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Conference on ‘The Place of European Jewry in the Global Jewish Community’

The Centre is sponsoring a conference in Oxford for about twenty experts in contemporary Jewish life to formulate a research project on the place of European Jewry in the global Jewish community, as part of our commitment to providing a scholarly understanding of contemporary Jewish life. Co-sponsors of the conference are The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC); The European Council of Jewish Communities (ECJC); the Dorset Foundation and the Jack Buncher Foundation.

The conference, to be held in November, will recommend a specific research project to form the basis of one of the Oxford Seminars in Advanced Jewish Studies at Yarnton Manor. These extended residential research collaborations last around six months and bring together leading scholars from around the world to produce and disseminate new knowledge.

It is often felt that contemporary Jewish life in North America and Israel eclipses that of European Jewry, which seems mostly concerned with the security agenda and the perception that Europe is becoming more hostile to Jews. Equally, though, European Jewish society is experiencing a renaissance through immigration, new identity patterns and innovation.

The conference will investigate the political, economic and social contexts of European Jewry, the demographic and sociological data, and the extent to which Jewish life in Europe is indeed threatened and/or experiencing a renaissance. The data will focus on the four communities in Europe that comprise 80% of European Jews – the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Hungary. 

Dr David Ariel, President of the Centre, and Dr Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Turbulent Times: The British Jewish Community Today, will serve as conference leaders. Beth Kraemer (MSW, Yeshiva University), who has experience in non-profit management and organizational planning in the North American Jewish community, will work on conference planning, communications and facilitation.