The Russian-Jewish transnational social space: An overview

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After the demise of state socialism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, over 1.6 million Jews and their non-Jewish family members from Russia, Ukraine, and other parts of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) emigrated to Israel, the United States, Canada, Germany, and other Western countries. Large communities of former Soviets found themselves in the diverse national contexts of the receiving countries as either refugees or independent migrants.1 Soon after establishing an initial economic and social foothold, former Soviet immigrants started rebuilding their social networks, both within each new homeland and across national borders. These networks, spanning four continents, based on common language, culture, and historic legacies, mainly come to the fore as informal social spaces, although there are also some examples of successful civic associations representing common interests of Russian immigrants or Russian Jewry at large. This introduction examines the roots of Russian Jewish identity in the Former Soviet Union and presents an overview of some major trends in late twentieth century Russian Jewish migration to the West.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Jewish Identities
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


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