Bulletin: Religion in Israel

Books:

Articles:

Reviews:

 

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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: Shoshana, Ethnicity without Ethnicity

Shoshana, Avihu. “Ethnicity without Ethnicity: ‘I’m beyond that story’ State Arrangements, Re-Education and (New) Ethnicity in Israel.” Social Identities (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2016.1166939

 

Abstract

This article examines the connection between state ethnic classifications and the way they are perceived by individuals in everyday life. Using the case of the Boarding School for the Gifted Disadvantaged in Israel which is open to immigrants, an attempt was made to reach an understanding of how individuals who have experienced deliberate state intervention in the ethnic component of their selfhood, experience this intervention years after the (re)construction. The main findings illuminate how boarding school graduates transformed the governmental intervention into a unique ethnic identity for everyday life: ‘ethnicity without ethnicity’. This identity rejects any overt engagement with the ethnic component of the concept of self. This identity even relies on the subject’s constant reminders to himself that ‘he is beyond the ethnic story’ and that meritocratic identity (devoid of ethnic consciousness) is preferable to ascriptive identity. The findings also show that ethnic identity is not necessarily expressed in everyday practices (language, food consumption, music, festivals) but rather in ongoing cognitive engagement of the agent distanced from the available official ethnic classifications. The discussion section tracks the state-organizational sources of this ethnic identity and its relation to the unmarked ethnicity amongst the upper-middle classes.

 

 

 

New Book: Bekerman, The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education

Bekerman, Zvi. The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education. Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199336517
 

The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education presents the results of a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel that offer a new educational option to two groups of Israelis–Palestinians and Jews–who have been in conflict for the last one hundred years. Their goal is to create egalitarian bilingual multicultural environments to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect “others” while maintaining loyalty to their respective cultural traditions. In this book, Bekerman reveals the complex school practices implemented while negotiating identity and culture in contexts of enduring conflict. Data gathered from interviews with teachers, students, parents, and state officials are presented and analyzed to explore the potential and limitations of peace education given the cultural resources, ethnic-religious affiliations, political beliefs, and historical narratives of the various interactants. The book concludes with critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. Change, it is argued, will only occur after these perspectives are abandoned, which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.

 
Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part 1
  • 1. Positioning the Author
  • 2. Theoretical Perspectives
  • 3. Methodology: From Theory to Implementation
  • 4. Schools in Their Contexts
  • Part 2
  • 5. The Parents
  • 6. Teachers at Their Work
  • 7. The Children
  • Part 3
  • 8. School Routines: Culture, Religion, and Politics in the Classroom
  • 9. Ceremonial Events
  • 10. Conflicting National Narratives
  • Part 4
  • 11. The Graduates
  • 12. Conclusions
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index

 

ZVI BEKERMAN teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic, and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is particularly interested in how concepts such as culture and identity intersect with issues of social justice, intercultural and peace education, and citizenship education.

 

 

 

ToC: Journal of Israeli History 34.2 (2015)

Journal of Israeli History, 34.2 (2015)

No Trinity: The tripartite relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization
Daniel Mahla
pages 117-140

Judaism and communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965
Amir Locker-Biletzki
pages 141-158

Olei Hagardom: Between official and popular memory
Amir Goldstein
pages 159-180

Practices of photography on kibbutz: The case of Eliezer Sklarz
Edna Barromi Perlman
pages 181-203

The Shishakli assault on the Syrian Druze and the Israeli response, January–February 1954
Randall S. Geller
pages 205-220

Book Reviews

Editorial Board

New Article: Locker-Biletzki, Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists

Locker-Biletzki, Amir. “Judaism and Communism: Hanukkah, Passover, and the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and Israel, 1919–1965.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1068971

 

Abstract
This article explores the mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic aspects of the ways in which the festivals of Hanukkah and Passover were celebrated by the Jewish Communists in Mandate Palestine and the State of Israel. It illustrates how elements of Zionist-socialist culture were adopted by Jewish Communists and integrated in their cultural activities. In a gradual process starting in the1920s and culminating in the mid-1960s, the Jewish Communists created a combination of Marxist ideology and Zionist-socialist cultural practices. However, when a group of young Sabra activists reinforced the Zionist-socialist elements, the balance was undermined, contributing to the rift within Israeli communism.

 

 

Reviews: Spiegel, Embodying Hebrew Culture

Spiegel, Nina S. Embodying Hebrew Culture. Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2013.

 

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Reviews:

  • Heidecker, Liora Bing. “Review.” Nashim 26 (2014): 163-165.
  • Elron, Sari. “Review.” Middle East Journal 68.1 (2014): 165-166.
  • Zer-Zion, Shelly. “Review.” Journal of Israeli History 33.2 (2014): 241-244.
  • Manor, Dalia. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 159-61.

New Article: Shoham, Celebrating Israeli Familism around the Seder Table

Shoham, Hizky. “You Can’t Pick Your Family. Celebrating Israeli Familism around the Seder Table.” Journal of Family History 39.3 (2014): 239-60.

 

URL: http://jfh.sagepub.com/content/39/3/239

 

Abstract

Familism is a model of a social organization that assigns the family an important role in individual and collective identity. This article proposes a historical analysis and interpretation of the Seder celebrations of Jewish Israelis, in order to explore what is unique about Israeli familism—that it imagines the entire nation as an extended family. This ritual continues to be widely practiced today by Jews of every sector—secular, traditional, and religious. As a result, it has a significant presence in Israeli popular culture. The focus is on two questions: (1) who celebrates? That is, what forum convenes around the table? (2) How is it celebrated? That is, what ritual is conducted during the festive gathering? The historical and ethnographic analysis shows that over the course of the twentieth century, the extended family became the preferred forum for celebration, and that the conformist reading of the Haggadah and the other parts of the ceremony continue on the whole to follow the Orthodox rules, even in secular families. This mode of celebration is analyzed here as an expression of the political image of the entire Jewish people as one large extended family and as a demonstration of the extensive use of Jewish familism in the construction of Jewish identity in Israel today

Reviews: Lev-Aladgem, Theatre in Co-Communities

Lev-Aladgem, Shulamith. Theatre in Co-Communities. Articulating Power. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

 

Theatre in Co-Communities - Shulamith Lev-Aladgem

 

Reviews

  • Parry, Simon. “Review.” New Theatre Quarterly 28.2 (2012): 204.