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Accepted Paper:

“We wouldn’t even be able to move around the synagogue”: Migrant Responses to COVID Restrictions on Movement for Ritual Purposes  
Anastasia Badder (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

When COVID restrictions disrupted their travels, including plans for b’nai mitzvah ceremonies abroad, the migrant families of Luxembourg’s Liberal Talmud Torah drew on various strategies. This paper explores the implications of that process for families’ experiences of temporality and mobility.

Paper long abstract:

The families of Luxembourg’s Liberal Talmud Torah are highly mobile ex-pats, used to moving regularly and rapidly, whether between home, the workplace, and their children’s school and activities, traveling often for leisure, or moving long distances for higher education and work. Many have the sense that, though they live in Luxembourg, they do not (nor desire to) live in the ‘real’ Luxembourg, but rather circulate through exclusive spaces for foreigners and move in and out of Luxembourg easily, rapidly, and at will. In early 2020, many of these families were in the process of planning their children’s b’nai mitzvah ceremonies at synagogues and in Jewish communities around the world when COVID regulations abruptly disrupted their regular pace and ability to move. In particular, COVID travel restrictions made many of their plans for their children’s b’nai mitzvah ceremonies impossible. At a loss, experiencing themselves as newly immobile, and facing the possibility that their children’s movement into a new life stage could be delayed, these families sought a range of solutions. Some organized a local ceremony, while others opted to delay the ceremony indefinitely – but both options came with their own issues and implications for placed-ness, time, and meaning. Based on 31 months of ethnographic fieldwork (including during the COVID-19 pandemic), this paper explores how privileged migrants’ mobility regimes were altered by COVID restrictions in ways that disrupted expected movements and temporalities and the strategies families deployed in response.

Panel P010a
Navigating hurdles and pacing (im)mobilities in times of corona [AnthroMob Network] I
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -