Jewish Community and Identity in Post-Communist Latvia

in European Judaism

Popular public opinion concerning the Jewish community of Latvia is that it is an 'exemplary and well-organised community', which experienced a great revival and has functioned efficiently since Perestroika and particularly since the fall of the USSR. Nevertheless, this assertion can be countered by multiple phenomena, such as the dramatic decrease of the number of Latvian Jewish community members, the abrupt increase of inter-marriages, and the clear transformation of references to self-identification of Latvian Jewry. This article seeks to shed light on different spheres of the Jewish life in post-communist Latvia, in order to analyse the impact of the demise of the Soviet system on the Jewish community in this area.