Renewed Survival: Jewish Community Life in Croatia
Renewed Survival is an ethno-historic account of Jewish community life in Croatia. It traces the community's turbulent history from its inception in the late eighteenth century to the shifting political climate of the 1990s following the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Croatia's separation from Yugoslavia is explored ethnographically by examining the lives of the members of a small community of largely intercultural Jews. Particular attention is paid to the impact of local and transnational cultural changes during this period, wherein Jewish community life in Croatia became the focus of a number of institutional forces such as market capitalism, government-sponsored diversity campaigns, and transnational identity politics (the post-communist 'meaning makers' of Jewish identity). By exploring the multiple strategies employed by Croatian Jews in refashioning their identities, this work challenges both the nostalgic image of a thriving presence of Jewish culture in Croatia as well as the (more prominent) view that Jewish communities in Croatia are on the brink of extinction. The author suggests that the latter view-the 'disappearance thesis'-is belied by the experiences of many Croatian Jews, who continue to derive meaning from Jewish community life, notwithstanding their lack of religious commitment and cultural hybridization. This informative study will be of interest to scholars of Jewish Studies, Anthropology, and History.
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