Babis, Deby. “The Paradox of Integration and Isolation within Immigrant Organisations: The Case of a Latin American Association in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (early view; online first).
Most immigrant organisations aim to facilitate the integration of immigrants into the host society while seeking to preserve their cultural heritage. In order to explore the tension between these two apparently opposite processes within immigrant organisations, a case study was carried out on the Organization of Latin American Immigrants in Israel (OLEI). The research question focuses on how, and to what extent, OLEI contributes to the integration of Latin American immigrants into Israeli society and how, and to what extent, it contributes to their isolation. The findings indicate that while individual services promote the integration of Latin American immigrants into Israeli society, communal services both isolate and integrate them simultaneously. To address this paradox, I suggest an interpretation of this process as ‘integration through isolation’, since OLEI socially isolates immigrants, but at the same time integrates them into the host society by providing Israeli culture in Spanish.