This collection examines various aspects of Jewish migration within, from and to eastern Europe between 1880 and the present. It focuses on not only the wide variety of factors that often influenced the fateful decision to immigrate, but also the personal experience of migration and the critical role of individuals in larger historical processes.
Including contributions by historians and social scientists alongside first-person memoirs, the book analyses the historical experiences of Jewish immigrants, the impact of anti-Jewish violence and government policies on the history of Jewish migration, the reception of Jewish immigrants in a variety of centres in America, Europe and Israel, and the personal dilemmas of those individuals who debated whether or not to embark on their own path of migration.
By looking at the phenomenon of Jewish migration from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and in a range of different settings, the contributions to this volume challenge and complicate many widely-held assumptions regarding Jewish migration in modern times. In particular, the chapters in this volume raise critical questions regarding the place of anti-Jewish violence in the history of Jewish migration as well as the chronological periodization and general direction of Jewish migration over the past 150 years. The volume also compares the experiences of Jewish immigrants to those of immigrants from other ethnic or religious communities.
As such, this collection will be of much interest to not only scholars of Jewish history, but also researchers in the fields of migration studies, as well as those using personal histories as historical sources. This book was originally published as a special issue of East European Jewish Affairs.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Jewish migration in modern times: the case of Eastern Europe 1. Mr. Lewinstein goes to parliament: rethinking the history and historiography of Jewish immigration 2. "Between the straits": Jewish immigration to the United States and Palestine, 1915–1925 3. Jewish emigration from communist Poland: the decline of Polish Jewry in the aftermath of the Holocaust 4. Surmounting obstacles to migration and repatriation amid Polish and Israeli nation-building 5. Swedish policy on Jewish immigration from Poland, 1968–1972 6. Conflicting visions: debates relating to Soviet Jewish emigration in the global arena 7. The emigration intentions of Russian Jews: the role of socio-demographic variables, social networks, and satisfaction with life 8. Media, politics, and Jewish migration from East Europe amid the military crisis in Ukraine, 2014–2015 9. The long silent revolution: capturing the life stories of Soviet-Jewish migrants to the West, 1970–2010 9A. That’s what I did 9B. Excerpt from "Now I know that there are other countries"
Semion Goldin is a Senior Research Fellow at the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.
Mia Spiro is a Lecturer in Jewish Studies in the School of Critical Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK.
Scott Ury is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History, and Director of the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, Israel.