National, Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Austria
European Union

Chabad- Jewish Community

 

12.2.2017

 

The meeting took place in Chabad Haus Wien. In the meeting participated 20 people from the Jewish community. Most of the participants were born in Vienna and live in the Jewish community all their life.

At the beginning of the meeting the research’s general details were presented: the goals of the research, Erasmus+, the period and the various examined countries.
Afterwards, the participants were clearly instructed about their part in the research and the main findings of the research were presented.

At first, the main findings of the research were presented: languages, Jewish identity, Jewish back-ground and education, holidays, attitudes towards Austria, the EU and Israel.
Secondly, we had a discussion about the research and the main findings. Furthermore, the participants expressed their opinions.

In this group, the participants’ native languages are German and Spanish. Half of the participants speak Hebrew as a second language which they studied in different Jewish schools and spoke with their parents and friends back at home. One participant, the rabbi, speaks Yiddish. The participants who do not speak Hebrew are would like to learn the language and speak with their colleagues, and some of them are interested of learning Yiddish.

All of the participants have a strong Jewish identity; they celebrate the Jewish holidays and do not take part in the Austrian/ national holidays. Two of them live a traditional Jewish way of life in the Jewish districts and go to the synagogue on a daily base.

Their general opinion towards the Austrian citizens is neutral. They feel that there is no such an acceptance among the general public, specially the rabbi who has a Jewish appearance. Some of the participants experienced cases of anti-Semitism or felt uncomfortable due to strangers’ comments towards them.
Regarding the new government, the participants are not worried at the moment. They wait to see what the government’s next steps in the future will be, but generally believe that the government does not have issues with the Jewish community.

The participants claim that there is no such a relationship with other minorities. Each of the groups live in their own areas and do not have much in common with the others. Some of the participants were threatened by Muslims several times.

The participants’ attitudes towards Israel are positive, they all visited number of times, but none of them lived there. They all feel Zionists and would like to live in Israel in the future.