Religion, ethnicity and identity: Former Soviet Christian immigrants in Israel

Rebeca Raijman, Yael Pinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The social construction of ethnic and religious identities of Christian immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU) arriving in Israel under the Law of Return after 1990, and the role of churches in their social integration, are examined. As Israeli citizens actively involved in Christian churches, they challenge the Jewish character of the state, and the dynamics of their ethnic and religious identity should be understood in this unique context of reception. The analysis sheds light on the complex relationship between ethnic and religious identities and illustrates how different religious organizational configurations (Russian Orthodox and Greek churches) prompt immigrants to forge different patterns of identity along ethnic lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1705
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Israel
  • churches
  • former Soviet Union
  • identities
  • immigrants
  • religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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