Volume 12, 2007 : Immigrant Scholars Write about Identity and Integration

The Acculturation Process of Bukharian Community Members in Israel
Nadia Dahan
Israel

Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt
The Department of English and Research Division
Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel


The present study investigated the acculturation process of the Bukharian Jews in Israel with the focus on inter-generational gaps. The research focused on the Bukharians' level of language proficiency in Hebrew, Russian and Bukharian, their identities and acculturation patterns in Israel, and their attitudes towards respective languages and cultures. The research was informed by the multidimensional model of acculturation (Berry, 1980, 1997). The respondents included 128 students (second generation) studying in various academic institutions and 112 of the students' parents (first generation) who immigrated to Israel during the 1970s and the 1990s from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The results suggest that the preferred mode of acculturation among both generations is the integrative one revealing a desire to adapt to the new culture and acquire the new language, while at the same time maintaining their linguistic and cultural heritage. The findings also point to the process of assimilation among the Bukharian community, with the younger generation slowly losing its heritage.

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