Feldman, Jackie. A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In Palestine/Israel, different colored identification cardsare mandated by the Israeli state apparatus to Palestiniansin the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and thosewho are citizens of Israel. The article traces the developmentof the bureaucracy of the Palestinian ID card since the establishmentof Israel and suggests that modern-day ID cards in Palestine/Israelare physical and visible instruments of a widespread low-techsurveillance mechanism to control mobility and a principal meansfor discriminating, both positively and negatively, subjects’privileges and rights. ID cards are both the spaces in whichPalestinians confront, tolerate, and sometimes challenge theIsraeli state, and a mechanism through which Palestinian spatiality,territoriality, and corporeality are penetrated by the Israeliregime. Vital in the control and differentiation of Palestinianpopulations, what makes ID cards unique in the Palestinian/Israelicase is that their materiality is one of their most importantand resonant aspects. The article describes various representationsof the ID cards, for example in poetry and in murals, to showhow they also function as sites of remediation, spaces and momentsof renegotiation for their bearers, subject to counter-hegemonicrepresentations, interpretations, and uses. As a special kindof material object, ID cards are an effective and low-tech meansof surveillance and differentiation and an important nexus ofIsraeli power, demonstrating the institutional materiality ofthe state apparatus’s constitution in subjects’ everyday life;but they have also become important because they allow a poeticsof political resistance.