Shadows of identity: the experience of Jewish soldiers in the Ukrainian military

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Abstract

This article delves into the study of Jewish identity within the Ukrainian army, providing a detailed exploration of the experiences of soldiers with Jewish backgrounds fighting at the front lines of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Considering the historical complexities and contemporary challenges faced by the Jewish community in Ukraine, the study investigates how military service transforms the national and ethnic self-identification of Jewish soldiers. Through interviews and comprehensive contextual analysis, we illuminate their personal narratives, ways of expressing identity, common features, inclusivity, and the adaptation of diverse cultural backgrounds within the Ukrainian army.‏ Our study contends that within the military landscape of the ongoing war, the perception of Jewish identity in Ukraine undergoes a significant shift, becoming more prominent and tangible. This transformation imbues the lives of Jewish soldiers with a profound sense of pride and uniqueness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Modern Jewish Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Jewish soldiers
  • National identity
  • Ukraine
  • ethnic identity
  • military studies
  • war

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