Coming Home

Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel and Germany

By Nelly Elias
Foreword by Hanna Herzog

Subjects: Communication, Israel Studies, Jewish Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791474969, 187 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9780791474952, 187 pages, July 2008

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Table of contents

Foreword by Hanna Herzog
Introduction: Immigrants and the Mass Media
1. Coming Home? FSU Immigrants in Israel and Germany
2. Russian-Language Media in Israel and Germany
3. Media and Returning Diaspora in Israel
4. Media and Returning Diaspora in Germany
5. Media and Immigrants’ Adaptation in a Comparative Perspective
Author Index
Subject Index

Examines the social and cultural integration of Russian-speaking Jews and Germans who immigrated to their respective historic homelands.


Coming Home provides an extraordinary glimpse into the social and cultural integration of a unique category of immigrants—the returning Diaspora. During the 1990s Russian-speaking Jews and Germans returned to their respective historic homelands. Nelly Elias explores the social and cultural adaptation of these two groups by focusing on the roles played by their native language—Russian—and the language used by the media of each country. Based on one hundred in-depth interviews conducted with immigrants now living in both Israel and Germany, Coming Home considers media use to be an inseparable part of an immigrant's adaptation strategy, simultaneously reflecting construction of a new social and cultural identity while also preserving their original cultural identities.

Nelly Elias is Lecturer in Mass Communications at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.


"…This is a timely book that focuses on the dynamic yet very little researched relationship between the mass media and migrants while offering a comparative lens through which to view two immigrant communities … Elias' expert comparative study reveals that the structural, ideological and cultural circumstances in the two countries and the two groups underscore the similar roles played by the media in conditioning both the migrants' consumption and their integration into the host societies. " — Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies

"…an important source of information and research analysis. " — Qualitative Sociology Review

"This book provides a fascinating comparison of two ethnic groups, their return to their respective homelands, and their experience of adjustment to these new countries. It shows how media consumption is involved in both retaining Russian culture and getting involved with the culture, language, and outlook of the host society. " — Steven J. Gold, author of The Israeli Diaspora