Zvi Gitelman asserts that post-Soviet Jews maintain a “thin” culture, and thus their Jewishness is based on feelings, memories, and shared experiences without the “thick culture” of language, religion, customs, food, dress, music, and ethnic neighbourhoods. The transformation of the Russian Jewish identity of the 1920s from a “thick” to a “thin” culture took only one generation… . Post-Soviet Jews … completely disassociate Jewishness from Judaism. A recent sociological survey conducted in the late 1990s revealed that less than 1 percent of post-Soviet Jews think that knowledge of Judaism, observance of the Sabbath and kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), and circumcision are relevant to being “a good Jew.”

Anna Shternshis, Soviet and Kosher: Jewish Popular Culture in the Soviet Union, 1923-1939
  April 07, 2012 at 06:58am