National, Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Austria

European Union
Chabad- Jewish Community


The meeting took place in Chabad House Vienna, in collaboration with Chabad project. The
meeting included 16 Jewish from the community. It started with the general details of the
research such as the goals of the research, Erasmus organization, the participated countries
and its importance. Afterwards, the participants were told about their part in the research, the various
research findings and then had an active discussion.

Firstly, the main findings of the research were presented and discussed: languages, Jewish
identity, Jewish back-ground and education, holidays, attitudes towards Austria, the EU and
life in Israel. The participants understood the importance of the research and took part in
the discussion.

The participants native language is mostly German, and a small part of Hebrew. Most of the
participants speak Hebrew as a second language and surrounded by Hebrew speakers, and a
few of them understand Yiddish. The majority are not interested of learning Yiddish because
they find it not useful in their daily life. Most of the participants have a strong Jewish identity which means that they celebrate the Jewish holiday and Shabbat dinners, and some of them live in a traditional way of life, they keep Shabbat and eat kosher food. A small part of them take part in the national Austrian holidays.

Their general opinion towards the Austrian public is positive. Some experienced a case or
two of an anti-Semitism in Vienna, mostly verbal comments among young people at night.
In general, the participants feel that they are part of the general public. Nevertheless, they
claim that they are not treated exactly the same due to their religion. The attitudes upon the new government's position are mixed. Some of them are not worried and believe that the government do not have any issues with the Jewish community. Some believe that in the future the government might turn more radical in its attitude towards minorities. Considering other minorities, the Jewish district is located next to a big Muslim community. Normally the relationship is decent, and each community live its own life peacefully. However, some of the participants experienced unpleasant situations with this community. Moreover, there were a few cases of physical violent. The participants claim that besides this minority, there in no interaction with the other minorities.

Regarding Israel, most of the participants visit on a yearly base and some of them lived there
for a while. The majority do not considering living in Israel in the future, due to their local
relationships and the cultural differences. However, a few mentioned that it might be a
possibility in the future.