Bulletin: Religion in Israel

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New Article: Chyutin, Female Modesty in Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema

Chyutin, Dan. “‘The King’s Daughter is All Glorious Within’: Female Modesty in Judaic-Themed Israeli Cinema.” Journal of Jewish Identities 9.1 (2016): 39-58.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/614551

 

Extract

In the latter months of 2011, the issue of female marginalization within Judaism became the focus of a heated debate in Israeli public discourse. During this period, the national press reported on a variety of incidents involving Judaic exclusionary practices: for example, male Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers purposely leaving an official ceremony because it involved a female singing performance; ultra-Orthodox men spitting on a thirteen-year-old girl who was dressed ‘indecently’; and women being harassed on buses for not observing gender separation by moving to the back. These and other similar occurrences were denounced by secular politicians and media, and even prominent figures within the observant community spoke against the spread of segregation. Concurrently, Israeli citizens took to the streets on more than one occasion in support of the victims of Judaic discrimination. The social uproar around these events signals a growing awareness within Israeli society of the patriarchal facets of Judaic practice and their control and oppression of women. This understanding recognizes that the Bible, as a text written by and for men, situates women as the quintessential Other, and thus acts as the condition for an institutional marginalization of womanhood that covers all spheres of Jewish religious life. With reference to this state of affairs, the Judaic demand for sexually-based tzniut (modesty), visible in the aforementioned incidents, has become particularly important for Israeli feminist critique. As Shira Wolosky explains, Judaism’s modesty discourse has defined the danger of women as “that of ‘ervah, a nakedness that contains an erotic element and requires covering.” In protection of a supposed male vulnerability, the Judaic world sought to contain this danger by imposing detailed disciplines [on] women, regulating their seating in the synagogue, eating at feasts, and positioning in recreational and education settings, alongside myriad and multiplying regulations of dress, hair covering, greetings, deportment and, in the ultra-Orthodox world, also work spaces and public travel. These measures, which may be collected under the general heading of mechitzah (separation), engender Foucauldian ‘analytic spaces’ that ‘provide fixed positions’ and establish operational links as means of social regulation. As such, they become obvious targets for the feminist appreciation of female subjectivity under Judaism. Cognizant of the oppressive implications of the mechitzah, religious feminist discourse does not call for its abolishment but rather attempts to reinterpret it; for example, by looking at modesty-regulated spaces as offering opportunities for women to express and strengthen a self-conscious identity, or by expanding the purview of modesty to all members of the community so as to help them ‘view themselves [not] according to the images of each other that have been generated through generations of cagey anxiety and misguided notions, but in the far more forgiving gaze of the divine.’ In contrast, Israeli secular feminist discourse, as reflected through the 2011 public debate on female marginalization, has been largely uninterested in such reasoning. Instead, it has defined feminism and Judaism as fundamentally incompatible, and therefore offered the breaking of mechitzah as the only proper solution for the religious woman’s plight. This position did not emerge ex nihilo. Rather, we find it mirrored in the proliferation of contemporary Israeli films that aim, so it seems, to stage scenes where religious Jewish (or ‘Judaic’) women transgress modesty norms in sexual and romantic contexts. As a genre, these filmic texts imagine observant women to be not only the principal victims of Israeli-Judaic reality, but also its primary challengers. Their challenge is seen as originating from a desire for sexual exploration, a desire that is deemed natural and thus inherently in conflict with Judaism’s artificial laws of sexual management. Accordingly, these works place their characters on a collision course with Judaism’s power structures, a process that ultimately necessitates they abandon their religiosity or live in painful tension with it. The goal of the following pages is to evaluate this corpus of media texts as manifesting the current Israeli secular critique of Judaic androcentrism.

 

 

 

New Book: Randall, Sufism and Jewish-Muslim Relations

Randall, Yafiah Katherine. Sufism and Jewish-Muslim Relations. The Derekh Avraham Order in Israel. New York: Routledge, 2016.

 

9781138914032

 

In Israel there are Jews and Muslims who practice Sufism together. The Sufi’ activities that they take part in together create pathways of engagement between two faith traditions in a geographical area beset by conflict.

Sufism and Jewish Muslim Relationsinvestigates this practice of Sufism among Jews and Muslims in Israel and examines their potential to contribute to peace in the area. It is an original approach to the study of reconciliation, situating the activities of groups that are not explicitly acting for peace within the wider context of grass-roots peace initiatives. The author conducted in-depth interviews with those practicing Sufism in Israel, and these are both collected in an appendix and used throughout the work to analyse the approaches of individuals to Sufism and the challenges they face. It finds that participants understand encounters between Muslim and Jewish mystics in the medieval Middle East as a common heritage to Jews and Muslims practising Sufism together today, and it explores how those of different faiths see no dissonance in the adoption of Sufi practices to pursue a path of spiritual progression.

The first examination of the Derekh Avraham Jewish-Sufi Order, this is a valuable resource for students and scholars of Sufi studies, as well as those interested in Jewish-Muslim relations.

 

Table of Contents

    • Part 1: Procedure and Contexts of the Research
    • 1 Introduction
    • 2 Contexts of the Investigation
    • 3 Historical Encounters of Jewish and Islamic Mysticism: precedents of Contemporary Practice in Israel
    • Part 2: Reading the Field Narratives
    • 4 The Derekh Avraham/Tariqat Ibrahimiyya and its Contemporary Re-emergence in Israel
    • 5 Beshara: Lovers of Ibn Arabi
    • 6 Embracing the Sufi Path and the Dissemination of Knowledge
    • 7 Jewish and Muslim Peacemakers
    • Part 3: Conclusion
    • 8 The Other Voice
    • Appendices

 

YAFIAH KATHERINE RANDALL received her PhD at the University of Winchester. She combines academic research into Jewish-Muslim relations focusing on Sufism with grass-roots action for interreligious understanding and conflict transformation.

New Article: Wagner, Nietzsche’s Visions and Buber’s Israel

Wagner, Karin. “Hugo Kauder’s Unexpressed Philosophical Concept: Schelling’s Transcendence, Nietzsche’s Visions and Buber’s Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (early view; online first).
 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2016.1144283
 
Abstract

Hugo Kauder, born in 1888 near Prague, composer, instrumentalist, theoretician and music-philosopher, came to Vienna in 1905, left Austria after the Novemberpogrom 1938 and reached New York via the Netherlands and England in 1940. In 1938 Tel Aviv was also one of his intended havens (parts of Kauder’s estate are kept at the National Library of Israel, Jerusalem). Engaged in the crisis discourse in Vienna’s postwar period of the early 1920s, Kauder drafted his philosophical ideas under the influence of Friedrich Schelling and Friedrich Nietzsche, also speculating on music-teleology, mysticism and cosmology. Corresponding with the German philosopher Rudolf Pannwitz, with the authors Karl Wolfskehl and Erich von Kahler, Kauder expressed his Jewishness – much more as a mindset than an active Jewish identity. Coming from a system of transcendental and natural philosophy combined with Christian ideas, Kauder moved to a more complex syncretism also reflecting on Jewish topics. Kauder did not organize his ideas into a concept, they are, rather, the theoretical framework of his educational books and are widespread in his essays and letters.

 

 

 

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 Book: Feldman, A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land

Feldman, Jackie. A Jewish Guide in the Holy Land. How Christian Pilgrims Made Me Israeli. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2016.

 
Feldman

 

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.

 

 

 

New Book: Mechter and Maya-Mechter, Between the Intimate and the Anonymous in Urban Space

Mechter, Eytan, and Avital Maya. Between the Intimate and the Anonymous in Urban Space. A Socio-Cultural Perspective on Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2016 (in Hebrew).

 
beyn-intimi-anonymi
 

This book seeks to contribute to the socio-cultural discourse on the first Hebrew-cosmopolitan city, a discourse that may serve as an alternative to the conventional economic content in relation to urban processes. The attempt to decipher the secret of the transformation of the first Hebrew city into a “world city” will be made by examining the uniqueness of the culture and ethos of Tel Aviv in connection with universal norms. The socio-cultural discussion presents the tension between rationality and desire that late capitalism is based on, while highlighting the manifestations of this tension in the urban, local, and general arenas–both by the conquest of space through capital and in the design of and objectified consciousness and consumerist styles.

Multiculturalism and density are distinct urban characteristics contributing to urban activity based on openness, creativity, innovation and sophistication, but also reflect expressions of convergence and alienation. The individuation process serves as a central axis f or the translation of the rational subject into an object of consumerist desire as a result of the capitalist system. Individuation and the process of self-branding encourage the growth of various forms of unique and dynamic identities and styles, but hinder the constructions of relationships based on emotions and commitment. “The neighborhood community” is offered in this book as a possible solution to anonymity and the instrumentalism of interpersonal relationships, a solution which enables interpersonal relationships in the metropolin without disrupting the dynamic nature of variability and diversity, while creating a stable core, whether territorial or virtual.

The concluding chapter discusses the spiritual challenge of the big city to cultivate expressions of “Hard Liberty” following Levinas, as a substitute for the splitting of the subject and the self-alienation which endanger the urban soul.

 

Eytan Mechter is a scholar and lecturer of sociology of culture at the NB Haifa School of Design, Holon Institute of Technology, and the Arts Faculty of the Kibbutzim College.Avital Maya Mechter was a lecture of creative education at Hemdat Hadarom college.

 

 

 

Thesis: Chyutin, Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience

Chyutin, Dan. A Hidden Light: Judaism, Contemporary Israeli Film, and the Cinematic Experience, PhD dissertation. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh, 2015.
 
URL: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/26366/
 
Abstract

Throughout its brief history, Israeli cinema largely ignored Jewish religious identity, aligning itself with Zionism’s rejection of Judaism as a marker of diasporic existence. Yet over the past two decades, as traditional Zionism slowly declined, and religion’s presence became more pronounced in the public sphere, Israeli filmmakers began to treat Judaism as a legitimate cinematic concern. The result has been a growth in the number of Israeli films dealing with the realities of devoutly religious Jews, amounting to a veritable “Judaic turn” in Israel’s cinematic landscape. As of now, this “turn” has received meager attention within Israeli film scholarship. The following, then, addresses this scholarly lack by offering an extensive investigation of contemporary Judaic-themed Israeli cinema.

This intervention pursues two interconnected lines of inquiry. The first seeks to analyze the corpus in question for what it says on the Judaic dimension of present-day Israeli society. In this context, this study argues that while a dialectic of secular vs. religious serves as the overall framework in which these films operate, it is habitually countermanded by gestures that bring these binary categories together into mutual recognition. Accordingly, what one finds in such filmic representations is a profound sense of ambivalence, which is indicative of a general equivocation within Israeli public discourse surrounding the rise in Israeli Judaism’s stature and its effects on a national ethos once so committed to secularism.

The second inquiry follows the lead of Judaic-themed Israeli cinema’s interest in Jewish mysticism, and extends it to a film-theoretical consideration of how Jewish mystical thought may help illuminate particular constituents of the cinematic experience. Here emphasis is placed on two related mystical elements to which certain Israeli films appeal—an enlightened vision that unravels form and a state of unity that ensues. The dissertation argues that these elements not only appear in the Israeli filmic context, but are also present in broader cinematic engagements, even when those are not necessarily organized through the theosophic coordinates of mysticism. Furthermore, it suggests that this cycle’s evocation of such elements is aimed to help its national audience transcend the ambivalences of Israel’s “Judaic imagination.”

 

 

 

New Article: Shalev et al, Change in the Religious Identity of Young Religious Jewish Newlyweds in Israel

Shalev, Ofra, Nehami Baum, and Haya Itzhaky. “Religious Identity in Transition. Processes of Change in the Religious Identity of Young Religious Jewish Newlyweds in Israel.” The Family Journal 24.2 (2015): 132-9.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066480716628598
 
Abstract

When researchers started to explore the cultural context of marriage, studies about how religious beliefs act within the marriage context have emerged. Most studies focused on Christian population, exploring how religiosity shape the nature of the marital relationship. The present study, however, examined the religious dynamics in one’s religious identity as a result of the transition to matrimony. Using qualitative tools, we interviewed 18 young Israeli Jewish Orthodox couples during their first year of marriage. The study exposes that although both partners come from the same religious group, the transition to marriage creates significant changes in their self-religious identity.

 

 

 

New Article: Erdreich, Spirituality in Teacher Training at an Islamic College in Israel

Erdreich, Lauren. “Spirituality in Teacher Training at an Islamic College in Israel.” Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education 10.1 (2016): 1-13.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15595692.2015.1084921

 

Abstract

This article looks at an Islamic teacher training college in Israel in an attempt to understand how religious revival shapes women’s understandings of being Muslim women professionals in Israel. The college grew out of Islamic revival in Israel; its teacher training program reflects the sensibilities that Islamic revival hopes to foster in women who study there and in the children they will teach. The article is based on ethnographic research at the college. Adopting a theoretical approach to spirituality as a cultural phenomenon, experienced as authentic, yet culturally informed, can serve as a powerful resource for creating social meaning and as a source of pedagogies of change. I illustrate the means by which the institution makes space for a spirituality that infuses teacher training with a sense of social purpose, civil commitment, and personal unity with the divine.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

New Book: Ben Shitrit, Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right

Ben Shitrit, Lihi. Righteous Transgressions: Women’s Activism on the Israeli and Palestinian Religious Right. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015.

 

BenShitrit

How do women in conservative religious movements expand spaces for political activism in ways that go beyond their movements’ strict ideas about male and female roles? How and why does this activism happen in some movements but not in others? Righteous Transgressions examines these questions by comparatively studying four groups: the Jewish settlers in the West Bank, the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the Islamic Movement in Israel, and the Palestinian Hamas. Lihi Ben Shitrit demonstrates that women’s prioritization of a nationalist agenda over a proselytizing one shapes their activist involvement.

Ben Shitrit shows how women construct “frames of exception” that temporarily suspend, rather than challenge, some of the limiting aspects of their movements’ gender ideology. Viewing women as agents in such movements, she analyzes the ways in which activists use nationalism to astutely reframe gender role transgressions from inappropriate to righteous. The author engages the literature on women’s agency in Muslim and Jewish religious contexts, and sheds light on the centrality of women’s activism to the promotion of the spiritual, social, cultural, and political agendas of both the Israeli and Palestinian religious right.

Looking at the four most influential political movements of the Israeli and Palestinian religious right, Righteous Transgressions reveals how the bounds of gender expectations can be crossed for the political good.

 

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Note on Language xi
  • 1 Introduction: “Be an Other’s, Be an Other”: A Personal Perspective 1
  • 2 Contextualizing the Movements 32
  • 3 Complementarian Activism: Domestic and Social Work, Da‘wa, and Teshuva 80
  • 4 Women’s Protest: Exceptional Times and Exceptional Measures 128
  • 5 Women’s Formal Representation: Overlapping Frames 181
  • 6 Conclusion 225
  • Notes 241
  • References 259
  • Index 275

 

LIHI BEN SHITRIT is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

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).

 

New Book: Eshet, The Interest in UFOs and Extraterrestrials in Israeli Society (in Hebrew)

Eshet, Techia. For Their Eyes Only. The Interest in UFOs and Extraterrestrials in Israeli Society. Tel Aviv: Resling, 2015 (in Hebrew).

 

Eshet

 

 

In the last decade of the 20th century, more than fifty years since the first report of a “flying saucer” in the United States, there has been a growing interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials in Western culture in general and in Israel in particular. At times it seems that spacecrafts have landed in Israel en masse and thousands of extraterrestrials have conquered every part of its culture: the TV screens, daily newspapers, websites and billboards. The interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials, which flourished in Israel in various arenas during the 1990s, is discussed in this book in the context of addressing issues of identity and otherness.

This offers a different and fascinating perspective in a an extraordinary and innovative field of study; a “different” world, which is ostensibly distant, but in fact is close in many ways. “Glimpsing” into the world of those dealing with UFOs and extraterrestrials reveals not only this unique and intriguing subculture, but also very sheds light on the local and global culture of which we are all apart. The employment of extraterrestrial otherness reflects in this book the culture at large, including the changes and transformations that have taken place in Israeli society, alongside an observation of existential issues and concepts related to time, space, body and human existence. This gripping journey into the intricacies of the other and the marginal demonstrates that the preoccupation with the other, the cosmic, and the alien enables the strengthening of the relationship to the present and the local. In addition, the book discusses major cultural issues such as religion, politics, internal and external divides and conflicts, and pseudo-science.

To Their Eyes Only is based on anthropological research conducted within the framework of a doctoral thesis written by Techia Eshet. The study, which lasted several years, included Participant observations in conferences of “the Israeli Center for UFO Research” and in clinics offering treatment through extraterrestrials, along with interviews with practitioners in the field, and analysis of reports on evidence about seeing a UFO sightings or extraterrestrial encounters.

Techia (Thea) Eshet is a doctor of anthropology; Lecturer at the University of Haifa.
.

New Article: Muszkat-Barkan, Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices Regarding Prayer Education in TALI Day Schools in Israel

Muszkat-Barkan, Michal. “Between Ritual and Spiritual: Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices Regarding Prayer Education in TALI Day Schools in Israel.” Journal of Jewish Education 81.3 (2015): 260-84.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15244113.2015.1065631

 

Abstract

The aim of this qualitative study is to describe teachers’ perceptions and roles in prayer education in TALI day schools in Israel, using in-depth oral Interviews, written questionnaires and written materials of the schools’ network. Two educational ideologies were identified: Belonging to the Jewish collective and Personal-spiritual ideology. While participants perceive the aim of Jewish education as enhancing students’ belonging to the Jewish collective, prayer education introduces a personal-spiritual aspect that was not typically a part of teachers’ discourse on Jewish education.

 

 

New Article: Kaplan & Werczberger, Jewish New Age and the Middle Class

Kaplan, Dana, and Rachel Werczberger. “Jewish New Age and the Middle Class: Jewish Identity Politics in Israel under Neoliberalism.” Sociology (early view; online first).

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038515595953

 

Abstract
This article asks why middle-class Israeli seculars have recently begun to engage with Jewish religiosity. We use the case of the Jewish New Age (JNA) as an example of the middle class’s turn from a nationalised to a spiritualised version of Judaism. We show, by bringing together the sociology of religion’s interest in emerging spiritualities and cultural sociology’s interest in social class, how after Judaism was deemed socially significant in identity-based struggles for recognition, Israeli New Agers started culturalising and individualising Jewish religiosity by constructing it in a spiritual, eclectic, emotional and experiential manner. We thus propose that what may be seen as cultural and religious pluralism is, in fact, part of a broader system of class reproduction.

 

 

New Article: Ben Arye et al, Perspectives of Arab Patients in Palestine and Israel on the Role of Complementary Medicine

Ben-Arye, Eran, Amneh M.A. Hamadeh, Elad Schiff, Rana M. Jamous, Jamal Dagash, Rania M. Jamous, Abed Agbarya, Gil Bar-Sela, Eyas Massalha, Michael Silbermann, and Mohammed Saleem Ali-Shtayeh. “Compared Perspectives of Arab Patients in Palestine and Israel on the Role of Complementary Medicine in Cancer Care.” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 49.5 (2015): 878-84.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2014.10.006

 

Abstract

Context

Complementary medicine (CM) is extensively used by patients with cancer across the Middle East.

Objectives

We aimed to compare the perspectives of two Arab populations residing in diverse socioeconomic-cultural settings in Palestine and Israel regarding the role of CM in supportive cancer care.

Methods

A 27-item questionnaire was constructed and administered to a convenience sample of Arab patients receiving cancer care in four oncology centers in northern Israel and Palestine.

Results

Each of the two groups had 324 respondents and was equally distributed by age and marital status. Compared with the Israeli-Arab group, Palestinian participants reported significantly higher CM use for cancer-related outcomes (63.5% vs. 39.6%, P < 0.001), which included more herbal use (97.6% vs. 87.9%, P = 0.001) and significantly lower use of dietary supplements, acupuncture, mind-body and manual therapies, and homeopathy. Most respondents in both groups stated that they would consult CM providers if CM was integrated in oncology departments. Related to this theoretical integrative scenario, Palestinian respondents expressed fewer expectations from their oncologists to actively participate in building their CM treatment plan. Treatment expectations in both groups focused on improving quality of life (QOL), whereas Palestinian respondents had fewer expectations for CM to improve fatigue, emotional concerns, sleep, and daily functioning.

Conclusion

Arab patients with cancer from Palestine and Israel highly support CM integration within their oncology institutions aiming to improve QOL. Nevertheless, respondents differed in their perceived model of CM integration, its treatment objectives, and their oncologists’ role in CM integration.

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