Ex-Soviets in Israel
From Personal Narratives to a Group Portrait
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Wayne State University Press
Our interest in the study of the folk culture of the Soviet immigrants to Israel had begun before we first met at a conference where each of us presented a paper on the cultural aspects of immigration. Encouraged by the audience’s interest in the...
We are grateful to the University of Haifa and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for awarding us a one-year grant promoting joint research by the academic staff of these two institutions and to the Research Authority of the University...
A Note on Transliteration and Translation
This book is a study of personal-experience stories in which Israelis from the former Soviet Union (FSU) relate their immigration experiences. It was conceived as a culture study that focuses on people and their thoughts, memories...
1. Fieldwork and Methods
Material for the book was drawn from face-to-face interviews with immigrants to Israel from the FSU conducted from 1999 to 2002. The total sample was made up of 123 interviews with 143 subjects who immigrated to Israel...
2. Immigration and Evolution of Identity
In chapter 1 we raised the issue of immigrants’ self-identification when we discussed the demographic profile of the FSU immigrants. Now we will look into factors that influence the personal and collective identity of the FSU...
3. The Image of the Other in Personal Narratives
There is hardly a society without a division of we and they based on various distinctions, be it race and ethnicity, religion, or social status. The problem of the other has long been studied by philosophers and sociologists in the context...
4. Symbolic Dimensions of Time and Space
Time and space are among the most overworked categories discussed in various fields related to society–-philosophy, sociology, psychology, behavioral geography, literary studies, folkloristics, and linguistics. Scholars in these...
5. Lucky Coincidence, Fate, and Miracles in Immigrants’ Lives
It has become customary among scholars of miracles to start treatises on the subject by putting the multiplicity of definitions in order and clarifying what they intend to study. Philosophers and theologians are concerned...
6. Language and Immigrants’ Identity
The topic of immigration is closely related to language. Immigrants’ stories can be viewed as speech portraits in which individual mannerisms intertwine with verbal behavior characteristic of the whole community. Because Russian...
7. The New Life of Russian and Soviet Folklore in Israel
As stated in the introduction to this book, the interviews we conducted incorporate elements of traditional and contemporary folklore. According to our observations, jokes, proverbs, and jocular rhymes are among the most frequent genres of the immigrants’...
In recent years folkloristics has been increasingly interested in what Bausinger (1990) calls “folk culture in a world of technology” and Nekludov, “postfolklore” (http://ruthenia.ru/folklore/ postfolk.htm, 9 January 2005). Many researchers in the field...
Appendix: List of the Interviewees