New Article: Tal, The Sustainability of Israel’s Irrigation Practices in the Drylands

Tal, Alon. “Rethinking the Sustainability of Israel’s Irrigation Practices in the Drylands.” Water Research 90 (2016): 387-94.





Broad utilization of drip irrigation technologies in Israel has contributed to the 1600 percent increase in the value of produce grown by local farmers over the past sixty-five years. The recycling of 86% of Israeli sewage now provides 50% of the country’s irrigation water and is the second, idiosyncratic component in Israel’s strategy to overcome water scarcity and maintain agriculture in a dryland region. The sustainability of these two practices is evaluated in light of decades of experience and ongoing research by the local scientific community. The review confirms the dramatic advantages of drip irrigation over time, relative to flood, furrow and sprinkler irrigation and its significance as a central component in agricultural production, especially under arid conditions. In contrast, empirical findings increasingly report damage to soil and to crops from salinization caused by irrigation with effluents. To be environmentally and agriculturally sustainable over time, wastewater reuse programs must ensure extremely high quality treated effluents and ultimately seek the desalinization of recycled sewage.




New Article: Shani and Ram, Inclusion in Israel and Ecological Perspectives

Shani, Michal and Drorit Ram. “Perceptions of School Administration Team Members Concerning Inclusion in Israel: Are They in Congruence with the Ecological Sustainable Perspective?” British Journal of Special Education (early view; online first).





Based on an ecological perspective, inclusive education should involve two essential components: a shared ideology of providing a culturally responsive educational system where the needs of every child are met and a school policy geared towards the implementation of inclusion practices, with collaborations among staff members who create sustainable relationships. The study’s aim was to gain a better understanding of School Administration Team Members’ (SATMs’) perceptions of inclusive education in general elementary schools. It was found that although SATMs expressed pro-inclusion ideological statements, they have not yet manifested an ecological view of inclusion de facto that is holistic in nature. By and large, respondents expressed reactive rather than proactive perceptions. It appears that collaborations have not yet been initiated where inclusion is discussed, and a shared ideology is constructed. The research suggests that the perceptions of SATMs reflect perspectives of problem solving, survival, and partial collaborative networks that do not fully embrace ecological sustainable perspectives.


ToC: Israel Studies 20,1 (2015)



  1. Special Section: Landscapes
    1. Tal Alon-Mozes and Matanya Maya
  2. Articles
    1. Gideon Katz
  3. Notes on Contributors (pp. 195-197)

CFP: Sustainable Israel, Annual AIS Meeting (June 1-3, 2015)


A Changing Society in the 21st Century

JUNE 1-3, 2015



Sustainability is a pressing global challenge in the 21st century. The growing gap between human needs and the limited availability of resources that are required to meet them has put the responsible collective management of those resources at the center of attention in global and national policy making. Sustainable development has always been central to the Zionist vision as suggested by Ben Gurion’s vision to “make the desert bloom” or Golda Meir’s famous quote: “We rejoice when a new kind of cotton is grown and when strawberries bloom in Israel”. Sustainable development is a multi-dimensional concept and as such it reflects very well the multi-disciplinary nature and concern of the field of Israel Studies. While it centers on issues of environmental protection, social justice, and responsible economic growth, it also encompasses the diversity of ways in which the debates over this collective responsibility get articulated in the historic, social, cultural and political realms. It highlights the intimate connection between past, present and future, both in a global and in a local / national context.
Deadline for Submission of all Proposals
December 15, 2014


Submission Guidelines

Individual papers and panel proposals should be submitted using the online submission form available on the AIS
Individual paper proposals should not exceed 250 words. The committee strongly encourages scholars to submit panel proposals. These should include information on the panel theme and on each individual paper and should not exceed 750 words.
PhD students who have completed their course work are encouraged to apply and should provide the email of
their advisor for approval.
All presenters will be required to register for the conference and be current AIS members.
Registration is online using a web-form on the AIS website.
Late proposals will not be accepted.

Travel Grants

All applications should be sent by e-mail to Professor Ilan Ben-Ami, AIS Treasurer, at:
The travel grant application deadline is December 15, 2014.
PhD students who wish to apply for travel grants should send a request along with a copy of their proposal and a letter from their advisor.
PhD holders without university travel support should send an abstract of the proposed paper and a current CV.

Program Committee

Csaba Nikolenyi, Chair
Gabor Balazs, Philosophy, Jewish Studies and Diaspora
Rebecca Leah Golbert, Anthropology
Yakub Halabi, Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science
Mordechai Inbari, Philosophy and Religion
Paula Kabalo, Israel and Zionism
Ian Lustick, Political Science
Arye Naor, Communications and Political Science
Bruce Phillips, Sociology and Jewish Communal Service
Yaron Shemer, Film
Shaul Shenhav, Political Science
Ilana Szobel, Gender Studies and Literature
David Tal, History
Keren Weinshall-Margel, Law
Asaf Zohar, Sustainability and Business Administration
For questions, please contact the conference coordinator, Jennifer Solomon at


New Article: Palgi and Getz, Varieties in Developing Sustainability: The Case of the Israeli Kibbutz

Palgi, Michal and Shlomo Getz. “Varieties in Developing Sustainability: The Case of the Israeli Kibbutz.” International Review of Sociology 24.1 (2014): 38-47.





Kibbutz communities and organizations were originally structured to be egalitarian and democratic. The last two decades proved to be a major challenge for their sustainability due to a serious economic crisis. Many scholars have lamented the end of the kibbutz, some of them claiming that there is no place for utopias in the twenty-first century. Kibbutz communities were trying to survive within a turbulent economic and social environment. This article will attempt to analyse varieties in developing sustainability that were adopted by kibbutz communities. Focusing on the impact of the economic crisis, we will investigate processes of value change within the kibbutz, taking into consideration that the kibbutz does not exist in a vacuum but is rather embedded within a society that has undergone transformation processes from a socialistic to a capitalistic orientation. The article will look at different solutions that kibbutz communities have adopted and strategies that kibbutz members used in order to cope with this crisis. We will explain how these solutions and strategies are reflected in members’ values and attitudes as well as taking into consideration in which areas value change was fast and in which it was slower. Our analysis will lead to a reflection on the different communitarian and non-communitarian models that might evolve in the kibbutz communities and their possible outcome. The discussion will focus on three dimensions of sustainability methods adopted by kibbutz communities that integrate value change, organizational change, and community processes.