Julian Aron Ross

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10626

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Ross, Julian (New York, Graduate Center, City U. of) "Germany's New Jewish Question: Race, Secularism, and Religious Difference in Jewish Welfare"

In 1991, in the midst of the Soviet Union’s collapse and Germany’s reunification, German parliament elected to grant some 200,000 Jews from former Soviet republics special “refugee quota” status, assuming this population of mostly skilled and educated workers would integrate with relative ease. Virtually overnight, Germany once again had one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe. Today, many of Germany’s Jews are poor, dependent on welfare, and still lack German citizenship, with the most extensive Jewish organizations being welfare institutions. Moreover, many Jewish figures and associations are beginning to come into conflict with Germany’s normative liberal politics and its associate notions of religiosity, race, and the secular. This project will ethnographically investigate the ways Jews in Germany configure these politics through the practices of care and reproduction that define much of their communities. My ethnographic investigation will ask how a relational approach to racial capitalism and secularism can help us understand liberalism in a period of European disillusionment.