‘Contested spaces in graphic narrative’ argues that spatiality in graphic narratives is conducive to restructuring fraught landscapes. Through an exploration of the contested homelands of the Israeli Palestinian conflict in Miriam Libicki’s Jobnik!: An American Girl’s Adventures in the Israeli Army (2008), this article argues that graphic narratives have a unique ability to depict geographical spaces through lines, panels and various artistic devices. Like maps, such lines and boxes on a page physically create borders and represent corresponding location as bounded; they may represent existing political divisions, or they may subvert and push state-drawn boundaries. These devices within the graphic form open up a recognition of the ways that boundaries obfuscate the multifaceted representations of identity that include multiple nationalisms, ideological discontinuities, as well as human-centred spatial connections. Graphic form, then, becomes a landscape that allows for a complex visual understanding of affective attachment to the state through possibilities of graphic, bordered texts that cut across traditional understandings of territoriality and occupation. Libicki’s status as an outsider and as a woman in the Israel Defense Forces emphasizes her position of precarity in traditional conceptions of the Biblical Jewish homeland as well as in Israel, the modern Jewish state.
In the present accountability-oriented policy environment, funding and replication of educational and public health programs are contingent upon evidence-based evaluations and demonstrable outcomes. In many cases, resource constraints preclude the delivery of interventions to all potential beneficiaries. It is possible, however, for program reach to be extended through consideration of the effects of the program on secondary groups in the social networks of the targeted population. Using a single case of a targeted educational program, this dissertation examines methodological issues in the explicit identification and measurement of such effects, referred to here as “ripple effects” and defined as the dissemination of indirect outcomes of a program through the social network ties of targeted individuals. Specifically, the study assesses the impact of the Taglit-Birthright Israel travel program for Jewish young adults on connections to Israel among parents of participants.
This three-paper dissertation utilizes a mixed-method approach, drawing on semistructured interviews as well as pre- and post-trip surveys of parents conducted between November 2013 and May 2014. The first paper describes the theoretical social network framework within which ripple effects operate and recommends methods to incorporate the measurement of ripple effects in program evaluation. The second paper utilizes a framework of emerging adulthood and focuses on the process of persuasion through which emerging adults influence the views of their parents. This paper concludes that changes in the parent attitudes appear to result from the persuasive efforts of their children. The last paper shows that, for Jewish parents, the primary impact of Taglit is on increased interest in visits to Israel and reduced concern about the safety of Israel travel. The effect of the program was most pronounced for parents who had never been to Israel themselves.
Policy implications of this research include findings specific to Taglit as well as to other programmatic interventions in education and public health. Evidence of ripple effects on secondary groups can lead to the design of programs to maximize and capture those effects. By ignoring these indirect effects, the actual effects of programs might be underestimated.
The Zigzag Kid: Patterns of Bar and Bat Mitzvah in Israel
Rabbi Michael Hilton (Leo Baeck College, London)
4pm on Thu 5 March in A113, Samuel Alexander Building (Building 67 on the campus map, see directions).
ABSTRACT: Bat Mitzvah in Israel has been in the news with the first public ceremony for a girl with a Torah at the Kotel (the Western Wall). This talk will concentrate on trends in bar/bat mitzvah throughout Israel’s history, including ceremonies for visitors to Israel, and will link these with the history of the whole ceremony.SPEAKER: Michael Hilton has been Rabbi of Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community since 2001 and has recently brought out Bar Mitzvah: A History, the first full study in English on the origin and development of both the bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies. Michael is an Honorary Research Fellow of CJS and a Lecturer and Governor, Leo Baeck College, London
Further information about the Israel Studies research seminar programme and other Jewish Studies events at the University.
One of the central elements of Herzlian spatial-political thought that has been filtered out of the deterministic historiographical discourse on Herzl-the-visionary-of-the-nation-state is that of travel and tourism, as well as the cultural significance and political context of the representations of travel and tourism in his utopian-political novel Altneuland.
The present article argues, however, that it is precisely through accounting for the notions of travel and tourism at work in Theodor Herzl’s Altneuland that one can appreciate Herzl’s perception of homecoming in its full complexity. The development of this argument is divided into the following three areas: (1) a survey of the expressions of the theme of travel and tourism in Altneuland which have been largely overlooked by virtually all the historians, political scientists and literary scholars dealing with Herzl’s novel; (2) a rethinking of the cultural and political aspects of Herzlian Zionism given the appropriate assessment of the role played by the motif(s) of travel and tourism in his vision of the future Palestine, as well as placing those aspects within the wider historical context of the contemporary development of political territorially-oriented national movements in the Habsburg Central Europe where Herzlian nationalism had emerged; (3) framing discussion on the journey element in the Herzlian Zionism in terms of relevant theoretical discourse on travel, tourism and homecoming, with purpose of drawing through the case of Herzl’s employment of travel motifs some broad theoretical reflections on travel, Zionism and homecoming in the time (and space) of fin-de-siècle multiethnic empires.
By analyzing the constitutive role of tour guides narratives, this article addresses the recruitment of tourism as a means of forging transnational ties between diasporans and their ethnic homeland. Combining theoretical frameworks from linguistic anthropology and the sociology of tourism, it examines the narratives told to American Jewish youth at three graves at a military cemetery in Israel and analyzes the discursive, linguistic, and rhetorical strategies in the narratives, including stancetaking, reported speech, and pronominal usage. Attending to the growing phenomenon of diaspora homeland tourism, it analyzes how tour guide narratives about the past work as a form of social action in constituting present day transnational identifications.