The refusenik community in Moscow: Social networks and models of identification

Vladimir Khanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since the late nineteenth century the history of Russian Jewry has been one of contradictory trends: on the one hand, large-scale migration and resettlement (both abroad and in the major industrial and cultural centres of Russia/the USSR/the former Soviet Union [FSU]); and, on the other hand, attempts to (re-)establish a full Jewish life and adapt it to changing conditions. The refuseniks - a small but notable group of Soviet Jewish activists who were prevented by the Soviet authorities from leaving the country for Israel - melded both trends. Despite extensive literature on this subject, we are still lacking satisfactory answers to a few important questions, dealing with the factors in the creation of the Zionist refusenik community, its organisational frameworks, and the social and political legacy of the refuseniks for Jewish communities of the post-Soviet space and the new Russian Jewish diaspora. This article addresses refusenik associations in Moscow and in some other places as a community in the making, which between the early 1970s and mid 1980s, a period of Jewish national awakening in the USSR, experienced a process of gradual transformation from an amorphous semi-structured entity to a more institutionalised structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalEast European Jewish Affairs
Volume41
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • FSU
  • Israel
  • Jewish emigration
  • USSR
  • aliya
  • diaspora
  • refuseniks

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