Gonen, Amiram. “Widespread and Diverse Forms of Gentrification in Israel.” In Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (ed. Loretta Lees,Hyun Bang Shin,and Ernesto Lopez-Morales; Bristol, UK and Chicago, IL: Policy Press, 2015): 143-63.
My ongoing observations over the last three decades on patterns of gentrification in Israeli inner cities, suburban towns and rural communities have led me to view gentrification from a different geographical perspective to the one shared by many Western researchers writing on gentrification. Research on gentrification originated in the heart of some Western cities and, therefore, gentrification was often characterised as primarily an inner-urban phenomenon. It was first observed and defined in an academic fashion in inner London and subsequently studied in the 1980s and early 1990s in the inner city of some North American and British cities. Indeed, the settling of middle class households in lower-social class neighbourhoods of the inner city has achieved sizeable proportions in Western cities since the 1970s.
The Israeli experience raises the issue of the need to widen the scope of the term ‘gentrification’ beyond lower-class neighbourhoods. This definitional widening is especially relevant to middle-class neighbourhoods in the inner city that have undergone some social downscaling, later reversed due to the return of middle-class households. I suggest that this return of such neighbourhoods to being again solidly middle-class areas should be included within the definition of gentrification as a special category of ‘regentrification’, added to the one proposed as ‘supergentrification’ for the further gentrification of already-gentrified neighbourhoods by the very rich global elites.
Hundreds of Jews who migrated from India to Israel in the 1950s and 1960s were settled in Israeli development towns. Ironically, many Indian Jews had left bustling urban centers like Bombay, only to be dropped off in dry, dusty, underdeveloped towns in the Negev desert. This article explores the postmigration experience of first-generation Indian Jewish women migrants settled in the town of Dimona, Israel. Drawing upon extensive ethnographic research and personal narratives, this paper analyzes the ramifications of this migration on the social, economic, linguistic, and cultural identities of these women. Highlighting the challenges faced by them as wives, mothers, and members of a labor force, the article underscores the gendered nature of this experience and its impact on the postaliya lives of these Indian Jewish migrants. The article argues that while Indian Jewish communities have successfully created supportive and associational networks across many development towns, Israeli towns like Dimona, which remain largely frozen in time, have also adversely affected the prospects of the second generation born to these Indian Jewish women who made aliya in the 1960s.