This article argues in favor of a Levantine approach to citizenship and citizenship education. A Levantine approach calls for some sort of Mediterranean regionalism, which accommodates and promotes overlapping and shared sovereignties and jurisdiction, multiple loyalties, and regional integration. It transcends the paradigmatic statist model of citizenship by recasting the relationship between territoriality, national identity, sovereignty, and citizenship in complex, multilayered and disaggregated constellations. As the case of Israel/Palestine demonstrates, this new approach goes beyond multicultural accommodation and territorial partition. It proposes, among other things, extending the political and territorial boundaries of citizenship to take all the territory between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River as one unit of analysis belonging to a larger region.
Yemini, Miri, and Aviva Giladi. “Internationalization Motivations and Strategies of Israeli Educational Administration Programs.” Journal of Studies in International Education (early view; online first).
Internationalization became a mainstreamed goal of almost every higher education institution, and institutions are expected to proactively implement this process. Although as an academic discipline, education is considered to be one of the most context-related and locally oriented ones, it had not avoided pressures to internationalize. Within the flurry of research on internationalization, a paucity of information exists on the perceptions of academic leadership regarding internationalization within academic educational administration programs, which are preparing future schools’ leadership, who may in turn act as catalysts or inhibitors of internationalization at schools. This study aims to fill this gap with a comprehensive, in-depth, interview-based analysis of the views and opinions of educational administration program directors within diverse contextual settings in the Israeli higher education system, including the large research universities and colleges in the Jewish and Palestinian-Arab sectors, with both secular and religious inclinations. We identified three major discrete themes in the perceptions of educational administrative directors regarding internationalization: (a) the program’s purpose, (b) internationalization’s relations with the institutions’ goals, and (c) internationalization’s meaning. This study sheds light on the motivations for and obstacles facing internationalization from the underresearched perspective of educational administration degree program directors operating within the complex tension of the global–local nexus in education systems.
While it is difficult to gauge the effect of multicultural policies within countries, it is even more difficult to measure them across countries. In this article, I use fundamental multicultural changes that have occurred in Israeli society in recent decades as a case study, and track their effect on how Israelis who reside in the USA identify with Israel. Analysing the US census and the American Community Survey, I have focused my research on three groups of Israeli-born migrants in the USA – Israeli Arabs, ultra-Orthodox Jews and the Jewish majority. Findings indicate that originating from a minority community in the homeland predicts not only a different rate, but also different longitudinal trends of Israeli identification. I offer several possible explanations for these variations, but an in-depth analysis of the Israeli case indicates that the transnational effect of the changing multicultural agenda in Israel is the leading mechanism at play.
The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please email ISCP@yu.eduwith your name, affiliation, and contact information.
Constitutional Conflicts and the Judicial Role in Comparative Perspective
This conference will explore the Israeli Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on complex and challenging questions facing open and multi-cultural societies everywhere. Because these issues are salient in, but by no means peculiar to, Israel, a comparative perspective will enrich our understanding of how such issues are, and might be, dealt with in other democratic societies.
Panels will address the general question of the value and challenges of comparative legal study, differing conceptions of the role of the judiciary and doctrines of justiciability, and substantive areas of current controversy, including the role of the courts in overseeing national security and intelligence gathering; immigration, asylum, and treatment and status of refugees; and religion in the modern nation-state.
The Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo
This conference marks the launch of the Israeli Supreme Court Project at Cardozo Law (ISCP). Intended to both inform and engage constitutional scholars, lawyers, and judges in democracies around the world, the ISCP is a center of study and discussion of the decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court, one of the great judicial bodies of the world and a court at the forefront of dealing with issues at the core of what it means to be a democratic society.
The central undertaking of the ISCP is the translation into English and dissemination of key opinions of the Israeli Supreme Court. In this, the Project is continuing, and will expand on, two decades of work and over 200 translations by the Friends of the Library of the Supreme Court of Israel. Translated opinions, other relevant material about the Court, and more information about the ISCP can all be found on the Project’s website, VERSA, at versa.cardozo.yu.edu.
This conference, as well as the other work of the ISCP, are made possible by essential support from the David Berg Foundation, which is gratefully acknowledged.
2:30-3 p.m. Registration and Coffee3-3:15 p.m. Welcoming Remarks
This panel will consider the value and challenges of comparative legal study. Why should scholars and judges in one country care what their counterparts elsewhere are up to? Is it ever possible for outsiders to understand the details, cultural meanings, and historical underpinnings of a foreign legal system? What are the settings, issues, or circumstances that make for a successful comparative work?
8:30-9 a.m. Registration and Coffee 9-10:30 a.m. The Role of the Judiciary in Comparative Perspective
The Israeli Supreme Court hears over 10,000 cases a year, has a large mandatory docket, for many of its most important cases is the court of first instance rather than a court of appeal, and has only limited threshold “justiciability” doctrines (such as standing requirements or the bar on political questions). In these features it is utterly different from its U.S. counterpart. This panel will consider such structural characteristics, then turn to their broader implications regarding the role of the judiciary in governance and in society, including the question of whether a Supreme Court leads or follows civil society, whether it is an educational institution, and the sources of its legitimacy.
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Judicial Oversight of National Security and Intelligence Gathering
Effective national security and intelligence gathering are generally understood to depend on secrecy, dispatch, and subterfuge. These characteristics would seem to leave little room for judicial oversight, which assumes transparency, forthrightness, and deliberate pacing. On the other hand, there is a very real danger of abuse without some sort of oversight and legal restraint. This panel will consider how national security issues differ (if at all) from other issues that come before the courts and what exactly the judicial role should be in overseeing national security agencies.
12:30-1:30 p.m. Lunch (Lunch will be provided for all attendees.)
1:30-3 p.m. Immigration, Asylum, and the Treatment and Status of Refugees
Of the Israeli Supreme Court’s recent decisions, one of the most important, divided, and divisive have concerned the detention of asylum seekers. Issues surrounding immigration and citizenship are hugely important, and hugely contested, in Israel and elsewhere. This panel will examine the ISC’s decisions in this area and consider what lessons can be drawn, positive or negative, for Israel and for the rest of the world.
3:15-4:45 p.m. Religion in the Modern Nation-State
Israel’s Basic Laws designate it as “both Jewish and democratic.” The Supreme Court, and many commentators, have struggled to reconcile these two fundamental commitments. Is it possible to construct a constitutional identity that privileges Jewish culture, history, and religion while remaining essentially democratic? The answer to that question has ramifications for religious liberties in many settings as well as minority rights in general.
By analyzing its position within the struggles for recognition and reception of different national and ethnic cultural groups, this book offers a bold new picture of Israeli literature. Through comparative discussion of the literatures of Palestinian citizens of Israel, of Mizrahim, of migrants from the former Soviet Union, and of Ethiopian-Israelis, the author demonstrates an unexpected richness and diversity in the Israeli literary scene, a reality very different from the monocultural image that Zionism aspired to create.
Drawing on a wide body of social and literary theory, Mendelson-Maoz compares and contrasts the literatures of the four communities she profiles. In her discussion of the literature of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, she presents the question of language and translation, and she provides three case studies of particular authors and their reception. Her study of Mizrahi literature adopts a chronological approach, starting in the 1950s and proceeding toward contemporary Mizrahi writing, while discussing questions of authenticity and self-determination. The discussion of Israeli literature written by immigrants from the former Soviet Union focuses both on authors who write Israeli literature in Russian and of Russian immigrants writing in Hebrew. The final section of the book provides a valuable new discussion of the work of Ethiopian-Israeli writers, a group whose contributions have seldom been previously acknowledged.
The picture that emerges from this groundbreaking book replaces the traditional, homogeneous historical narrative of Israeli literature with a diversity of voices, a multiplicity of origins, and a wide range of different perspectives. In doing so, it will provoke researchers in a wide range of cultural fields to look at the rich traditions that underlie it in new and fresh ways.
In the summer of 2011, a number of soldiers walked out of an auditorium in which a musical performance was taking place. The men, cadets in an officer’s course, explained that they walked out of the performance because there were female vocalists, and the halacha prohibits men from listening to females sing.
As a result of this incident, representatives of the army chief rabbinate as well as the Matka’l, or Israeli General Staff, convened to discuss and ultimately publish new guidelines addressing the participation of religious soldiers in military ceremonies featuring female vocalists. These new guidelines were in turn criticized by a group of army chaplains united under the name “Keren Lahav—for the strengthening of Judaism in the IDF.” The group published a joint document in which they stated that the army’s decisions had undermined the trust of religious soldiers in the system. They claimed that the new guidelines—which were approved by the IDF’s Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz—demonstrated Peretz’s ignorance of the inner workings of the army system. One criticism against Rabbi Peretz was that he had not risen to his position from within the military but rather was an outside candidate placed directly at the top of the pyramid.
A Dancing Nation – Cultural Sociology of Dancing in Israel
In history, dance has contributed towards creating friendship and understanding. For example, in newly established communities of British settlers in Australia dancing helped newcomers to interact with locals and establish friendly relations (Clendinnen, 2005). Some form of dance exists in social life since early days. For example, ballet as a formalized form of dance exists since 15th century Italy, and from Italy it spread to France and then other countries. At first, ballet was intertwined with opera, but theatrical ballet quickly found its place as an independent form of art. On the other hand, wider population developed traditional folk dances, which today form part of national cultures. In Judaism, dance presents a social tradition since ancient times because Jews have always expressed joy through dancing. This practice continued after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 when Jews even danced on the day modern state of Israel was established, and Israeli state has a rich dancing culture: both folk and artistic. During 1940s, Jewish community was seeking its right to self-determination, and Jewish communities developed Hebrew culture as a national culture that will foster new national Jewish identity (Rottenberg 2013; Maoz 2000). Dance also had an important position in creating the state, and particularly the artistic dance performed mostly by European settlers. Jewish communities also developed folk and modern dance inspired by their countries of origin and the Zionist movement (Rottenberg, 2013). In 1950s, American dance groups came to Israel and this helped in spreading expressionism in dance techniques (Rottenberg, 2013). Various dance companies were established during the 1960s, and while folk dances were created from all distinctive traditions in the land of Israel and from Jews who came to Israel after the creation of the modern state of Israel (Roginsky 2007; Eshel 2011), modern and artistic dance are flourishing in Israel. However, dance has not been without divisions in Israeli society and; thus, there is a conflict between Eastern and Western Jewish dances and the position of these two dancing tradition is not the same (Yellin, 2011).
This volume seeks contributions that tackle socio-cultural aspects of dance, the role of dance in contemporary Israeli society and everyday lives of Israelis. Papers are invited for the following topics: Judaism and dance Jewish dance culture in Israel Zionist dances and culture Impact of dance on everyday lives of Israelis and understanding between Jews of various backgrounds Americanization of dance in Israel Globalization of dance in Israel Influence of the immigration (Russian, Ethiopian, etc.) Dancing and its representation in Israeli Media Dancing and the discourse of ‘prestige’ vs. ‘mass’ culture This special volume is supposed to contribute to increasing of the knowledge about Israel and Jewish studies, as well as to contribute to better understanding of cultural studies and the role of dance in creating and preserving cultural identities. All articles will be a subject to editorial screening and independent peer review, and have to be prepared according to Israel Affairs standards:
Decisions will be sent by July 1st, 2014. Full papers are due December 1st, 2014. Acceptance of abstract does not automatically guarantee the final paper will be accepted since papers will be subjects to two independent peer-reviews.
Israel’s heated public debate over the socio-political implications of increasing demographic diversity plays out with special prominence in Tel Aviv, home to large minority citizen populations and a destination for foreign workers and refugees from Asia and Africa. The city’s New Central Bus Station, or tachanah merkazit, is a transit hub and commercial complex in which multiple ethnic groups enact aesthetic and cultural dimensions of Israeli urban and national identity in flux. This paper presents a sensory ethnography of the tachanah: sonic and musical expressions of “local” and “global” Israeliness are analyzed against a backdrop of near-constant motion and transit. The somatic and ideological dimensions of movement enable Jewish Israelis, minority citizens and foreigners to assimilate sounds of culture within the tachanah at deeply-felt, personal levels. The tachanah’s sonic activity is inherently political, having the potential to impact collective identity and civic reality in Tel Aviv and across Israel
This article critically analyses cultural diversity policy in Tel Aviv–Jaffa in relation to non-Jewish labour migrant communities and to Palestinian citizens of Israel residing in Jaffa. It focuses on recent incorporation of cultural diversity into city policy in its ‘City Vision’ and ‘Global City’ initiatives and in three specific areas (festivities, libraries and museum of city history). The article argues that despite the introduction and initial institutionalization of cultural diversity in Tel Aviv, there are unresolved contradictions when city policies encounter the ethnocratic boundaries set by Israel’s policies.
In Israel, the Jewish religion, which is unique among world religions in the primacy it accords to filiation rather than belief as a criterion of belonging, operates as a formal criterion of citizenship, but in substance different ways of being Jewish are expressed in different political forces which in turn struggle for control of the state’s religious orientation. This political struggle leads the state to favour ultra-Orthodox observance and criteria of belonging, even though that is a minority strand in the country itself and even more so outside. Religious interests and ideologies have found substantial niches in the legal system, in education, in the army and in the West Bank settlements, by exploiting the state’s corporatist character, leading to a type of multiculturalism in which the once-secular centre has been seriously eroded.
In the latter half of the twentieth century, tribal groups throughout Africa and Asia who regard themselves as Jews, such as the Abayudaya of South Africa and the Mizo of northern India and Burma, sought the recognition of their Jewishness by established Jewish communities in Israel and the United States. This process of recognition reflects different understandings of Jewish identity and different political agendas among the various Jewish groups who have become involved with advocacy for newly found Jews. For Israeli Jewish organizations, recognition is based on a more essentialist view of Jewishness and is oriented toward socializing newly found Jews toward Orthodox Judaism and preparation for immigration to Israel. Newer American Jewish organizations reflect greater denominational diversity and a more postmodern understanding of Jewishness as fluid and open-ended. They treat recognition as part of a commitment to Jewish diversity and multiculturalism, with less attention to traditional normative definitions of Jewish identity.
Titzmann, Peter F., Rainer K. Silbereisen and Gustavo S. Mesch. “Change in Friendship Homophily. A German Israeli Comparison of Adolescent Immigrants.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 43.3 (2012): 410-28.
This longitudinal study investigated friendship homophily (i.e., the preference for intra-ethnic over inter-ethnic friends) among immigrant adolescents in Israel and Germany. Based on acculturation theories and known differences between Israel and Germany in the establishment of Russian-speaking immigrant communities in these countries, it was hypothesized that levels and rates of change in friendship homophily would differ. Associations between context- and acculturation-related variables and levels and rates of change in adolescent friendship homophily were also tested. The sample consisted of 877 Russian Jewish and 358 ethnic German Diaspora migrant adolescents (i.e., migrants returning to the country of their ancestors from the former Soviet Union). Results confirmed higher levels and a less pronounced decrease of friendship homophily in Israel as compared to Germany. Especially acculturation-related variables were found to be best at predicting intercept and slope of friendship homophily. Findings also showed that differences in levels and rates of change in adolescent friendship homophily between both countries could be explained by language use; thus, using the new host language more often appeared to be a crucial variable for lower levels of friendship homophily. Overall, results suggest very similar adaptation processes toward lower friendship homophily in the two countries but at a different pace over time.