National, Ethnic and Religious Minorities in Austria
European Union

Chabad- Jewish Community

 

27.12.2016

 

The meeting took place in Chabad house in Vienna. The participants in the meeting were group of 28 participants from Vienna, all take part in various Austrian Jewish organizations.

As a starting point, the general details of the research were presented: the research’s purpose, Erasmus project and the participated countries. Later on, the participants were told about their part in the research, the important outcomes of the research and had an active discussion.

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 an active part in the discussion.

The participants’ native languages are mostly German, Hebrew and Russian. Those who do not speak Hebrew would like to learn and speak with their colleagues. Some of the participants speak Yiddish, however, the majority not interested in learning the language.

Regarding Jewish identity, most of the participants has a strong Jewish identity and studied in Jewish schools. They celebrate the Jewish holiday and Shabbats and some of them keep kosher and go to the synagogue on weekend and holidays. However, most of the participants do not celebrate the national Austrian holidays.

The participants’ opinion towards the Austrian general public is positive. A few of the participants had experienced uncomfortable situations with locals, such as verbal rude comments. However, the participants feel that they are part of the general public and that they are equally treated. Regarding the government, the participants are concerned about the new government future attitude. They claim that the fact that the government is right- wing might be dangerous for the Jewish community in the future.

Considering the general attitude towards other minorities, generally none of the participants had a specific issue with one of the minorities and the relationships with the various minorities are overall good.

Regarding Israel, some of the participants have moved from Israel to Austria, but they support Israel and believe that they will move back in the future. Another part of the participants has spent a certain amount of time in Israel as tourists and like the country and small part of them willing to live in Israel in the future. They believe that it is important to support the country and that the Jewish nation should live in Israel.