Cite: Charm, Newly Found Jews and the Politics of Recognition

Charm, Stuart Z. “Newly Found Jews and the Politics of Recognition.” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 80.2 (2012): 387-410.

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/oup/jaarel/2012/00000080/00000002/art00004

Abstract

In the latter half of the twentieth century, tribal groups throughout Africa and Asia who regard themselves as Jews, such as the Abayudaya of South Africa and the Mizo of northern India and Burma, sought the recognition of their Jewishness by established Jewish communities in Israel and the United States. This process of recognition reflects different understandings of Jewish identity and different political agendas among the various Jewish groups who have become involved with advocacy for newly found Jews. For Israeli Jewish organizations, recognition is based on a more essentialist view of Jewishness and is oriented toward socializing newly found Jews toward Orthodox Judaism and preparation for immigration to Israel. Newer American Jewish organizations reflect greater denominational diversity and a more postmodern understanding of Jewishness as fluid and open-ended. They treat recognition as part of a commitment to Jewish diversity and multiculturalism, with less attention to traditional normative definitions of Jewish identity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s