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A New Jewish European Narrative

Voices from Europe: Beit Makhshava is countering the story of victimhood

Stephanie Butnick
March 12, 2015


This month at Jewcy, our partner site, we’re running a series called Voices from Europe, in which young Jews across Europe share stories stories and shed light on the reality of their day-to-day lives. Guest editing the site is Jane Braden-Golay, president of the European Union of Jewish Students.

In the latest post, Oriol Poveda, a PhD student in sociology of religion at Uppsala University, Sweden, writes about Beit Makhshava, the organization he founded to share a different story of European Jews than the one of victimhood we are hearing all too frequently.

Beit Makhshava, the project I started two years ago, came into being out of a conviction that if there was to be a future for European Jewish life and culture, we needed an alternative to the narrative of victimhood and decline. At the same time, the challenge was to give birth to a voice that was rooted in a sober assessment of reality, and the point of departure was that the future of the Jewish presence in Europe is uncertain, for better or worse. Thus, Beit Makhshava was born with a clear agenda: to serve as an incubator for the conceptualization of the role of the Jewish presence in a rapidly changing Europe.

Read the full post here.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.