peres based on a survey of new repatriates conducted in 1999., They showed extremely low Israeli identification among the repatriates (8%), significant Jewish (45%) and Russian (47%). The dynamics of adaptation in the country changes this ratio, but the share of the Israeli component in it is still very low. However, the authors of the study do not dwell on the problems of national identity alone, but try to give a broad cultural portrait of the "Russian" Aliyah in comparison with Israeli society and in relation to it. In some ways, he has something in common, and in some ways disputes with these authors. Koenigstein in the article " Values and stereotypes "of Russian" repatriates: the experience of ethnomethodological research".

It is interesting that researchers of the "Russian community" in Israel do not come to a common opinion even on the question of whether this community exists and how stable it is. Social anthropologist N. Zilberg ("The Russian-Jewish intelligentsia in Israel: the search for new models of integration") considers it as an indisputable reality; R. Nudelman in the final work predicts the" Russian community " a long and painful search for its place in modern Israeli society; M. Koenigstein doubts its reality even today; V. Hanin ("Political elites, social structures and socio - political conflicts in the community of immigrants from the USSR/CIS in modern Israel") observes its rapid differentiation and does not assume that the community will be stable in the political life of Israel, although he makes some reservations about preserving cultural identity for a longer period.

Analyzing the prospects of integration of the Russian-speaking community in Israeli society, A. Epstein, N. Kazakova and A. Tomilin use an interesting conceptual model based on the works of the Australian sociologist I. Smolich. In the 1950s, both in Israel and in Anglo-Saxon democracies, the assimilationist idea of a "melting pot" dominated, suggesting that new arrivals would completely abandon their former socio-cultural identity and quickly master the language and culture of the dominant group of the new country. According to this model, it is good for the society as a whole and for the immigrants themselves that they are introduced as quickly as possible to the system of normative, value and cultural orientations adopted in the new society. Currently, the assimilationist model is no longer relevant, but what has replaced it? The authors of the preface argue that many countries (including Israel) have actually adopted models that can be described as "intermediate" between assimilation and cultural pluralism.

The first of these models - "temporary multiculturalism" - recognizes the temporary preservation of the culture of the countries of origin by immigrants, but assumes that in the foreseeable future immigrants will still undergo a process of cultural, normative and value assimilation. The second model - "culinary multiculturalism" - allows immigrants to retain some of the less significant components of identity adopted in the countries of origin (for example, clothing style, favorite dishes, etc.), while they generally accept the basic principles of cultural identity.-

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lagging cultural orientations and norms that exist in the new society. The authors of the introduction argue that, realizing the impossibility of implementing the idea of rapid assimilation, the state uses "intermediate" models and their combinations to achieve almost the same goals.

The model of" separate pluralism", which tends to be observed in civil society, does not imply any interchange between different communities within society. Each of them retains its own isolation and specific features, without seeking a constructive dialogue with representatives of other communities, but is recognized as legitimate, having equal rights within this social space. This model is embodied, for example, in Switzerland divided into linguistic cantons and, to some extent, in Belgium.

The actual antithesis of all these models is the model of "interactive multiculturalism". It is characterized not only by the lack of hierarchy between different cultural and normative systems, but also by a permanent state of dialogue, a tendency to interchange and mutual conversion of different cultures. Over the past two decades, such policies have been adopted by government institutions designed to integrate immigrants in countries such as Canada and Australia. Whether Israel will follow this path remains an open question.

The assimilation model actually proved to be ineffective in this society under these conditions, which became obvious already in the second half of the 1980s. At the same time, the state insists that immigrants must go through the process of acculturation, even if not as fast as it was previously assumed. Leaders of ethnic groups, public associations, and political parties formed on an ethno-cultural basis are much more interested in preserving the ethnic and cultural identity of the communities they lead, since this is a guarantee of their own relevance as community and political leaders. According to A. Epshtein, N. Kazakova and A. Tomilin, neither the state authorities nor community leaders are interested in moving to the model of "interactive multiculturalism", because this will require a high degree of readiness of the state to change the dominant ideology existing in the country, and community leaders to gradually self-destruct the purely ethnic structures they lead. The authors make a pessimistic conclusion that both sides are currently not capable of this.

S. Lisitsa and I. Peres analyze the presence or absence of an integration attitude among new repatriates using quantitative sociological methods, and N. Zilberg elaborates models for the implementation of these attitudes in detail. The researcher examines a number of community organizations of the "Russian" aliyah from the point of view of their chosen model of "cultural behavior". In general, N. Zilberg draws three models of community organizations: a model of gradual assimilation (a cultural center of immigrants from the USSR/CIS), a model of self-segregation (implemented by various communities), and a dialogue of cultures, selected by the Library of the Zionist Forum of Soviet Jewry. It should be noted that the Library of the Zionist Forum is not alone on this path: the Israeli Institute for Democracy is holding a cultural seminar with the same integrative goal, and the academic circles of Israel have created a public organization "Dialog "to get closer to the intelligentsia of the" Russian " Aliyah.

It is desirable that such conferences and collections become a regular event in our scientific life. Moreover, the interest in the subject does not weaken. In addition, some of the studies presented in this collection are obviously intended to be ongoing, designed to reveal the dynamics of the group in a changing host society. These include the work of A. Epstein, N. Heimetz, and N. Patlas, "Scientists, Universities, and Mass Immigration: the Past, Present, and Future of Israel's Higher Education System." When describing in detail the situation in the field of higher education and the problems of employment of repatriates, the authors are extremely careful to make forecasts for the future regarding the "Russian" community and "Russian" students and researchers in Israeli universities. Indeed, a very dynamic and politically changing society always leaves room for options. At the same time, it is possible to expand the range of problems by including extensive Israeli literature in Russian about the role of Aliyah in the performing arts and the impact of immigration on the Israeli army... Of course, such extensive plans are designed for more than one book.


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N. DARAGAN (Israel), МИГРАЦИОННЫЕ ПРОЦЕССЫ И ИХ ВЛИЯНИЕ НА ИЗРАИЛЬСКОЕ ОБЩЕСТВО // Tallinn: Library of Estonia (LIBRARY.EE). Updated: 29.06.2024. URL: https://library.ee/m/articles/view/МИГРАЦИОННЫЕ-ПРОЦЕССЫ-И-ИХ-ВЛИЯНИЕ-НА-ИЗРАИЛЬСКОЕ-ОБЩЕСТВО-2024-06-29 (date of access: 15.07.2024).

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