Noise and Spirit by Anthony B. Pinn Book Summary:
The Jews of the former Soviet Union have always been the subject of intense controversy. In the past 25 years, however, they have become more puzzling. How many of them are there? How strongly so they identify themselves as Jews? How do they perceive antisemetism in their countries? Will they leave, where will they go? Theses ate among the questions that have enlivened the discussions of Jews in republics known as the Commonwealth of Independent States. they have sparked debate because they have deep policy implications for Russia, Israel, the United States, and other countries. They are the questions which this book seeks to examine. Too little fact has informed this debate, and even less theory. Until very recently, surveys of the actual intentions, perceptions, motivations, and fears of Jews in the region were out of the question. This is now beginning to change. Here is the first book based on an on site survey of a representative sample of Jews in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In addition to providing data in the Jews of Moscow, Kiev, and Minsk- who collectively account for 28% of all Jews residing in the three Slavic republics of the CIS- the author places the survey results in their social and historical context. He explains why ethnic distinctiveness persisted and even became accentuated in the Soviet era and also describes the position of Jews in Soviet and post-Soviet society and some of the dilemmas they face. This book will be crucial reading for anyone interested not only in the general situation of the Jews of the former Soviet Union but also in their perceptions, worldviews, and plans for the future.