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  • Being Jewish in Contemporary Finland: Reflections on Jewishness from Project Minhag Finland

    Riikka Tuori

    Chapter from the book: Hoegaerts, J et al. 2022. Finnishness, Whiteness and Coloniality.


    This chapter asks what being Jewish may mean in contemporary Finland by examining interviews of members of the Jewish congregations, collected in 2019 to 2020 in the research project Minhag Finland. The chapter first offers a brief assessment of the history of the Jewish community in Finland from its origins until present day, followed by a review of previous research on Nordic Jewish identities. Jewish identities in Finland are observed from three topical perspectives: how the informants negotiate their membership in an Orthodox Jewish congregation while living in a secularized society; how the elusive concept of “Finnishness” (national identity) interplays with just as elusive “Jewishness” (ethnic/religious identity); and, finally, the informants’ confrontations with antisemitism and racism in Finland. The chapter shows that during the last 30 years the Finnish Jewish community has evolved from a homogenous Ashkenazi (East European Jewish) community into a multicultural community. The community embraces many elements of “Finnishness” (national symbols and narratives), while the “difference” inherent to their Jewishness is not forgotten or suppressed. The chapter also shows how differently the mechanisms of antisemitism and racism in Finland influence the members of this diverse community.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Tuori, R. 2022. Being Jewish in Contemporary Finland: Reflections on Jewishness from Project Minhag Finland. In: Hoegaerts, J et al (eds.), Finnishness, Whiteness and Coloniality. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/HUP-17-10

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Aug. 22, 2022


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