New Book: Raviv, Falafel Nation

Raviv, Yael. Falafel Nation. Cuisine and the Making of National Identity in Israel, Studies of Jews in Society. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2015.



When people discuss food in Israel, their debates ask politically charged questions: Who has the right to falafel? Whose hummus is better? But Yael Raviv’s Falafel Nation moves beyond the simply territorial to divulge the role food plays in the Jewish nation. She ponders the power struggles, moral dilemmas, and religious and ideological affiliations of the different ethnic groups that make up the “Jewish State” and how they relate to the gastronomy of the region. How do we interpret the recent upsurge in the Israeli culinary scene—the transition from ideological asceticism to the current deluge of fine restaurants, gourmet stores, and related publications and media?

Focusing on the period between the 1905 immigration wave and the Six-Day War in 1967, Raviv explores foodways from the field, factory, market, and kitchen to the table. She incorporates the role of women, ethnic groups, and different generations into the story of Zionism and offers new assertions from a secular-foodie perspective on the relationship between Jewish religion and Jewish nationalism. A study of the changes in food practices and in attitudes toward food and cooking, Falafel Nation explains how the change in the relationship between Israelis and their food mirrors the search for a definition of modern Jewish nationalism.

Yael Raviv is the director of the Umami food and art festival in New York City. She has a PhD in performance studies from New York University and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at NYU. Her work has appeared in Women and Performance, Gastronomica, and elsewhere.

Cite: Smith, Hotel Design in British Mandate Palestine

Smith, Daniella Ohad. "Hotel Design in British Mandate Palestine: Modernism and the Zionist Vision ." Journal of Israeli History 29,1 (2010): 99-123.


From the early 1920s through the 1930s, an important yet forgotten avant-garde architectural phenomenon developed in the Zionist community of British Mandate Palestine. In cities and resort regions across the country, several dozen modernist hotels were built for a new type of visitor: the Zionist tourist. Often the most architecturally significant structures in their locales and designed by leading local architects educated in some of Europe’s most progressive schools, these hotels were conceived along ideological lines and represented a synthesis of social requirements, cutting-edge aesthetics, and utopian national ideals. They responded to a complex mixture of sentiments, including European standards of modern comfort and the longing to remake Palestine, the historical homeland of the Jewish people, for a newly liberated, progressive nation. This article focuses on Jerusalem’s most ambitious modernist hotel, the Eden Hotel, to evaluate how the architecture of tourism became a political and aesthetic tool in the promotion of Zionist Palestine.


Keywords: Zionist national style; Palestine tourism; Eden Hotel; King David Hotel; Palace Hotel; Alexander Baerwald; Julius Berger; Josef Frank; Gustave-Adolphe Hufschmid; Alexander Koch; Leopold Krakauer; Abraham Lifschitz; Julius Posener; Yohanan Ratner; Emil Vogt; Werner Joseph Wittkower, British Mandate, Israel: Tourism from, Israel: Architecture, Hotel Industry