The Congress of the International Circassian Association: Dilemmas of an Ethno-National Movement, by Chen Bram

Dr. Chen Bram is an anthropologist and organizational psychologist. He is a research fellow at the Truman Institute of the Hebrew University, involved in anthropological research. He also teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Bram is a graduate of the Mandel Institute for Educational Leadership, and has completed additional studies in comparative religion and philosophy. He has also worked with various organizations and projects as an organizational counselor and group facilitator. Furthermore, he is a certified and licensed tour-guide.

Bram received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His dissertation was entitled "Ethnic Categorization and Cultural diversity – A View from the Margins: Caucasus Jews between Europe and Asia." His work focuses on issues of diversity, multiculturalism and ethnic relations in Israeli society and other societies. Bram conducted field work in Israel, the Caucasus region and Central Asia, especially among Adyghe (Circassians) and Jews of the Caucasus (Juhur).

The fields of research in which he is interested also include ethnicity and immigration; Islam and ethnicity in the Caucasus; Diaspora peoples; and anthropology of the Jews. Combining his academic interests with practical applications, he has worked with immigrants from the Former Soviet Union; initiated and managed a project to promote immigrant leadership in the Mandel School of Educational Leadership; and served as an advisor to the Ministry for Immigrant Absorption. He taught in the Land of Israel Studies Department at Beit Berl College, and planned and facilitated the project "One Space – Multiple Identities" in the Galilee. He has participated in projects on conflict resolution, and guided geographical cultural tours in India, China and Central Asia.

At The Van-Leer Jerusalem Institute, Bram served as facilitator of the research project on "Human Dignity in Israeli Society," and is currently facilitating the research group on
Identity and Sovereignty, together with Prof. Hanan Alexander and Prof. Naftali Rothenberg. He also serves as facilitator in the "Jerusalem Mosaic" project, and participates in research groups, such as "Public Policy and Multiculturalism in Israel", Anthropology Now and Religion and Class in Israel.

This article is based on observations that were taken during the 1990s.

''The Circassian World Congress: Dilemmas of Ethnic Identity and the Making of an Ethno- National Movement'' in “The Caspian Region”, Vol. 2: The Caucasus , ed. by M. Gammer ,. . London: Routledge.

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