Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

When he was a child, Zinovi heard his grandmother recite an old Yiddish proverb: “A taker is not a giver; a giver is not a taker” [in Russian, bratel’ ne davatel’, davatel’ ne bratel’]. The meaning of the proverb, Zinovi explains, is that there should always be a balance between giving and receiving...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

I am enormously indebted to my professors Edna Lomsky-Feder and Eyal Ben-Ari of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for their invaluable guidance, support and belief in this project.
This project began as my doctoral dissertation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and it could never have come to fruition without generous...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-24

At the beginning of the 1990s, the Federal Republic of Germany officially opened its gates to Russian Jewish migration from the collapsing Soviet empire. Since then, more than 200,000 immigrants have resettled in Germany. For the hosts, acceptance of the Russian Jews was another step in...

read more

Part 1: Spaces of Consumption

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-28

Any plan to immigrate includes fantasies and dreams, hopes and expectations about the country of destination. It is no surprise that, when reality sinks in, immigrants often experience disillusionment and frustration. The “American dream,” the promise of success and affluence that attracted Soviet...

read more

1. Building Projects of Well-Being

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 29-42

“We live well here. We have enough of everything. One has only to know how to manage it in the right way.” I heard statements such as these repeatedly from immigrants. It took me some time of managing my own life in Germany—shopping, paying bills—before I realized that “managing it in...

read more

2. Khaliava

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 43-60

“If you want to really understand the nature of this migration,” forty-five-year- old Vladimir told me in a voice full of sarcasm, “you should go to the Tafel.” Tafel is a network of shops throughout the country that distributes products free of charge to the needy. Products that have not sold at other...

read more

3. Reflections over a Full Supermarket Cart

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 61-76

Izabella is a heroine of the play Dreck mit Pfeffer [Shit with pepper]: A Romance of Immigrant Life, written by the immigrant author Yuri Rosov (2002). The Yiddish idiom used in the title, dreck mit pfeffer, Rosov explained to me, alludes to the ambivalence and complexity of everything in life and, as...

read more

Part II: Work and Employment

In the era of postindustrial transformations, work has become a scarce resource (Aronowitz and DiFazio 1994; Beck 2000; Rifkin 1995), while its role as a cardinal social institution determining social and civil status, identity, and self-image on both an individual and collective level has been...

read more

4. Working Nonworkers

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 79-98

German society has long been said to be in the midst of a “crisis of work” (Bender and Seifert 1996; Kalberg 1992; Matthes 1983). Yet, despite transformations in its meanings and forms, the culture of work in Germany remains a powerful force. Reflecting on the society surrounding them (in...

read more

5. The Sotsial’shchik

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 99-116

This chapter focuses on the sotsial’shchik, as the welfare recipient is called among the immigrants. The sotsial’shchik type, as I identify it, is the antithesis of the type of immigrant we met in the previous chapter—in this case, one who is driven by a quest for employment and civic engagement through...

read more

6. Work as a Line of Demarcation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 117-130

A column titled “One of Us,” which appeared in the popular Russian language newspaper Russkaia Germania (Russian Germany), told the story of Eva Abramovna Tsin, a seventy-two-year-old immigrant to Berlin. Eva Abramovna is presented as a witness and survivor of the battle of Stalingrad...

read more

Part III: Reinventing Tradition

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 131-134

The reinvention of Jewishness, the re-creation of Jewish life with a strong and functional Jewish community at its center, has been central to the host German state’s expectations and vision of the project of Russian Jewish immigration to Germany (see Becker 2003; Ostow 2003). For its part, the...

read more

7. Playing at Being Jews

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-154

“I would call all the people who came here with the Jewish migration to Germany the ‘children of Lieutenant Schmidt,’ and I am one of them, neither better nor worse than the others,” observed Volodia, a man in his late fifties who immigrated to Germany from Ukraine in the late 1990s...

read more

8. Haunting Images

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-168

Continuing the inquiry into the difficulties of re-creating a strong Jewish identity, tradition, and community, this chapter focuses on the haunting images of Jewishness as they become tangible in the immigrants’ descriptions of and references to Jewish communal centers, where the life of local...

read more

9. The Instrumentalization Trope

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-182

This chapter explores the roots and questions the impacts of the widespread internal discourse within the immigrant community of the instrumentalization of Jewishness. By “instrumentalization” I mean interest in and practice of Jewishness as driven mostly by people’s desire to achieve material gain...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 183-192

Examining the encounter of Russian Jewish immigrants with their host country, Germany, this ethnography has focused on immigrants’ involvement in three central arenas: consumption, work and employment, and re-constructing Jewish identity and community. Each arena reveals a different...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 193-202

References

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 203-230

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 231-235