Food for Thought

Transnational Contested Identities and Food Practices of Russian-Speaking Jewish Migrants in Israel and Germany

Julia Bernstein

Food for Thought

Julia Bernstein

Distributed for Campus Verlag

451 pages | 35 color plates | 5 1/2 x 8 3/8 | © 2010
Paper $55.00 ISBN: 9783593392523 Published March 2011

In recent decades, many Russian-speaking Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union have settled in Germany and Israel. In Food for Thought, Julia Bernstein conducts a widely interdisciplinary investigation into the ways in which such immigrants manage their multiple, overlapping identities—as Jews, Russians, and citizens of their newly adopted nations. Focusing in particular on the packaging, sale, and consumption of food, which offers surprising insights into the self-definitions of these immigrants, the book delivers one of our most detailed looks yet at complicated and important aspects of immigration and national identities.



1. Migration collages: Studying Russian-speaking Jews in Israel and Germany

2. Transnationalism and capitalism: Migrants from the former Soviet Union and their experiences in Germany and Israel

3. “Chocolates without history are meaningless”: Pre- and post-migration consumption

4. Russian food stores in Israel and Germany: Images of imaginary home, homeland, and identity consolidation

5. Russian food stores in Israel and Germany: Different national symbolic participations and virtual transnational enclave

6. Transjewish affiliation: The construction of ethnicity by Russian-speaking Jews in Israel and Germany

7. Winners once a year? Making sense of WWII and the Holocaust as part of a transnational biographic experience

8. “Will you prepare gefillte fish for Christmas?” Paradoxes of living in simultaneously contested social worlds



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