The article explores the transformation of the Jewish community in South Africa and the strategies that have been pursued by the community to forge a new identity whereby secular Zionism has been shifted towards religious Zionism; moderate Orthodoxy has been replaced with Ultra Orthodoxy and the perceived unity of the community has been maintained by advancing exclusion and seclusion. The article investigates how this identity has evolved in response to local and global changes. It argues that South Africa's transformation to democracy has not seemed to open up the community to new possibilities, but has instead made it more inward-looking and insular. The article calls to the community to face and debate its shifting identity, to broaden its boundaries and to create a new content that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, tolerance and openness to others.


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pp. 23-44
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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