Bulletin: Religion in Israel

Books

Articles

Report

Event

 

 

Advertisements

ToC: Israel Studies 22.2 (2017)

Israel Studies 22.2 (2017)

Table of Contents

    Special Section: Religion And Ethnicity

Articles

Bulletin: Public Health, Hospitals, and Professionals

Articles

Bulletin: Military and Soldiers

Articles

Bulletin: Religion in Israel

Books:

Articles:

Reviews:

 

94263

New Article: Walfish & Brody, How Religious Teachers View Problems in Bible Teaching

Walfish, Ruth A., and David L. Brody. “‘Students get bogged down’: How Religious Israeli Elementary Teachers View Problems and Solutions in Bible Teaching.” British Journal of Religious Education (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01416200.2015.1134442

 
Abstract

Bible teachers in contemporary society confront serious problems related to the nature of the biblical text and the socio-cultural context of their teaching. This study, based on semi-structured interviews, examines the problems that five expert religious Israeli elementary school teachers encounter in their teaching and the solutions they employ. Our findings show two major domains of pedagogic issues: unfamiliar biblical linguistics and problematic content. Teachers reported student difficulties in understanding biblical Hebrew. Problematic content includes irrelevant topics, emotionally laden material, and age inappropriate issues. Linguistic solutions relied on reading comprehension techniques and use of features specific to Bible reading such as diacritical marks. Regarding content issues, teachers were motivated by faith in the sanctity of the text to find effective solutions. These include selectivity, reinterpretation using homiletic tools, a holistic understanding and contextualising the narrative. Though teachers felt ill-prepared by their pre-service training in dealing with these challenges, they demonstrated resilience in their solution-oriented pedagogy. These findings suggest attention to mentoring and professional development, and to the creation of a community of practice to support teachers’ dealing with the ongoing challenges in their teaching.

 

 

New Article: Gor Ziv, Teaching Jewish Holidays in Early Childhood Education in Israel

Gor Ziv, Haggith. “Teaching Jewish Holidays in Early Childhood Education in Israel: Critical Feminist Pedagogy Perspective.” Taboo 15.1 (2016): 119-34.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/openview/40522e5877f96e9463985043f68d6e85/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=28753

 

Abstract

Teaching Jewish holidays in secular kindergartens in Israel is a major part of the early childhood education curriculum and often revolves around myths of heroism. The telling of these stories frequently evokes strong nationalist feelings of identification with fighting as they describe survival wars and conflicts in which the heroes are mostly male fighters and Jewish victory over the enemy is celebrated. Thus the teaching of the holidays hidden agenda strengthens ceremonial, patriarchal and national ideas. This paper proposes a number of educational alternatives in accordance with critical feminist pedagogy and Jewish values of social justice. The article focuses on three major holidays: Hanukah, Purim and Passover. It shows in each one of them the conventional reading of the holiday which is the traditional way it is being taught in secular kindergartens, the holiday through a critical feminist pedagogy lens and application in early childhood classrooms.

 

 

 

New Article: Chyutin, Female Modesty in Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema

Chyutin, Dan. “‘The King’s Daughter is All Glorious Within’: Female Modesty in Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema.” Journal of Jewish Identities 9.1 (2016): 39-58.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/614551

 

Extract

In the latter months of 2011, the issue of female marginalization within Judaism became the focus of a heated debate in Israeli public discourse. During this period, the national press reported on a variety of incidents involving Judaic exclusionary practices: for example, male Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers purposely leaving an official ceremony because it involved a female singing performance; ultra-Orthodox men spitting on a thirteen-year-old girl who was dressed ‘indecently’; and women being harassed on buses for not observing gender separation by moving to the back. These and other similar occurrences were denounced by secular politicians and media, and even prominent figures within the observant community spoke against the spread of segregation. Concurrently, Israeli citizens took to the streets on more than one occasion in support of the victims of Judaic discrimination. The social uproar around these events signals a growing awareness within Israeli society of the patriarchal facets of Judaic practice and their control and oppression of women. This understanding recognizes that the Bible, as a text written by and for men, situates women as the quintessential Other, and thus acts as the condition for an institutional marginalization of womanhood that covers all spheres of Jewish religious life. With reference to this state of affairs, the Judaic demand for sexually-based tzniut (modesty), visible in the aforementioned incidents, has become particularly important for Israeli feminist critique. As Shira Wolosky explains, Judaism’s modesty discourse has defined the danger of women as “that of ‘ervah, a nakedness that contains an erotic element and requires covering.” In protection of a supposed male vulnerability, the Judaic world sought to contain this danger by imposing detailed disciplines [on] women, regulating their seating in the synagogue, eating at feasts, and positioning in recreational and education settings, alongside myriad and multiplying regulations of dress, hair covering, greetings, deportment and, in the ultra-Orthodox world, also work spaces and public travel. These measures, which may be collected under the general heading of mechitzah (separation), engender Foucauldian ‘analytic spaces’ that ‘provide fixed positions’ and establish operational links as means of social regulation. As such, they become obvious targets for the feminist appreciation of female subjectivity under Judaism. Cognizant of the oppressive implications of the mechitzah, religious feminist discourse does not call for its abolishment but rather attempts to reinterpret it; for example, by looking at modesty-regulated spaces as offering opportunities for women to express and strengthen a self-conscious identity, or by expanding the purview of modesty to all members of the community so as to help them ‘view themselves [not] according to the images of each other that have been generated through generations of cagey anxiety and misguided notions, but in the far more forgiving gaze of the divine.’ In contrast, Israeli secular feminist discourse, as reflected through the 2011 public debate on female marginalization, has been largely uninterested in such reasoning. Instead, it has defined feminism and Judaism as fundamentally incompatible, and therefore offered the breaking of mechitzah as the only proper solution for the religious woman’s plight. This position did not emerge ex nihilo. Rather, we find it mirrored in the proliferation of contemporary Israeli films that aim, so it seems, to stage scenes where religious Jewish (or ‘Judaic’) women transgress modesty norms in sexual and romantic contexts. As a genre, these filmic texts imagine observant women to be not only the principal victims of Israeli-Judaic reality, but also its primary challengers. Their challenge is seen as originating from a desire for sexual exploration, a desire that is deemed natural and thus inherently in conflict with Judaism’s artificial laws of sexual management. Accordingly, these works place their characters on a collision course with Judaism’s power structures, a process that ultimately necessitates they abandon their religiosity or live in painful tension with it. The goal of the following pages is to evaluate this corpus of media texts as manifesting the current Israeli secular critique of Judaic androcentrism.

 

 

 

New Book: Randall, Sufism and Jewish-Muslim Relations

Randall, Yafiah Katherine. Sufism and Jewish-Muslim Relations. The Derekh Avraham Order in Israel. New York: Routledge, 2016.

 

9781138914032

 

In Israel there are Jews and Muslims who practice Sufism together. The Sufi’ activities that they take part in together create pathways of engagement between two faith traditions in a geographical area beset by conflict.

Sufism and Jewish Muslim Relationsinvestigates this practice of Sufism among Jews and Muslims in Israel and examines their potential to contribute to peace in the area. It is an original approach to the study of reconciliation, situating the activities of groups that are not explicitly acting for peace within the wider context of grass-roots peace initiatives. The author conducted in-depth interviews with those practicing Sufism in Israel, and these are both collected in an appendix and used throughout the work to analyse the approaches of individuals to Sufism and the challenges they face. It finds that participants understand encounters between Muslim and Jewish mystics in the medieval Middle East as a common heritage to Jews and Muslims practising Sufism together today, and it explores how those of different faiths see no dissonance in the adoption of Sufi practices to pursue a path of spiritual progression.

The first examination of the Derekh Avraham Jewish-Sufi Order, this is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Sufi studies, as well as those interested in Jewish-Muslim relations.

 

Table of Contents

    • Part 1: Procedure and Contexts of the Research
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Contexts of the Investigation
    • 3 Historical Encounters of Jewish and Islamic Mysticism: precedents of Contemporary Practice in Israel
    • Part 2: Reading the Field Narratives
    • 4 The Derekh Avraham/Tariqat Ibrahimiyya and its Contemporary Re-emergence in Israel
    • 5 Beshara: Lovers of Ibn Arabi
    • 6 Embracing the Sufi Path and the Dissemination of Knowledge
    • 7 Jewish and Muslim Peacemakers
    • Part 3: Conclusion
    • 8 The Other Voice
    • Appendices

 

YAFIAH KATHERINE RANDALL received her PhD at the University of Winchester. She combines academic research into Jewish-Muslim relations focusing on Sufism with grass-roots action for interreligious understanding and conflict transformation.

New Article: Troen, Secular Judaism in Israel

Troen, Ilan. “Secular Judaism in Israel.” Society (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12115-016-9991-x
 
Abstract

Secularity among Israel’s Jews retains many elements associated with traditional Judaism. Comprising 80 % of Israel’s Jews, they define themselves as secular but nevertheless “do Judaism” by performing rituals and hold to traditional religious worldviews and values. Such behavior is comprehended in Eisenstadt’s “multiple modernities” as well as Berger’s multiple “altars” and “coexistence.” Such behavior may be explained in a new balance between the traditional triad of Peoplehood/Torah[The Law]/and the Land of Israel that has characterized Judaism through the ages and found expression by a Hebrew-speaking people who imported new and diverse modern concepts and sources of authority in the return to their homeland where they constructed a “Jewish” state of ambiguous meanings.

 

 

 

ToC: Israel Studies 21.2 (2016)

Israel Studies, 21.2 (2016)

Table of Contents

 

 Front Matter (pp. i-v)

Special Section—Dislocations of Immigration

The Politics of Defining Jews from Arab Countries (pp. 1-26)

Shayna Zamkanei 

Challenges and Psychological Adjustment of Religious American Adolescent Immigrants to Israel (pp. 27-49)

Avidan Milevsky

“Marginal Immigrants”: Jewish-Argentine Immigration to the State of Israel, 1948–1967 (pp. 50-76)

Sebastian Klor

Articles

Annexation or Separation? The Municipal Status of the Jewish Neighborhoods of Jaffa 1940–1944 (pp. 77-101)

Tamir Goren

Reasoning from History: Israel’s “Peace Law” and Resettlement of the Tel Malhata Bedouin (pp. 102-132)

Havatzelet Yahel and Ruth Kark

The Israeli Names Law: National Integration and Military Rule (pp. 133-154)

Moshe Naor

 Khilul Hashem: Blasphemy in Past and Present Israel (pp. 155-181)

Gideon Aran

The Construction and De-construction of the Ashkenazi vs. Sephardic/Mizrahi Dichotomy in Israeli Culture: Rabbi Eliyahou Zini vs. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (pp. 182-205)

Joseph Ringel

Back Matter

 

 

New Article: Fuchs, The Study of Emunah in the Har Hamor Yeshiva

Fuchs, Ilan.”The Construction of an Ideological Curriculum: The Study of Emunah in the Har Hamor Yeshiva.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2016.1140925
 
Abstract

Beginning in 1997, the Har Hamor Yeshiva, a leading Jerusalem-based institute for Torah learning, has become the center of a unique stream of thought in religious Zionist philosophy. This article examines how religious Zionist yeshivas have developed an educational curriculum that translates theological beliefs and values into political action. The article seeks to evaluate to what extent this ideology and curriculum will be able to survive in a political reality in which the rift between religious and secular Zionism is constantly increasing.

 

 

 

New Book: Feldman, A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land

Feldman, Jackie. A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 
Feldman

 

For many Evangelical Christians, a trip to the Holy Land is an integral part of practicing their faith. Arriving in groups, most of these pilgrims are guided by Jewish Israeli tour guides. For more than three decades, Jackie Feldman—born into an Orthodox Jewish family in New York, now an Israeli citizen, scholar, and licensed guide—has been leading tours, interpreting Biblical landscapes, and fielding questions about religion and current politics. In this book, he draws on pilgrimage and tourism studies, his own experiences, and interviews with other guides, Palestinian drivers and travel agents, and Christian pastors to examine the complex interactions through which guides and tourists “co-produce” the Bible Land. He uncovers the implicit politics of travel brochures and religious souvenirs. Feldman asks what it means when Jewish-Israeli guides get caught up in their own performances or participate in Christian rituals, and reflects on how his interactions with Christian tourists have changed his understanding of himself and his views of religion.

 

Table of Contents

  • 1. How Guiding Christians Made Me Israeli
  • 2. Guided Holy Land Pilgrimage—Sharing the Road
  • 3. Opening Their Eyes: Performance of a Shared Protestant-Israeli Bible Land
  • 4. Christianizing the Conflict: Bethlehem and the Separation Wall
  • 5. The Goods of Pilgrimage: Tips, Souvenirs, and the Moralities of Exchange
  • 6. The Seductions of Guiding Christians
  • 7. Conclusions: Pilgrimage, Performance, and the Suspension of Disbelief

 

JACKIE FELDMAN a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is author of Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity. He has been a licensed tour guide in Jerusalem for over three decades.

 

 

 

New Article: Meydani, Tour Guides Policy: Law or Political Culture?

Meydani, Assaf.”Tour Guides Policy: Law or Political Culture? The Case of Pilgrims in the Holy Land.” International Journal of Public Law and Policy 5.3 (2016).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJPLAP.2015.075028

 
Abstract

The role of tour guides has not been widely discussed in the literature, and neither has the policy that governs the place of tour guides in relation to the pilgrimage in the Holy Land. The Israeli Supreme Court (1987) has enabled pilgrims to guide without a licence, in clear opposition to the position of the Israeli Tour Guides’ Association. This led to a public ‘storm’, as a result of the tension between law, tourism, religion and state. It seems that the pilgrims’ debate is not over yet in Israel. This paper will try to analyse the court decision within a neo-institutionalism approach emphasising non-governability and alternative political culture as explanatory variables.

 

 

 

Thesis: Kaplen, The Ethiopian Messianic Jewish Movement of Israel

Kaplan, Jennifer. The Ethiopian Messianic Jewish Movement of Israel: An Evaluative Study for Growth and Sustainability, D.I.S. Thesis. Pasadena, Calif.: Fuller Theological Seminary, 2015.

 

URL: http://search.proquest.com/docview/1754414979

 

Abstract

The journey of immigration and integration of the Ethiopian Jews of Israel is a remarkable story. From traditional society and Torah-based Judaism in Ethiopia to high-tech society and Rabbinic Judaism in Israel, the gap is the largest in Israeli pluralistic society. The results are often low socio-economic status, family crisis, and discrimination. A sub-group of the Ethiopian Jews is the Ethiopian Messianic Jews of Israel, whose identity is further compounded by their faith in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. This research investigates the background and growth of their congregations in the missiological context of Israel. The research also investigates the integration levels of their leaders and how this affects the congregations, and draws conclusions regarding the movement’s sustainability for the future.

 

 

 

Thesis: Chyutin, Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience

Chyutin, Dan. A Hidden Light: Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience, PhD dissertation. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2015.
 
URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/26366/
 
Abstract

Throughout its brief history, Israeli cinema largely ignored Jewish religious identity, aligning itself with Zionism’s rejection of Judaism as a marker of diasporic existence. Yet over the past two decades, as traditional Zionism slowly declined, and religion’s presence became more pronounced in the public sphere, Israeli filmmakers began to treat Judaism as a legitimate cinematic concern. The result has been a growth in the number of Israeli films dealing with the realities of devoutly religious Jews, amounting to a veritable “Judaic turn” in Israel’s cinematic landscape. As of now, this “turn” has received meager attention within Israeli film scholarship. The following, then, addresses this scholarly lack by offering an extensive investigation of contemporary Judaic-themed Israeli cinema.

This intervention pursues two interconnected lines of inquiry. The first seeks to analyze the corpus in question for what it says on the Judaic dimension of present-day Israeli society. In this context, this study argues that while a dialectic of secular vs. religious serves as the overall framework in which these films operate, it is habitually countermanded by gestures that bring these binary categories together into mutual recognition. Accordingly, what one finds in such filmic representations is a profound sense of ambivalence, which is indicative of a general equivocation within Israeli public discourse surrounding the rise in Israeli Judaism’s stature and its effects on a national ethos once so committed to secularism.

The second inquiry follows the lead of Judaic-themed Israeli cinema’s interest in Jewish mysticism, and extends it to a film-theoretical consideration of how Jewish mystical thought may help illuminate particular constituents of the cinematic experience. Here emphasis is placed on two related mystical elements to which certain Israeli films appeal—an enlightened vision that unravels form and a state of unity that ensues. The dissertation argues that these elements not only appear in the Israeli filmic context, but are also present in broader cinematic engagements, even when those are not necessarily organized through the theosophic coordinates of mysticism. Furthermore, it suggests that this cycle’s evocation of such elements is aimed to help its national audience transcend the ambivalences of Israel’s “Judaic imagination.”

 

 

 

New Article: Weiss, The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv

Weiss, Shayna. “A Beach of Their Own: The Creation of the Gender-Segregated Beach in Tel Aviv.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2016.1140882     [PDF]
 
Abstract

This article examines the struggle for gender-segregated sea bathing in Tel Aviv from the first calls for gender segregation in the 1920s until 1966, when the city of Tel Aviv established a beach for men and women to swim separately. The most effective demands for gender segregation were framed in a civic and not religious discourse. Rather than claiming that gender-segregated swimming was against Jewish values, the ultra-Orthodox party Agudat Yisrael effectively argued that a lack of separate swimming violated their rights as taxpayers who had the right to bathe in the sea just as any other Israeli citizen.

 

 

 

New Article: Shalev et al, Change in the Religious Identity of Young Religious Jewish Newlyweds in Israel

Shalev, Ofra, Nehami Baum, and Haya Itzhaky. “Religious Identity in Transition. Processes of Change in the Religious Identity of Young Religious Jewish Newlyweds in Israel.” The Family Journal 24.2 (2015): 132-9.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066480716628598
 
Abstract

When researchers started to explore the cultural context of marriage, studies about how religious beliefs act within the marriage context have emerged. Most studies focused on Christian population, exploring how religiosity shape the nature of the marital relationship. The present study, however, examined the religious dynamics in one’s religious identity as a result of the transition to matrimony. Using qualitative tools, we interviewed 18 young Israeli Jewish Orthodox couples during their first year of marriage. The study exposes that although both partners come from the same religious group, the transition to marriage creates significant changes in their self-religious identity.

 

 

 

New Article: Erdreich, Spirituality in Teacher Training at an Islamic College in Israel

Erdreich, Lauren. “Spirituality in Teacher Training at an Islamic College in Israel.” Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education 10.1 (2016): 1-13.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15595692.2015.1084921

 

Abstract

This article looks at an Islamic teacher training college in Israel in an attempt to understand how religious revival shapes women’s understandings of being Muslim women professionals in Israel. The college grew out of Islamic revival in Israel; its teacher training program reflects the sensibilities that Islamic revival hopes to foster in women who study there and in the children they will teach. The article is based on ethnographic research at the college. Adopting a theoretical approach to spirituality as a cultural phenomenon, experienced as authentic, yet culturally informed, can serve as a powerful resource for creating social meaning and as a source of pedagogies of change. I illustrate the means by which the institution makes space for a spirituality that infuses teacher training with a sense of social purpose, civil commitment, and personal unity with the divine.

 

 

 

New Article: Golan & Stadler, The Dual Use of the Internet by Chabad

Golan, Oren, and Nurit Stadler. “Building the Sacred Community Online: The Dual Use of the Internet by Chabad.” Media, Culture & Society (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0163443715615415
 
Abstract

Religious communities have ongoing concerns about Internet use, as it intensifies the clash between tradition and modernity, a clash often found in traditionally inclined societies. Nevertheless, as websites become more useful and widely accessible, religious and communal stakeholders have continuously worked at building and promoting them. This study focuses on Chabad, a Jewish ultra-Orthodox movement, and follows webmasters of three key websites to uncover how they distribute religious knowledge over the Internet. Through an ethnographic approach that included interviews with over 30 webmasters, discussions with key informants, and observations of the websites themselves, the study uncovered webmaster’s strategies to foster solidarity within their community, on one hand, while also proselytizing their outlook on Judaism, on the other. Hence, the study sheds light on how a fundamentalist society has strengthened its association with new media, thus facilitating negotiation between modernity and religious piety.