Russian Jews + Germany=Irony

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by beatsme, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #1
    The link is an interesting read.

    The backstory is that a lot of Russian Jews had fled the former USSR and wound up in Germany. The German Jewish community was growing increasingly concerned, because according to strict Jewish law, a lot of the new immigrants were not Jewish i.e. not born of a Jewish mother; it goes without saying that the distinction wasn't relevant to the former government of the Soviet Union. Germany was a very attractive destination for Soviet Jews, however, since the German government offered them (and Jews in particular) quite favorable terms for resettlement, relative to other races/religions/creeds.

    Anyway, the upshot was the Jewish community in Germany had started pressuring the government to tighten up immigration laws, so that those were not 100% Jewish would not be allowed into the country under such favorable terms. And the Israelis (!) had applied pressure to the German government as well, since they would obviously prefer to have whatever Jewish refugees there are settle in Israel. The German government was a bit hesitant to act, since they have something of a checkered past re: deciding who is and who isn't Jewish...

    I believe the immigration laws in Germany either have already or are about to change. So, if you think about it:

    German Jews, with the assistance of the Jewish homeland, have pressured the German government into keeping some of those who identify themselves as Jewish (and were persecuted as such) out of the country.

    odd...very very odd...
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    Germany's right of return made it very easy. Jewish organizations in Germany get a lot of money from the federal government. From the end of the war until this large wave of immigrants came, Jewish organizations in Germany were pretty insular. The Russian immigrants changed all that and are now a majority of the jews in Germany and in effect control these funds.

    Israel is also desperate for immigrants and only cares about their heritage not whether they are practicing Jews. This has changed the face of Israeli politics as well. Some of the most strident right wingers in Israel are these recent immigrants.

    It's not odd at all, it's about money and power for Jews in Germany and they feel threatened by these Russian immigrants.
     
  3. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #3
    To put it simply, if they are not born of a Jewish mother, then they aren't Jewish, whether it offends them or not. If Germany wishes to offer favorable terms to Jews, then they must be offered to Jews, and not to people born of a Jewish father and a gentile mother, since these people are not Jewish.
     
  4. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #4

    http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/consular_services/citizenship/persecuted.html

    This law does not specifically pertain to Jews although they were by far the group who lost the most. It would also include, the Romany, Sorbs, Communists and people of other religious persuasions. Once again, the law has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with citizenship.

    Your view of Jewishness obviously means that anyone who converts can never be Jewish. I thought that was not the case.
     
  5. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #5
    Well, they can convert and be Jewish in the sense of the religion. However, what I learned from the article was that these people do not wish to convert as they believe they are Jewish. However, there are not.
     
  6. beatsme thread starter macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #6
    It seems the Jewish community would be reluctant to accept "converts," or Jews in name only, much as the RSHA did not exempt Jews who had converted to Christianity. Curious how the immigration/emigration issue is still a "matter of blood" for some people...
     
  7. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #7
    An ethnic Jew who converts to another religion is still a Jew. However, a gentile who is not converted yet practices the Jewish faith is not a Jew.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #8
    I don't think is correct, or at least it is not in every circumstance. A child brought up Jewish in a mixed-relgion household (whether it was the mother or the father who is Jewish) is a going to be accepted as Jewish by nearly everyone. They might not be by some ultra-Orthadox people, but then they don't make the rules for all Jews, even if they might like to.
     
  9. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

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    #9
    Not true. They won't be accepted by a conservative or orthodox congregation. Only the reform movement would consider these people to be Jewish, which goes against Jewish law. It's not just the "ultra-orthodox."
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    With Conservatives, I suspect acceptance would be on a congregation-by-congregation basis. "Jewish law" isn't so completely fixed, or there would be no Reform movement. This debate over who is a "real Jew" has been going on for decades if not centuries. It isn't decided because one group Jews says it is.

    The debate among immigrant Russian Jews to Germany is interesting, if only because the main complaints against the immigrants is that they are not observant, don't join synagogues, haven't "assimilated" quickly enough, and there are just "too many" of them coming. Somewhat ironically, essentially the same thing happened in New York City. The first big wave of Jews to New York during the mid-1800s were from Germany. They were predominantly middle-class. The next wave in the early 1900s was from Eastern Europe, predominantly impoverished Jews from Russia. Many of the German Jews in New York looked down on the Russian Jews for similar reasons. So maybe there really isn't anything new under the sun...
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    Here is an interesting article outlining the situation.

    Most immigrants to Germany are highly educated, older, poor and unemployed.

     
  12. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #12
    actually the situation in austria is quite different with some exceptions: for example the jewish community in vienna is existent but has huge monetary problems since they still have lots of buildings etc which upkeep is costing them a lot
    afaik they have debts in the height of multiple dozens of millions and would have filed bancrupcy if it weren't for the city of vienna who essentially pays millions a year to keep them fluid

    the jewish community in the neighbour city of my hometown is hardly flourishing as well
     

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