Bulletin: Religion in Israel

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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 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.

 

 

 

ToC: Contemporary Jewry 35.3 (2015)

Contemporary Jewry

Volume 35, Issue 3, October 2015

ISSN: 0147-1694 (Print) 1876-5165 (Online)

ToC: Israel Studies Review 30.2 (2015)

Israel Studies Review 30.2 (2015)

Editors’ Note

Editors’ Note
pp. v-vi(2)

 

Articles

Does Israel Have a Navel? Anthony Smith and Zionism
pp. 28-49(22)
Author: Berent, Moshe

 

Book Reviews

Book Reviews
pp. 130-155(26)

New Book: Campbell, Digital Judaism

Campbell, Heidi A., ed. Digital Judaism: Jewish Negotiations with Digital Media and Culture. New York: Routledge, 2015.

 

9780415736244

In this volume, contributors consider the ways that Jewish communities and users of new media negotiate their uses of digital technologies in light of issues related to religious identity, community and authority. Digital Judaism presents a broad analysis of how and why various Jewish groups negotiate with digital culture in particular ways, situating such observations within a wider discourse of how Jewish groups throughout history have utilized communication technologies to maintain their Jewish identities across time and space. Chapters address issues related to the negotiation of authority between online users and offline religious leaders and institutions not only within ultra-Orthodox communities, but also within the broader Jewish religious culture, taking into account how Jewish engagement with media in Israel and the diaspora raises a number of important issues related to Jewish community and identity. Featuring recent scholarship by leading and emerging scholars of Judaism and media, Digital Judaism is an invaluable resource for researchers in new media, religion and digital culture.

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

  • 1. Introduction: Studying Jewish Engagement with Digital Media and Culture Heidi A. Campbell
  • 1. Ethnography and social movement studies
  • 2. The Jewish Communication Tradition and its Encounters with (the) New Media Menahem Blondheim
  • 3. Appropriation & Innovation: Pop-up Communities: Facebook, Grassroots Jews and Offline Post-Denominational Judaism Nathan Abrams
  • 4. Yoatzot Halacha: Ruling the Internet, One Question at a Time Michal Raucher
  • 5. Sanctifying the Internet: Aish HaTorah’s use of the Internet for Digital Outreach Heidi A. Campbell and Wendi Bellar
  • 6. Jewish Games for Learning: Renewing Heritage Traditions in the Digital Age Owen Gottlieb
  • 7. Communicating Identity through Religious Internet Memes on “Tweeting Orthodoxies” Facebook Page Aya Yadlin-Segal
  • 8. Resistance & Reconstruction: Legitimation of New Media and Community Building amongst Jewish Denominations in the USA Oren Golan
  • 9. On Pomegranates and Etrogs: Internet Filters as Practices of Media Ambivalence among National Religious Jews in Israel Michele Rosenthal and Rivki Ribak
  • 10. Pashkevilim in Campaigns Against New Media: What Can Pashkevillim Accomplish that Newspapers Cannot? Hananel Rosenburg and Tsuriel Rashi
  • 11. The Israeli Rabbi and the Internet Yoel Cohen

Contributors
Index

 

HEIDI A. CAMPBELL is Associate Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University and Director of the Network for New Media, Religion and Digital Culture Studies. She is author of Exploring Religious Community Online (2005) and When Religion Meets New Media (2010) and editor of Digital Religion: Understanding Religious Practice in New Media World (2013).

 

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

Reviews: Ben-Porat, Between State and Synagogue

Ben-Porat, Guy. Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

 

BenPoratSecularization

Reviews

    • Lassen, Amos. “The Times They Are A-Changing.” Reviews by Amos Lassen, April 7, 2013.
    • Tabory, Ephraim. “Review.” Middle East Journal 67.4 (2013): 646-7.
    • Omer, Atalia. “Review.” American Journal of Sociology 119.5 (2014): 1518-1520.
    • Sorek, Tamir. “Review.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 46.2 (2015): 421-2.
    • Weiss, Shayna. “Review.” Journal of Church and State 57.3 (2015): 565-7.
    • Hollander, Philip. “Judaism in Israel.” VCU Menorah Review 82 (Winter/Spring 2015).

 

 

 

New Artice: Mahla, Tripartite Relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization

Mahla, Daniel. “No Trinity: The Tripartite Relations between Agudat Yisrael, the Mizrahi movement, and the Zionist Organization.” Journal of Israeli History (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13531042.2015.1073468

 

Abstract
This article investigates the dynamics between the two major Orthodox political movements of the twentieth century – the religious Zionist movement Mizrahi and its non-Zionist opponent Agudat Yisrael – in the context of their tripartite relationship with the Zionist Organization. Due to its increased involvement in Palestinian affairs, the Agudah entered negotiations with the Zionists in the mid-1920s. These negotiations and the possibility of cooperation between Agudat Yisrael and the Zionist Organization threatened the position of the religious Zionists within the ZO. The resulting competition between the two Orthodox groups led to the refinement of party platforms and the crystallization of independent political camps.

 

 

New Article: Golan & Campbell, Strategic Management of Religious Websites

Golan, Oren, and Heidi M. Campbell. “Strategic Management of Religious Websites: The Case of Israel’s Orthodox Communities.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 20.4 (2015): 467-86.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcc4.12118

 

Abstract

This study investigates how webmasters of sites affiliated with bounded communities manage tensions created by the open social affordances of the internet. We examine how webmasters strategically manage their respective websites to accommodate their assumed target audiences. Through in-depth interviews with Orthodox webmasters in Israel, we uncover how they cultivate 3 unique strategies — control, layering, and guiding — to contain information flows. We thereby elucidate how web strategies reflect the relationships between community, religion and CMC.

New Article: Sharaby and Kaplan, Rabbis of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel

Sharaby, Rachel, and Aviva Kaplan. “Between the Hammer of the Religious Establishment and the Anvil of the Ethnic community. Rabbis of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.3 (2015): 482-500.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1057995

 

Abstract

This article examines the ambivalent status of rabbis of communities of Ethiopian immigrants who serve within the framework of the religious establishment in Israel. On the one hand, they function in their communities as spiritual leaders who are committed to Jewish law and act as representatives of the religious establishment. On the other, they belong to an excluded ethnic community which perceives them as traitors. Our findings indicate that the marginal status of the Ethiopian rabbis prevents their inclusion and strengthens components of their ethnic identity. Thus, diverse behaviour patterns and various syncretic combinations between religious and cultural elements have been created in their identity.

New Article: Brody, The Dispute over the 2010 Safed Ban on Selling Land to Israeli Arabs

Brody, Shlomo M. “When Political Ideology Meets Jewish Law: The Dispute over the 2010 Safed Ban on Selling Land to Israeli Arabs.” En Route, Journal of the Aspen Center for Social Values (March 2015): 18-21.

 

URL: http://www.theaspencenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/March-2015.pdf (pages 18-21 on PDF file)

 

Excerpt

More fundamental critiques, with which I identify, came from other segments of the religious Zionist camp. Rabbi Hayim Druckman, head of Yeshivot Bnei Akiva, contended that one may prohibit real estate deals with “enemies of the state.” Yet it remains unacceptable to issue a blanket prohibition against all Gentiles, including many loyal citizens, such as college students, IDF veterans, and health care providers.

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein of Yeshivat Har Etzion launched a more trenchant critique, contending that the Safed rabbis had greatly oversimplifed Jewish law. It remains unquestionable, he noted, that there is a halakhic basis for prohibiting the sale of land to Gentiles within Israel. Yet, as we saw, a few figures limited the prohibition to the seven Canaanite nations, while many other scholars applied different dispensations to the rule, including a strong albeit not exclusive tradition – originating with the medieval school of the Tosafists – that severely narrowed this and similar laws. ese points and others were made years earlier by Rabbi Hayim David HaLevi in sweeping essays that presented a Jewish legal stance in tune with democratic values (Aseh Lekha Rav 4:1, 8:68, 9:30).

In short, genuine political problems may exist in various parts of the country. But the solutions lie in education and political wisdom, not in overreaching legal statements that distort – and disgrace – Jewish law and its adherents.

 

New Book: Ben-Rafael et al, eds. Reconsidering Israel-Diaspora Relations

Ben-Rafael, Eliezer, Judit Bokser Liwerant, and Yosef Gorny, eds. Reconsidering Israel-Diaspora Relations, Jewish Identities in a Changing World, 22. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012.

 

67146

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction
PART I. JEWISH PEOPLEHOOD: CHANGING PATTERNS OF ISRAEL-DIASPORA RELATIONS

1. Sergio Della Pergola: Jewish Peoplehood: Hard, Soft, and Interactive Markers
2. Jonathan D. Sarna: From World-Wide People to First-World People: The Consolidation (fn. concentration) of World Jewry
3. Shulamit Reinharz: The “Jewish Peoplehood” Concept: Complications and Suggestions
4. Yosef Gorny: Ethnicity and State Policy: The State of Israel in the Intellectual and Political Discourse of the US Jewish Press
5. Ephraim Yuchtman-Ya’ar and Steven M. Cohen: Close and Distant: The Relations between Israel and the Diaspora

PART II. RELIGIOSITY AND ETHNICITY

6. Yael Israel-Cohen: The Reform and Conservative Movements in Israel: Strategies of Peripheral Movements in a Monopolized Religious Market
7. Shlomo Fischer: Two Orthodox Cultures: “Centrist” Orthodoxy and Religious Zionism
8. Margalit Bejarano: Ethnicity and Transnationalism: Latino Jews in Miami
9. Nissim Leon: Strong Ethnicity: The Case of US-born Jews in Israel

PART III. GENDER AND GENERATION

10. Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz: Orthodox Jewish Women as a Bridge Between Israel and the Diaspora
11. Florinda Goldberg: Gender, Religion, and the Search for a Modern Jewish Identity in “La Rabina” by Silvia Plager
12. Erik H. Cohen: Global Jewish Youth Studies – Towards a Theory
13. Sylvia Barack Fishman: Generational and Cultural Constructions of Jewish Peoplehood

PART IV. ISRAELOPHOBIA, ANTI-ZIONISM AND “NEO”-ANTISEMITISM

14. Shmuel Trigano: Debasing Praise: Hatred of the Jews in a Global Age
15. Chantal Bordes-Benayoun: Integration and Antisemitism: The Case of French Jewry
16. Julius H. Schoeps: How Antisemitism, Obsessive Criticism of Israel, and Do-Gooders Complicate Jewish Life in Germany
17. Leonardo Senkman: Anti-Zionist Discourse of the Left in Latin America: An Assessment.
18. Uzi Rebhun, Chaim I. Waxman, Nadia Beider: American Jews and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process: A Study of Diaspora in International Affairs

PART V. CONFIGURATIONS OF WORLD JEWRY AND THE STATE OF ISRAEL

19. Judit Bokser-Liwerant: Jewish Diaspora and Transnationalism: Awkward (Dance) Partners?
20. Lars Dencik: The Dialectics of Diaspora in Contemporary Modernity
21. Gabi Sheffer: Reflections on Israel and Jerusalem as the Centers of World Jewry
22. Eliezer Ben-Rafael: Israel-Diaspora Relations: “Transmission Driving-belts” of Transnationalism

Epilogue: One – After All….for the time being

 

Reviews: Israel-Cohen, Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism

Israel-Cohen, Yael. Between Feminism and Orthodox Judaism. Resistance, Identity, and Religious Change in Israel. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2012.

 

53943

 

 

Reviews

 

  • Bahreini, Faezeh. “Review.” Gender and Society 27.4 (2013): 590-592.
  • Bar-Ilan, Margalit Shilo. “Review.” Shofar 32.2 (2014): 144-146.
  • Millen, Rochelle L. “Review.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 13.2 (2014): 311-312.

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