New Article: Troen, Secular Judaism in Israel

Troen, Ilan. “Secular Judaism in Israel.” Society (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12115-016-9991-x
 
Abstract

Secularity among Israel’s Jews retains many elements associated with traditional Judaism. Comprising 80 % of Israel’s Jews, they define themselves as secular but nevertheless “do Judaism” by performing rituals and hold to traditional religious worldviews and values. Such behavior is comprehended in Eisenstadt’s “multiple modernities” as well as Berger’s multiple “altars” and “coexistence.” Such behavior may be explained in a new balance between the traditional triad of Peoplehood/Torah[The Law]/and the Land of Israel that has characterized Judaism through the ages and found expression by a Hebrew-speaking people who imported new and diverse modern concepts and sources of authority in the return to their homeland where they constructed a “Jewish” state of ambiguous meanings.

 

 

 

Advertisements

New Article: Dalsheim, Other Sovereignties in Israel/Palestine

Dalsheim, Joyce. “Other Sovereignties in Israel/Palestine: The Limited Imaginings of a Secular Age.” In Working with A Secular Age: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Charles Taylor’s Master Narrative (ed. Florian Zemmin, Colin Jager, and Guido Vanheeswijck; Berlin: de Gruyter, 2016): 159-74.

 

9783110375510

Extract

Some people on the ground in Israel/Palestine have begun thinking and acting in ways that pose challenges to the “sovereignty” component of the episteme of people/territory/sovereignty that underlies the modern nation-state. These challenges are sometimes considered unconventional, sometimes crazy. Sometimes these kinds of actions are called visionary, but other times they are categorized as criminal or treasonous. I will focus on just three examples – each of which poses a different challenge to what is generally thought of as popular sovereignty. Those who pose these challenges fall outside the norms of the modern social imaginary Taylor represents, and outside the boundaries of conventional peacemaking. They pose threats to the moder order of nation-states in which peace is expected to take place and may therefore be considered “spoilers” of peace.

 

 

New Book: Levy, Israeli Theatre (in Hebrew)

Levy, Shimon. Israeli Theatre. Time, Space, Plot. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
Israeli Theatre
 

In the absence of a well-established tradition of drama, the new Hebrew theatre in Palestine at the beginning of the 20th century, is caught in a fruitful and fascinating bind. Processes of secularization and liberalization among world Jewry and pre-State Israel fostered openness towards the theatre. This relatively new art in Jewish tradition was also seen as entertainment, but in its early years it was primarily employed as an educational and ideological tool in the service of Zionist national needs in the struggle for the creation of a Hebrew culture. The dramatic nature of this change in the status of Jews and Israel not only summoned a revived reading of Jewish history, but also its staging, pun intended, on the Hebrew stage, in the Land of Israel, and of course – the Hebrew language.

This book addresses issues and topics of Israeli drama and theatre from a social-artistic perspective. The prologue treats the development of a Jewish-Hebrew-Israeli theatre against the backdrop of secularization of the Jewish community from the early 19th century to its flourish in contemporary Israel. The basic conditions for theatre in general and Israeli theatre in particular are discussed in a chapter on space in Israeli drama. Theatrical props are discussed in a chapter which examines the idiosyncrasy of local drama through one of the elements of its space design. The Hebrew Bible and Judaism are addressed in a chapter on secular sanctity, characteristic to our stage. Another component of Israeli identity, its attitude toward Arabs, wars and the protracted conflict, is discussed in a chapter entitled “captive in fiction.” A discussion of three giants in Israeli drama – Nissim Aloni, Joshua Sobol and Hanoch Levin – is structured by the meta-theatrical intentionalism of each of them. the Acco Festival, an annual event since 1980, is discussed as a key component in the Israeli theatrical scene. The book concludes with a eulogy for the Hebrew radio drama, a celebrated genre in its heyday until it was marginalized by television, but its significant contribution to Israeli drama nevertheless remains.

 

SHIMON LEVY is a Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Tel Aviv University, where he taught for many years, and was chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. His main areas of research are Hebrew-Israeli theatre and drama, the works of Samuel Beckett, and theories of chaos in relation to theatre. He has published dozens of articles, and hundreds of essays on theatre in Hebrew, English, and German, as well as about ten books. He has translated over 100 plays for the stage, and continues to be active as a director in Israel and abroad.

 

 

 

New Article: Razon, Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli

Razon, Na’amah. “Entangled Bodies: Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli.” Medical Anthropology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2016.1138950

 

Abstract

Taking Israel’s National Health Insurance Law as a point of entry, in this article I probe how notions of equality and citizenship, secularism and religion become entangled in the experience of Negev/Naqab Bedouin, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research, I show how Jewish citizens have come to represent the secular and modern citizens in the region, while Bedouins, although mandated and claimed by policy and providers to be the ‘same’ and ‘equal’, are always already imagined and characterized as other. Universal healthcare and the daily manner in which biomedicine is practiced in southern Israel provides an avenue for examining the Jewish valences medicine carries in southern Israel, Israel’s boundaries of inclusion, and the connection between biomedicine and secularism.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

New Article: Lahav, What Do Secular-Believer Women in Israel Believe in?

Lahav, Hagar. “What Do Secular-Believer Women in Israel Believe in?” Journal of Contemporary Religion 31.1 (2016): 17-34.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13537903.2016.1109866

 

Extract

Secular-believers, who constitute about 25% of Israeli Jews, are self-identified secular people who believe in some kind of divinity. Based on in-depth interviews with secular-believer women, this study aims to reveal their theological assumptions and claims. It examines metaphors and images participants used to relate to the divine as well as the theological categories they emphasized. The study uncovers the pluralistic nature of secular-believers’ beliefs and the common tendency to address faith-related content in a positive light.

 

 

 

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)

Lecture: Calderon, From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel

Thurs., November 19th
PUBLIC LECTURE
From Secular Judaism to Jewish Renewal in Israel – A Personal Story and Public Point of View
Ruth Calderon
Talmudic Scholar, Founder of ALMA Home for Hebrew Culture, Former Member of Knesset (2013-2015), Shalom Hartman Faculty Member
 
5:30 PM Reception, 6 PM Lecture
Warren Room, 295 Boalt Hall
 

New Article: Linfield, Is a Left Zionism Possible?

Linfield, Susie. “Is a Left Zionism Possible?”. Dissent 62.4 (2015): 98-101.

 

URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/dissent/v062/62.4.linfield.html/

 
Abstract

The very posing of this question is profoundly dispiriting. It shows how bad (that is, not left-wing) the political situation of contemporary Israel is; how radically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has deteriorated; and how historically ignorant and blindly anti-Israeli today’s American left is. The short answer is: yes, of course. Zionism has been Leninist, socialdemocratic, liberal, secular, pacifist, anti-imperialist, proletarian, even, until this became impossible, binational. It has also been militaristic, authoritarian, bourgeois, racist, religious, messianic, imperialist, and neofascist.

 

 

 

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 Article: Lahav, Post-Secular Jewish Feminist Theology? The View from Israel

Lahav, Hagar. “Post-Secular Jewish Feminist Theology? The View from Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.3 (2015): 355-72.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1039313

 

Abstract

About 25% of the Jewish population in Israel consists of “secular believers.” They self-identify as secular but also believe in God or some kind of higher/deeper power(s). Their identity conflicts with the conventional identification of secularism with atheism, as do post-secular theologies, whose theological ideas reject traditional religion while adopting concepts of faith. Western feminism proved especially conducive to the development of post-secular theology. This study addresses both Israeli Judaism and feminist theology from a post-secular perspective. It analyses two academic fields of discourse—feminist Jewish theology and feminism in Israel—to determine whether, how and why they are developing a Jewish post-secular feminist theology. The study reveals that such theologies are rare and suggests that discursive field structure limits their development.

 

 

New Article: Katzin, a Jewish Education Teachers’ Training Program for Outstanding Students

Katzin, Ori. “Teaching Approaches of Beginning Teachers for Jewish Studies in Israeli Mamlachti Schools: A Case Study of a Jewish Education Teachers’ Training Program for Outstanding Students.” Journal of Jewish Education 81.3 (2015): 285-311.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15244113.2015.1065633

 

Abstract

This article presents findings from a longitudinal qualitative study that examined teaching approaches of neophyte teachers in Israel during their 4-year exclusive teachers’ training program for teaching Jewish subjects and first two years of teaching. The program wanted to promote change in secular pupils’ attitudes toward Jewish subjects. We found a high incidence of teaching using positivistic approaches of knowledge transmission and the teachers adopted a particular teaching approach early into their training program that they continue to employ. Can teaching oriented in the transmission of central cultural value knowledge, with pupils as passive receptacles, create a meaningful encounter?

 

 

New Article: Madar, From a Female Religious Jewish Performance to Israel’s Status as a Western or Non-Western Country

Madar, Revital. “Covered Yet Overexposed: From a Female Religious Jewish Performance to Israel’s Status as a Western or Non-Western Country.” International Journal of Fashion Studies 2.1 (2015): 115-120.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/infs.2.1.115_1

 

Abstract

Western discourse over the Muslim veil generated different discursive outcomes. It generalized the different practices of veiling used in the Muslim world, turned it into a symbol of women’s oppression, and remained indifferent to practices of veiling outside of the Muslim world. Research regarding this phenomenon focuses particularly on the political role Muslim practices of veiling play in the western world. In that light, I look at the overt meaning minor acts of covering up have in Israel, ignored in most western countries and argue that it originates in Israel’s self-image as a western country. As such, analyses can serve as a new perspective for thinking of the relation of the West with covertness in general, i.e. beyond a specific garment. The first part of this article describes my personal experiences as a secular woman who is identified as a Jewish religious woman in Israel. The second part discusses Jacqueline Kahanoff’s gaze on Palestinian women. After this, I discuss my work with Comme Il Faut, a local fashion house based in Tel Aviv. After stitching these three points together, the status of Israel as a western or non-western country is discussed, as well as future research.

 

ToC: Jewish Film & Media 3.1 (2015); special issue: Israeli film & television

Jewish Film & Media, 3.1, Spring 2015

 

Israeli Film and Television
pp. 1-2
Yaron Peleg

Articles

Secularity and Its Discontents: Religiosity in Contemporary Israeli Culture
pp. 3-24
Yaron Peleg

“Lifting the Veil”: Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema and Spiritual Aesthetics
pp. 25-47
Dan Chyutin

Jewish Revenge: Haredi Action in the Zionist Sphere
pp. 48-76
Yael Friedman, Yohai Hakak

Televised Agendas: How Global Funders Make Israeli TV More “Jewish”
pp. 77-103
Galeet Dardashti

POPU

Reviews

On Hasamba 3G: Newer Kinds of Jews
pp. 104-112
Tali Artman Partock

On Shtisel (or the Haredi as Bourgeois)
pp. 113-117
Yaron Peleg

 

New Article: Amir, Israeli Druze Women’s Sex Preferences When Choosing Gynecologists

Amir, Hadar. “Israeli Druze Women’s Sex Preferences When Choosing Obstetricians and Gynecologists.” Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 4.13 (2015): 10 pp.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13584-015-0013-z

 

Abstract

Background

Consideration and better understanding of patients’ needs on the part of the healthcare system might help increase the number of people seeking necessary medical care. Many studies have been conducted on patients’ preferences in choosing their health care provider, but the majority of them were conducted in modern western societies, establishing a need to explore other populations. The present study was performed in the Israeli Druze community which is composed of a uniquely traditional and religious population.

We assessed the sex preference of Israeli Druze women regarding obstetricians/gynecologists, and identify other features that affect their choice.

Method

We conducted a cross-sectional study that included 196 Israeli Druze women who anonymously completed a 36-item questionnaire between January-July, 2011.

Results

Most (63.8%) of the responders preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists, while 74.5% had no sex preference for their family physicians. 68.6% of the religious women preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists as compared to 51.76% of those women who self-identified as secular. Most of the women (65%) preferred female obstetricians/gynecologists for intimate procedures, such as pelvic examination and pregnancy follow-up. The main reasons given were: feeling more comfortable with a female practitioner (69.7%), the belief that females are more gentle (56.6%), and being more embarrassed with male obstetricians/gynecologists (45.4%). Three factors were associated with the responders’ preferences for female obstetricians/gynecologists: their age and religious status, and the sex of their regular obstetricians/gynecologists. Women who preferred a female obstetrician/gynecologist assigned a lesser weight to the physician’s knowledge when choosing them. Older and religious women as well as those who attributed less weight to the physician’s professional knowledge were more likely to prefer a female obstetrician/gynecologist.

Conclusions

The majority of responders to our survey (Israeli Druze women), like those in other communities where religiousness and modesty are deeply rooted, prefer female obstetricians/gynecologists, with the overwhelming reasons given being feeling more comfortable and less embarrassed with females, and the notion that female obstetricians/gynecologists are more gentle during intimate procedures.

Keywords:

Druze; Religious; Obstetricians/gynecologists; Sex

New Article: Sen | Ethnocracy, Israel and India

Sen, Satadru. “Ethnocracy, Israel and India.” History and Sociology of South Asia 9.2 (2015): 107-25.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2230807515572211

 

Abstract

This articles examines majoritarianism, democracy and the status of minorities in Israel and India comparatively, using the concept of ethnocracy as an analytical frame. It argues that whereas the overt racialisation of ethnicity in Israel has produced an intractable problem, solutions may be found in India through the creative deployment of the history of modern Hindu identity, and even through the Israeli notion of binationality.

New Book: Snir, Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?

Snir, Reuven. Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity? Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities. Leiden: Brill, 2015.

snir

 

In Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?: Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities, Professor Reuven Snir, Dean of Humanities at Haifa University, presents a new approach to the study of Arab-Jewish identity and the subjectivities of Arabized Jews. Against the historical background of Arab-Jewish culture and in light of identity theory, Snir shows how the exclusion that the Arabized Jews had experienced, both in their mother countries and then in Israel, led to the fragmentation of their original identities and encouraged them to find refuge in inessential solidarities. Following double exclusion, intense globalization, and contemporary fluidity of identities, singularity, not identity, has become the major war cry among Arabized Jews during the last decade in our present liquid society.

Table of contents

Preface
Introduction
Chapter One: Identity: Between Creation and Recycling
Chapter Two: Arabized Jews: Historical Background
Chapter Three: Arabized Jews in Modern Times between Interpellation and Exclusion
Chapter Four: Globalization and the Search for Inessential Solidarities
Chapter Five: White Jews, Black Jews
Conclusion
Appendices
I. Iraqi-Jewish Intellectuals, Writers, and Artists
II. Sami Michael, “The Artist and the Falafel” (short story)
References
Index
Reuven Snir is a Professor of Arabic Literature and Dean of Humanities at Haifa University. He has published many books, articles, translations, and encyclopedia entries. His latest book is Baghdad – The City in Verse (Harvard University Press, 2013).

New Article: Benyamini and Hotam, An Outline for Critical Theology from an Israeli/Jewish Perspective

Benyamini, Itzhak and Yotam Hotam. “An Outline for Critical Theology. From an Israeli/Jewish Perspective.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.2 (2015): 333-39.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2014.997485

 

Abstract

In recent years, critical thought and theological discourse have been challenging each other, as they share mutual themes alongside contesting motivations. Against this broad background, this outline presents a possible formula for “critical theology,” which negotiates between the critical and the theological fields of inquiry. Stemming from the contemporary Israeli framework of religion, society and political imagination, the formula points to the difference between the call to critically navigate in the theological field of meanings, and the call to faithfully adopt its message; between the call “to the call” of theology, and the call “by means of” theology. By doing so, the outline aims to present theology as the original realm of non-religious, perhaps even un-religious, critique, and not as its adversary, while nonetheless maintaining “the religious” as such. Critical theology, we suggest, from our Israeli/Jewish perspective, is a social and political challenge of our time in which religion and religiosity have returned to the forefront of the social, political and cultural world.

 

Reminder: How Jewish is the Jewish State? Conference at American University, Oct 28, 2014

See more here: https://israbib.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/conference-program-how-jewish-is-the-jewish-state-religion-and-society-in-israel-american-university-oct-28-2014/

“How Jewish Is the Jewish State?  Religion and Society in Israel” – Academic Conference at American University 

Tuesday, October 28, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
This all day conference examines the separation of state and religion in Israel, looks into the treatment and the internal structure of non-Jews in the Jewish state, and asks about Jewish religious pluralism and Orthodox dominance. Leading experts from Israel, Europe, and the United States will speak on these questions, drawing upon their own scholarship, teaching, and variant experiences at several different institutions.   A complete conference program is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lc_F_g00uhs58ZayyBfJudXkF2rhiWUVoLuanaIa7Mg/edit?usp=sharing  Location: SIS Building Abramson Family Founders Room. Pre-paid parking is available in the School for International Service garage and Katzen Arts Center garage (campus map here).
“Israel at the Crossroads of Democracy, Nationalism and Religion”- Free lecture at American University
Tuesday, October 28, 7:30 PM 
Lecture by Moshe Halbertal, Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Professor of Jewish Thought and Philosophy at Hebrew University, and a faculty member at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, Israel.  Location: Mary Graydon Center (MGC) Rooms 4-5.  Free parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center garage and the Sports Center garage (campus map here).

Event: Ilana Pardes discusses her new book at Stanford, Sep 30, 2014

Agnon’s Moonstruck Lovers: The Song of Songs in Israeli Culture

Agnons-Moonstruck-Lovers
Lecture and conversation with Ilana Pardes,
Professor of Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Tuesday, September 30, 4:00pm  
Building 260, Room 252 

Stanford University


In adopting the Song of Songs, Zionist interpreters sought to return to the erotic, pastoral landscapes of biblical times. Their quest for a new, uplifting, secular literalism, however, could not efface the haunting impact of allegorical configurations of love. 
 
“This new study confirms Ilana Pardes as one of the most deeply interesting scholars in the field of comparative literature.”
-Robert Alter, University of California, Berkeley
Presented by the Taube Center for Jewish Studies in collaboration with Hebrew@Stanford and the Department of Comparative Literature.