Volume 13, 2008 : Between Tradition and Modernity : The Plurality of Jewish Customs and Rituals

Immigrant Jews of the Caucasus in New York and Moscow: Ethno-Cultural Identity and Community Organization
Chen Bram
Truman Institute,
Hebrew University of Jerusalem , Israel


This article brings together two case studies from a larger research project on collective identity, ethnic categorization and community life among Jews of the Caucasus who migrated from their homelands to Israel, USA and Central Russia. It shows how this distinctive group of Jews strives to preserve its culture, language and social ties by building community organizations and forging new relationships with the surrounding majority and other Jewish groups. Specifically, the author focuses on the encounter between Jews of the Caucasus with Russian Jews that challenges the accepted binary oppositions between Mizrahi/Sephardic and Ashkenazi identities used in the Israeli and American Jewish discourse.

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