The Acculturation Process of Bukharian Community Members in Israel

Volume 12, 2007 : Immigrant Scholars Write about Identity and Integration

English abstract

The Acculturation Process of Bukharian Community Members in Israel

Nadia Dahan

Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt
The Department of English and Research Division
Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel

The present study investigated the acculturation process of the Bukharian Jews in Israel with the focus on inter-generational gaps. The research focused on the Bukharians' level of language proficiency in Hebrew, Russian and Bukharian, their identities and acculturation patterns in Israel, and their attitudes towards respective languages and cultures. The research was informed by the multidimensional model of acculturation (Berry, 1980, 1997). The respondents included 128 students (second generation) studying in various academic institutions and 112 of the students' parents (first generation) who immigrated to Israel during the 1970s and the 1990s from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The results suggest that the preferred mode of acculturation among both generations is the integrative one revealing a desire to adapt to the new culture and acquire the new language, while at the same time maintaining their linguistic and cultural heritage. The findings also point to the process of assimilation among the Bukharian community, with the younger generation slowly losing its heritage.

Russian abstract

Аккультурация представителей бухарской общины а Израиле

Надя Дахан и Смадар Доница-Шмидт

Представлено одно из немногих имеющихся исследований процессов аккультурации (культурной адаптации) бухарских евреев в Израиле с акцентом на различия между поколениями. На основании популярной модели аккультурации Берри, авторы провели опрос 240 членов бухарской общины – 128 студентов и 112 их родителей – приехавших в 1970-х и 1990-х годах из Узбекистана и Таджикистана. Результаты опроса показывают, что большинство респондентов обоих поколений склонны к интеграционной модели, т.е. активно заимствуют элементы израильской культуры, но в то же время стараются сохранить свои национальные традиции. В то же время, молодое поколение бухарских евреев явно ассимилировано в израильскую культуру, и преемственность проявляется у них скорее как намерение, нежели практика.

Hebrew abstract

תהליך ההסתגלות התרבותית בקרב חברי העדה הבוכרית בישראל

נדיה דהן וסמדר דוניצה-שמידט

המחקר הנוכחי עוסק בתהליך ההסתגלות התרבותית של יהודי בוכרה בישראל – קבוצה לא אשכנזית מקרב עולי ברה''מ לשעבר – תוך התמקדות בפערים הבין-דוריים בקבוצה. המחקר מתמקד ברמת המיומנות הלשונית של יהודי בוכרה בשפה העברית, הרוסית והבוכרית, ובזהותם העצמית ודפוסי ההסתגלות התרבותית בישראל. מסקנות המחקר מצביעות על כך, שדפוס ההסתגלות התרבותית המועדף על שני הדורות הוא הדפוס האינטגרטיבי, שמגלה את הנטייה של העולים להסתגל לתרבות החדשה ולרכוש שפה שנייה, ובו בזמן לשמור על המסורת הלשונית והתרבותית שלהם.

About the authors

Nadia Dahan

Nadia Dahan (née Mulokandov) was born in 1975 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (the former USSR). Under the influence of her father's Zionist idealism, she immigrated to Israel together with her family in 1980. Raised in Ramla, she graduated high school majoring in English and French and, after military service in the IDF, completed her B.A in Linguistics and Education followed by an M.A in the Language Education Program at Tel-Aviv University. Today she lives in Rehovot and works there as an English teacher at De-Shalit high school.

Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt

Smadar Donitsa-Schmidt was born in Israel to a family of immigrants from Poland and Tunisia. Her Ph.D. in Educational Linguistics, from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, dealt with language maintenance among Russian immigrants in Israel. She is Head of the English Department and the Research Division at the Kibbutzim College of Education. Her research topics are language maintenance and shift among immigrants, language choices, ethno-linguistics, minority identities, attitudes and stereotypes towards languages in multilingual societies.


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