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: Levin, Meanings of House Materiality for Moroccan Migrants in Israel

Levin, Iris. “Meanings of House Materiality for Moroccan Migrants in Israel.” In Ethno-Architecture and the Politics of Migration (ed. Mirjana Lozanovska; Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2016): 115-30.

 
9781138828711
 

Extract

The chapter has discussed two case studies which were chosen because they are very from one another: one migrant house has a Moroccan room which is the epitome of Moroccan design, while the other has barely anything to indicate the ethnic identity of its owner. Yet, the migrants who live in these houses have created, each in their own way through the use of material cultures, the means to tell the story of Moroccan migration to Israel and gain the long-desired recognition of Moroccan culture in Israeli society. Through the understanding of these material cultures in the migrant house, it is possible to understand the ethno-architecture of the migrant experience at the scale of the house. The analysis of house materiality of these two Moroccan migrant homes in Israel has shown that, for them, there is a collective aesthetic and sense of belonging that situates them in a role of representing their culture and explaining it to others.

 

 

 

New Article: Katz, Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls

Katz, Maya Balakirsky. “Dressing Up: Religion and Ethnicity in Israeli National Dolls.” Religion & Gender 5.1 (2015): 71-90.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18352/rg.10108  [PDF]
 
Dolls
 
Abstract

This article considers Israel’s national image both at home and abroad through the framework of Israeli costume dolls, looking specifically at the way that gender played a role in Israel’s national image as it travelled from domestic production to international reception. Initially, predominantly female doll makers produced three main types of Israeli dolls, but over time the religious Eastern European male doll triumphed in the pantheon of national types. Produced for retail sale to non-Hebrew speaking tourists by immigrant woman, the Eastern European religious male doll came to represent Israel abroad while the market pushed representations of the Middle Eastern Jewish woman and the native sabra child to the side-lines. This article examines the shift from the multi-ethnic collection of dolls as representative of the nation’s idea of itself to the privileging of the male Eastern European doll as representative of the normative image of Israel abroad.

 

 

New Article: Stadler and Luz, Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall

Stadler, Nurit, and Nimrod Luz. “Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall: Iconic Spaces, Territoriality, and Borders in Israel-Palestine.” Religion and Society 6.1 (2015): 127-41.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arrs.2015.060109

 

Abstract

This article explores the role of sacred places and pilgrimage centers in the context of contemporary geopolitical strife and border disputes. Following and expanding on the growing body of literature engaged with the contested nature of the sacred, this article argues that sacred sites are becoming more influential in processes of determining physical borders. We scrutinize this phenomenon through the prism of a small parcel of land on the two sides of the Separation Wall that is being constructed between Israel and Palestine. Our analysis focuses on two holy shrines that are dedicated to devotional mothers: the traditional Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch on the way to Bethlehem and Our Lady of the Wall, an emergent Christian site constructed as a reaction to the Wall. We examine the architectural (and material) phenomenology, the experience, and the implications that characterize these two adjacent spatialities, showing how these sites are being used as political tools by various actors to challenge the political, social, and geographical order.

 

 

New Article: Noga-Banai, The Contested Ownership of Yosef Trumpeldor’s Arm-Reliquary

Noga-Banai, Galit. “The Contested Ownership of Yosef Trumpeldor’s Arm-Reliquary: A View from a Christian Perspective.” Jewish Quarterly Review 105.3 (2015): 399-414.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/jqr.2015.0014

 

Abstract
The article discusses an object that once belonged to a singular individual, which has been enshrined in a glass vitrine to be seen and admired: the prosthetic arm of Jewish war hero and pioneer Yosef Trumpeldor (1880–1920). A debate over its possession has long endured between the Tel-Hai Courtyard Museum and Trumpeldor’s House in Kibbutz Tel Yosef. The prosthetic arm is evaluated here from the perspective of medieval arm reliquaries. The zeal surrounding the object in Tel Yosef and the longing for it in Tel-Hai are analyzed using terminology and ideology borrowed from the realm of the Christian cult of relics.

 

 

Cite: Tawil-Souri, Politics of ID Cards in Palestine-Israel

Tawil-Souri, Helga. “Colored Identity. The Politics and Materiality of ID Cards in Palestine/Israel.” Social Text 29.2 (2011): 67-97.

 

URL: http://socialtext.dukejournals.org/cgi/content/short/29/2_107/67

 

 

Abstract

In Palestine/Israel, different colored identification cards are mandated by the Israeli state apparatus to Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and those who are citizens of Israel. The article traces the development of the bureaucracy of the Palestinian ID card since the establishment of Israel and suggests that modern-day ID cards in Palestine/Israel are physical and visible instruments of a widespread low-tech surveillance mechanism to control mobility and a principal means for discriminating, both positively and negatively, subjects’ privileges and rights. ID cards are both the spaces in which Palestinians confront, tolerate, and sometimes challenge the Israeli state, and a mechanism through which Palestinian spatiality, territoriality, and corporeality are penetrated by the Israeli regime. Vital in the control and differentiation of Palestinian populations, what makes ID cards unique in the Palestinian/Israeli case is that their materiality is one of their most important and resonant aspects. The article describes various representations of the ID cards, for example in poetry and in murals, to show how they also function as sites of remediation, spaces and moments of renegotiation for their bearers, subject to counter-hegemonic representations, interpretations, and uses. As a special kind of material object, ID cards are an effective and low-tech means of surveillance and differentiation and an important nexus of Israeli power, demonstrating the institutional materiality of the state apparatus’s constitution in subjects’ everyday life; but they have also become important because they allow a poetics of political resistance.