An interview with Chava Savosnick, Rolf Golombek and Ervin Kohn after the release of the Jewish community’s own survey on Jewish Life in Norway:
- Most incidents of anti-Semitism occur in connection with teaching. But they also appear in the workplace and other arenas, says researcher in economics, Rolf Golombek, who participated in the quantitative survey. – I was particularly surprised that over half had experienced this. A majority of respondents in the quantitative survey say the extent of anti-Semitism has increased over the last ten years. 94 percent point at the media coverage of the conflict in the Middle East as an important or somewhat important factor. 77 percent have Israel’s politics as the cause, while 37 percent replied other conditions in Norway. As many as 95 percent believed the media’s presentation of news about Israel often or sometimes are distorted in a negative direction.
Changed schools several times.
The survey among Jewish children and adolescents was initiated after reports of harassment were followed up after an NRK program in spring Of 2010.
- We wanted to document events, how children and youth had been taken care of after harassment, Moreover, how schools handled the problems, says nurse Islin Abrahamsen, who conducted the study together with Chava Savosnick.
- We found that harassment occurs in all environments, in the playground, on sports fields, on the way to school. Typical forms are words of abuse, jokes, classic stereotypes, that one is made responsible for the conflict in Middle East. A coach on the sports field, for example, said. “The last one is a Jew.” A girl changed schools several times and finally changed her name to avoid problems. Children also reported that they have been threatened to be killed because they are Jewish. Some get help and support, others do not.
Most verbal, less physical.
According Islin Abrahamsen harassment in a city like Oslo occurs both in the east [less affluent] and west [more affluent] parts of Oslo.
- In a West-side school some students threw rocks at a student, an episode that was trivialized by the school, she says. – There are a number of examples of teachers and principals playing down problems, not taking them seriously.
- Physical harassment is still not as widespread as verbal, adds Chava Savosnick.
- Young people have talked about loneliness, trivialisation, denial, but also others claiming they have to put up with that level of harassment. Where the problems are taken seriously, one does find that schools can change attitudes, she says.
Facts about the survey Jewish Life in Norway:
A 2 part survey carried out by the Mosaic Congregation in Norway
The first part of the survey was carried out as interviews with 21 Jewish teenagers in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim
The second part of the survey was a quantitative study among a total of 297 current and former members of the Jewish congregations in Oslo and Trondheim