How do Jews live between Baku and Berlin, between Tashkent and Tehran, Dushanbe and Tel Aviv? How did experiences of convival living with Muslim, Christian or secularized majority and minority populations shape Jewish biographies and identities? The majority of Jews living in Germany and Europe today come from areas of the former Soviet Union. Most migrated from European parts such as Belarus, Ukraine or Russia, but some arrived from the southern and eastern republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia – areas that lie on the routes of the historic and new Silk Road.
W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
During the three-day international conference, we would like to approach the little-known stories of flight, deportation and migration between Europe and Asia, the experiences of neighbourhood and religious everyday practices of (post-)Soviet Jews from the Caucasus and Central Asia. The focus is on social and cultural entangled and liminal spaces, places of encounters and in-between positions of people living as minorities and migrants in multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies.
How are these experiences and biographies shaped by Soviet Orientalism and colonialism, antisemitism and racism, and how do they relate to Jewish experiences in Iran, Turkey, Morocco or India? We are looking at the memories and experiences of living together in the Soviet and global South and are asking how these stories change the narratives of Jewish and post-migrant life in the 21st century in Germany and Europe.
Call for Papers
Deadline for submission of abstracts and short bios has passed.
The opening lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Atina Grossmann (The Cooper Union in New York City).
The conference will conclude with a reading lecture by Olga Grjasnowa. The author will read from her new novel Der verlorene Sohn as part of the ZOiS Forum. Further information and registration for the reading
Sun, October 10
Welcome and IntroductionHetty Berg (Director of the Jewish Museum Berlin)
Alina Gromova (Jewish Museum Berlin)
Tsypylma Darieva (Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), Berlin)
Darja Klingenberg (Viadrina European University in Frankfurt Oder)
Keynote (in English)Atina Grossmann (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York): Globalizing Holocaust Memory. Survival, Flight and Evacuation in Soviet Central Asia and Other Colonial Spaces
In conversation with Alina Gromova (Jewish Museum Berlin) and Darja Klingenberg (Viadrina European University in Frankfurt Oder)
Panel 1: Routes and Encounters along the Silk Road (in English)Ariane Sadjed (Austrian Academy of Science, Vienna):
Before the Nation: Connections and Divergences among Persianate Jews
Zeev Levin (Ben Zvi Institute for the Study of Jewish Communities in the East, Jerusalem):
Religious, National or Cultural? Transforming Frameworks of Jewish Education in Central Asia
Thomas Loy (Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague):
Bukharan Jews in Europe Lifeworld and Memory far from the Silk Roads
Boris Chukhovich (Observatory of Central Asian Cultural Heritage, Montreal):
Jewish Architects in Soviet Uzbekistan: Between Radical Modernism and a Regional Approach (1960s–1980s)
Chair: Jesko Schmoller (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Lecture Performance (in German)Ina Holev (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf and Jüdisch und Intersektional – Initiative für kritische Bildungsarbeit)
Miriam Yosef (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen and Jüdisch und Intersektional – Initiative für kritische Bildungsarbeit):
Doppelte Verflechtungen – eine Auseinandersetzung mit innerjüdischen Verbindungen und Differenzen / Double Entanglements – an Examination of Intra-Jewish Connections and Differences
Mon, October 11
Panel 2: Shared Neigbourhoods (in English)Narciss M.Sohrabi (Paris Nanterre University):
Representation of Jewish Neighborhoods in Tehran during 20th Century
Florian Mühlfried (Ilia State University, Tbilisi):
Jewish-Christian Conviviality in the Racha Province of Georgia
Natalie Belsky (University of Minnesota Duluth):
From Nightgowns to Prayerbooks: the Role of Material Culture in Negotiating Relations on the Soviet Home Front
Gabriele Anderl (Austrian Society for Exile Research):
The Emergence of the Bukharian Community in Vienna an Unforeseen Outcome of the Jewish Emigration from the Soviet Union
Chair: Alina Gromova (Jewish Museum Berlin)
Panel 3: In-Between Positions. Jewish and Other Biographies (in German and English)Valerij Gretchko (Tokyo University):
The Baazov Family and the Transformation of Georgian Jewry in the 20th Century
Miriam Goldmann (Jewish Museum Berlin):
Presenting Jewish Entrepreneurial Migrants in the Museum
Alexander Kartosia (Tbilisi State University):
Fremd- und Selbstbezeichnungen und -wahrnehmungen der georgischen Juden im ersten Drittel des 20. Jahrhunderts: Gerzel Baazovs Judenbilder
Chair: Signe Rossbach (Jewish Museum Berlin)
Exploring Diverse Diasporas – Presentation of Research Projects by Students of Viadrina European University in Frankfurt Oder
Cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin, Object Days. Jewish Migration to Germany after 1945:
End of the day 2
Tue, October 12
Panel Discussion: Jews from the Caucasus and Central Asia in Germany and Austria / Podiumsgespräch: Jüdinnen und Juden aus dem Kaukasus und Asien in Deutschland und Österreich (in German)Sevil Huseynova (Center for Independent Social Research (CISR), Berlin)
Yuval Katz (Department of Religious Studies, University of Vienna)
German Djanatliev (Board of Directors of the Central Council of Jews in Germany)
Chair: Anastassia Pletoukhina (Independent Sociologist, Berlin)
Panel 4: Migration Routes and Entangled Spaces (in English)Karen Körber (Institute for the History of the German Jews, Hamburg):
“The Persian Carpet“. Iranian Jews and the German Economic Miracle
Varvara Redmond (University of Warsaw):
Digital Multinational Communities of the Mountain Jews
Chen Bram (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Academic College):
Immigration and Intergroup Relations: Jewish-Muslim Relations in Central Eurasia, Israel, and U.S.
Chair: Tsypylma Darieva (Center for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), Berlin)
Panel 5: Shared Memories: Experiences of Exclusion and Inclusion (in English)Yulia Oreshina (Georgian American University, Tbilisi):
“26 Centuries of Friendship“: Georgian-Jewish Relations in Georgian Cultural and Communicative Memory
Eliyana R. Adler (Penn State University):
Memory of Migrations: Integrating Tales of Central Asia in Memorial Books
Anna P. Ronell (Independent Scholar, Boston):
Dina Rubina: Growing Up Jewish In Tashkent
Chair: Irina Bondas (Berlin)
ZOiS Forum. 30 Years of Post-Soviet Migration in Germany
Author Event with Olga Grjasnowa (Berlin)
End of the conference
Where, when, what?
- Sun 10 Oct 2021, 2 pm to Tue, 12 Oct 2021, 9 pm
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 BerlinSee location on map
Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
W. M. Blumenthal Academy
Free of charge
reading with Olga Grjasnowa at the end of the conference.Please note that you have to register seperately for the
current hygiene regulations of the Jewish Museum Berlin.All guests to live events are required to follow the
In addition, guests will be required to present a negative Corona test no older than 24 hours, or proof of full immunization.
For the protection of both you and other guests, all participants are required to wear a mask covering both mouth and nose at any time when you are not in your assigned seats.
German and English
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30 Years of Post-Soviet Migration. A Life between Worlds
with Olga Grjasnowa, Britta Schneider, and Tsypylma Darieva
Tue 12 Oct 2021, 7 pm