‘“Bringing in Those Who Are Far”. Jewish Sociology and the Reconstruction of Jewish Life in Post-war Europe

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Sociology played a major role in the reconstruction of European Jewry after 1945. It offered a putatively objective language, enabling Jews of different religious and political leanings to collaborate. With Jewish communities having been devastated by the war, policy makers now sought quantitative data regarding composition, orientation, and the needs of these populations. Through institutions, journals and conferences, American Jewish theories, and models were transferred to Europe, but were channelled for a distinct function. Demographic research and Jewish community centres were developed with the goal of locating and attracting 'marginal Jews' so as to reconnect them to community life. Jewish sociology in post-war Europe was part of a major effort towards reconstruction of Jewish communities; this effort was based on scientific methods and aimed at 'saving' all remaining Jews for the greater Jewish cause.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-246
JournalJournal of Religion in Europe
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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