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Contemporary Anglo-Jewish community leadership: coping with multiculturalism

Authors


email: Ben.gidley@compas.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

In this article, drawing on qualitative interviews and documentary analysis, we argue that the Jewish community in Britain has undergone a fundamental shift since 1990 from a ‘strategy of security’, a strategy of communal leadership based on emphasizing the secure British citizenship and belonging of the UK's Jews, to a ‘strategy of insecurity’, where the communal leadership instead stresses an excess of security among Anglo-Jewry. We demonstrate this based on two case studies: of the Jewish renewal movement in the 1990s and the ‘new antisemitism’ phenomenon of the 2000s. We conclude that this shift is tied to the shift from a monocultural Britain to an officially multicultural one, and that therefore there are lessons that can be taken from it for the study of British and other multiculturalisms.

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