New Book: Katz, Bringing Zion Home. Israel in American Jewish Culture

Katz, Emily Alice. Bringing Zion Home. Israel in American Jewish Culture, 1948-1967. Albany: SUNY Press, 2015.


Katz, Bringing Zion Home


Bringing Zion Home examines the role of culture in the establishment of the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel in the immediate postwar decades. Many American Jews first encountered Israel through their roles as tastemakers, consumers, and cultural impresarios—that is, by writing and reading about Israel; dancing Israeli folk dances; promoting and purchasing Israeli goods; and presenting Israeli art and music. It was precisely by means of these cultural practices, argues Emily Alice Katz, that American Jews insisted on Israel’s “natural” place in American culture, a phenomenon that continues to shape America’s relationship with Israel today.

Katz shows that American Jews’ promotion and consumption of Israel in the cultural realm was bound up with multiple agendas, including the quest for Jewish authenticity in a postimmigrant milieu and the desire of upwardly mobile Jews to polish their status in American society. And, crucially, as influential cultural and political elites positioned “culture” as both an engine of American dominance and as a purveyor of peace in the Cold War, many of Israel’s American Jewish impresarios proclaimed publicly that cultural patronage of and exchange with Israel advanced America’s interests in the Middle East and helped spread the “American way” in the postwar world. Bringing Zion Home is the first book to shine a light squarely upon the role and importance of Israel in the arts, popular culture, and material culture of postwar America.

Emily Alice Katz teaches history at the University of California, Irvine.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

1. Introduction: Postwar American Jewry Reconsidered

2. Before Exodus: Writing Israel for an American Audience

3. Hora Hootenannies and Yemenite Hoedowns: Israeli Folk Dance in America

4. A Consuming Passion: Israeli Goods in American Jewish Culture

5. Cultural Emissaries and the Culture Explosion: Introducing Israeli Art and Music



Dissertation: Strohm, Contemporary Art, Politics and the Palestinians in Israel

Strohm, Kiven. Impossible Identification. Contemporary Art, Politics and the Palestinians in Israel. University of Montreal, 2013.





This thesis explores what it means for the Palestinian indigenous minority in Israel to produce art in a setting that has simultaneously controlled their movements and excluded them from full citizenship. It takes on the question of how Palestinian artists face discrimination within a monolithic state structure that defines itself primarily along religious and ethno-national lines. Most writing about art in colonial and postcolonial contexts tends to see art as a resource for asserting repressed ethnic, racial and indigenous identities in the face of ongoing control and domination. Art, in other words, is considered a political act of recognition through the assertion of a counter identity. The central question of this thesis concerns what happens when artists contest the colonial conditions within which they live without having recourse to identity-based claims about equality and rights. Based on intensive ethnographic fieldwork in the region, this research demonstrates that for Palestinian artists the political aspect of art is not related to claims about identity and that the relationship between art and identity is not homologous. Specifically, it explores artistic processes within a context in which spatiotemporal regimes of identification are being disrupted by an indigenous national minority. It establishes that politics in the case of Palestinian artists in Israel is a form of disidentification that is articulated through the figure of the present absentee. The central tropes found within the works of these artists can be seen as disruptive aesthetic acts, a “taking place” of politics that is between art and non-art, and outside of given identities; that is, a scene for the rupture of the “sensible order” of Israeli society through the affirmation and verification of an already existing equality.



Subject: Cultural anthropology

Classification: 0326: Cultural anthropology

Identifier / keyword: Social sciences, Visual art, Aesthetics, Palestine, Israel, Colonialism, Haifa,

Number of pages: 278

Publication year: 2013

Degree date: 2013

School code: 0992

Source: DAI-A 75/06(E), Dec 2014

Place of publication: Ann Arbor

Country of publication: United States

ISBN: 9780499277718

Advisor: White, Bob

University/institution: Université de Montréal (Canada)

Department: Faculté des arts et des sciences

University location: Canada

Degree: Ph.D.

Source type: Dissertations & Theses

Language: English

Document type: Dissertation/Thesis

Dissertation/thesis number: NS27771

ProQuest document ID: 1504845797


Seminar: Azrieli Institute Student-Faculty Seminar (Nov 26, 2014)

poster for November seminar

Azrieli Institute of Israel Studies

Student-Faculty Seminars

Join us for our first seminar of the year!

Wednesday November 26, 2014



Jerusalem Art History Journal. An Undergraduate eJournal: The Process and Product

Dr. Loren Lerner, Project Director, Department of Art History

Pata Macedo, Journal Designer, Department of Design and Computation Arts

Israeli Archaeology in Jerusalem: National Heritage, Identity, and Partiality Charlotte Parent

Symbols and Motifs: Depictions of the Heavenly Realm in Mordecai Ardon’s At the Gates of Jerusalem Valerie Gauthier

Expressing Exile as a Shared Experience: The Work of Steve Sabella Stéphanie Hornstein

From the Depths of the Matrixial Sea: Reviving Loss and Memory in Contemporary Israeli Art Braden Scot

The Artistic Apocalypse: Three Religious Depictions of the End of Days Amanda Charlebois

Representations of Jesus in Early Christian Art Samantha Wexler


The Benefits of International Diversification:The Case of Israel in a Nexus of Market Development, Corporate Governance and Structural Change

Dr. Lorne Switzer, Department of Finance

Cite: Rosen, The Crisis of the 1980s and Israeli Photography

Rosen, Jochai. "The End of Consensus: The Crisis of the 1980s and the Turning-Point in Israeli Photography." Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 9.3 (2010): 327-347.





Israeli photography in its broader sense began with the Zionist resettlement of the Land of Israel in the late nineteenth century. Israeli photography can be divided into two stages: the early one, in which it reflected solidarity with the Zionist cause, and the contemporary stage, in which it has become highly critical of it, at times with evident sarcasm. Yet, to date, the watershed separating the one stage from the other has not been defined. By analysing developments in Israeli public life and culture, the article shows that the first few months of the 1982 war in Lebanon, which shattered the Israeli national consensus, found their immediate reflection in Israeli photography. During the 1980s Israeli photography became transformed, as the iconic images focusing on the Zionist hero were replaced by the images of those who were generally overlooked, the Palestinians in particular. This new image is defined as a “reversed icon”.

Tour: 8-day Study Tour Israeli and Jewish Art

Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) and the Ein Harod Art Museum have designed a 8-day Study Tour ISRAELI AND JEWISH ART for academia, students of Art history or related subjects and museum employees.


The Tour takes place from 2-10 of August, 2010. For more information visit the website at

CFP: Open University Conference on Hebrew Literature

Click here for formatted CFP flyer (pdf files):  cfpopenueng/ cfpopenuheb.

The Open University of Israel
Department of Literature, Language and the Arts / Department of History,
Philosophy and Judaic Studies



The 24th Inter-University Conference for Hebrew Literature Research will be held on June 21-22, 2010 at the Open University campus in Ra’anana. The conference will be devoted to the links between works of Hebrew literature and the visual arts, music, theater and film in diverse historical periods and cultural contexts.

We welcome paper proposals responding to the following questions:

  • What are the thematic and poetic meeting points of Hebrew literature and other cultural and artistic representations?
  • What ideas does the relationship between Hebrew literature and the arts reflect regarding high and popular culture, art and entertainment, tradition and innovation, center and periphery, artist and audience?
  • How are works of art represented in Hebrew literature? What is the function of ekphrasis? And how are Hebrew texts represented in works of art?
  • What connections can be found between the representation of biblical scenes in Midrash and Piyyut and their appearance in illuminated manuscripts, mosaics and other art objects? How does music influence the prosody and poetics of Hebrew liturgical poetry?
  • Do Hebrew literature and art have mutual influence, e.g. in the borrowing of artistic techniques by literary texts and vice versa? Can theoretical models from the fields of art be applied to the study of Hebrew literature?
  • What kinds of relationship between various modes of representation can be observed in hybrid works (e.g. ones that combine literature and photography, literature and painting, literature and documentation)?
  • How is Hebrew literature related to other cultural and artistic texts in their historical, religious, ethnic and gendered contexts?
  • In what ways do the links between Hebrew literature and the arts reflect the connection of Hebrew and Jewish culture to other traditions?

Please send 250-word abstracts for 20-minute talks, including your proposed title and contact information, to the organizing committee by March 15, 2010

Email Address for abstracts:
** The conference will be held in Hebrew, but it is possible to give a talk in English

Members of the organizing committee: Doli Benhabib, Galia Benziman, Adia Mendelson-Maoz, Ophir Münz-Manor, Shimrit Peled.

  אוניברסיטאי העשרים וארבעה לחקר הספרות העברית יתקיים בימים שני22-21 ושלישי ביוני 2010 , ט י בתמוז, תשע בקמפוס האוניברסיטה הפתוחה ברעננה. הכנס יעסוק בזיקות וביחסי הגומלין שבין יצירות מן הספרות העברית לבין האמנות החזותית, המוסיקה,התיאטרון והקולנוע בתקופות שונות ובהקשרים תרבותיים מגוונים שיתייחסו לשאלות הבאות הנוגעות לזיקות בין הספרות לאמנות תרבותיים ואמנותיים אחרים, בין תרבות גבוהה לתרבות נמוכה, לחדשנות מתחום האמנות בתחום הספרות ולהיפך, ספרות זו. בין היתר אנו מעוניינים בהרצאות:היכן וסביב אילו מוקדים תמאטיים ופואטיים מתקיימים מפגשים בין הספרות העברית לבין ייצוגים?כיצד משקפת הזיקה בין הספרות העברית לתחומי האמנות האחרים תפיסות רחבות הנוגעות לחלוקה? בין אמנות לבידור? בין מרכז לפריפריה? בין יוצר לקהל? בין מסורת? מה הם ההיבטים החברתייםפוליטיים של הזיקות בין ספרות לאמנות בתרבות הישראלית?כיצד מיוצגות יצירות אמנות בספרות העברית ומהי משמעותן של תופעות אקפרסטיות? ומן הכיוון, באיזה אופן מיוצגים טקסטים ספרותיים ביצירות אמנות?האם ניתן להבחין בהשפעות הדדיות בין הספרות העברית לאמנות המתבטאות, למשל, באימוץ טכניקות? האם ניתן לאמץ מודלים מחקריים מתחום האמנויות בחקר, וכיצד?מהם היחסים בין סוגי הייצוגים השונים ביצירות היברידיות (לדוגמא: ספרות וצילום, ספרות וציור,ספרות ותיעוד)?מהם היחסים בין הספרות העברית לבין טקסטים תרבותיים ואמנותיים אחרים בהקשרם ההיסטורי,הדתי, התרבותי, האתני והמגדרי?האם קיימות זיקות בין ספרות המדרש לתיאטרון בעולם העתיק? אילו קשרים ניתן למצוא בין ייצוג, בכתבי יד ובחפצי אמנות אחרים?מה מאפיין את דרכי העיבוד של יצירות פרוזה בעברית לקולנוע, לתיאטרון ולאופרה או של שירה עברית?אילו זיקות מתקיימות בין השירה הליטורגית העברית לדורותיה לאמנות החזותית של בית הכנסת? האם ניתן להבחין בהשפעות מוסיקליות על הפואטיקה והפרוזודיה של שירה זו?היכן ממוקמת הספרות העברית ביחס לתחומי אמנות אחרים בהקשרים של ייצוג היסטורי, תיעוד? אילו זיקות אפשר לזהות, למשל, בין ספרות לצילום?באיזה אופן משקפים יחסי הגומלין בין הספרות העברית לבין תחומי אמנות אחרים שילוב בין התרבות?


הצעות להרצאות בנות עשרים דקות יש להגיש עד15 במרץ 2010heblitconf2010@gmail.comלכתובת הדואר האלקטרוני, תקציר של כ 200- מלים ופרטים ליצירת קשר.חברי הוועדה המארגנת: דולי בן חביב, גליה בנזימן, אופיר מינץ מנור, עדיה מנדלסון מעוז, שמרית פלד 

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