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This article covers a form of cultural assimilation. For the Christian movements that believe in the necessity of adherence to Jewish laws, see Judaizers.

Judaization (تهويد in Arabic, Verjudung in German) is a process of cultural assimilation in which a person or a demographic group acquires Jewish cultural and religious beliefs and values. The concept is important in Antisemitism in the context of theories of a Jewish world conspiracy.


Personal acculturation

In modern Hebrew, the term judaization is used to describe the cultural life of baalei teshuvah, or 'returnees', and refers to 'a process through which secular, non-observant, young (and not so young) Israelis who have grown up in Israel within the majority culture, have become practicing Orthodox Jews and have joined the minority subculture of Orthodoxy'.[1]. It is the obverse of 'de-Judaization', the process, observed for example in Soviet Russia, where discriminatory practices against Jews gave momentum to their 'de-Judaization'[2]

Geopolitical acculturation

It refers to the act or process of assimilating or absorbing a demographic group or geographic region to nominally Jewish cultural and religious norms. Due to the cultural ties of Judaism with the Hebrew language, it can be alternately designated as Hebraization in regards to the renaming of geographic areas and personal names with Hebrew appellations, as has been the case with Jewish immigration and human settlement in Israel and related territories; this Hebraization of Jewish culture in Israel extends to the Hebraization of political and military institutions which were imported from Western countries. In a strictly religious sense, Judaization can also apply to the making or designation of a thing in a more religiously-compliant (by such guidelines as kashrut) or religiously-appealing context.

It is often derided by Islamists, Arab citizens of Israel and Palestinians as "Zionization", since they primarily view any Hebraization or Judaization of a geographic area as a form of competing cultural expansionism or assertion.


A late-20th- and early-21st-century phenomenon, in which urban and suburban areas of Israel, such as Beit Shemesh, have become demographically and politically dominated by Haredim at the expense of non-Haredim (including Religious Zionists, Hilonim and Hasidim) has become known as Haredization; the trend is often the subject of protests in various Israeli cities[3][4][5].

See also

External links


  1. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, Despair and deliverance: private salvation in contemporary Israel, SUNY Press, 1992 pp.51-2: '‘Judaization means accepting the assumption that being Jewish means a close continuity with historical Judaism’ p.52: cf.'‘Orthodox Jewry has been in crisis since the rise of Zionism in Jewish communities. The decline and stagnation of political Zionism leads to a revitalization of Orthodoxy. Ever since the 1967 War, which brought vast new territories under Israeli control, a phenomenon that has become known as Judaization or a “turn to the right” has been noted in Israeli public life. What has happened is the Judaization of Israeli identity in the face of crisis. The process of Judaization in Israel since 1967 illustrates the paradoxical nature of Zionism as a secularized messianic movement... Both public and private Judaization support the Jewish identity of the State of Israel and political claims based on this identity. These developments are beneficial, if not vital, for the State and so are going to be sanctioned. Judaization serves as a source of identity, justification, and hope for both individual and collectivity.' p.62
  2. Senator Ribicoff as early as 1963 protested against the ‘deprivation, discrimination, de-Judaization of Russia'. See Yaacov Ro'i, The Struggle for Soviet Jewish Emigration, 1948-1967, Cambridge University Press, 2003 p.194
  3. Egged removes political ads on 'haredization' of J'lem
  4. Jerusalem seculars accuse Mayor of selling out to Haredim
  5. A Saturday Stew II, by Bill Long, 12/13/08
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