Bulletin: Theatre and Cinema




Asher Tlalim, “A History of Israeli Cinema: From National to Personal Films”; SOAS, March 20, 2017


New Article: Kranz, Changing Definitions of Germanness across Three Generations of Yekkes

Kranz, Dani.”Changing Definitions of Germanness across Three Generations of Yekkes in Palestine/Israel.” German Studies Review 39.1 (2016): 99-120.
URL: https://www.academia.edu/22106615/Changing_Definitions_of_Germanness_across_Three_Generations_of_Yekkes_in_Palestine_Israel

German-speaking Jews arrived in Palestine in vast numbers from 1933 onwards. They are not Olim (ascenders, Jewish immigrants to Palestine/Israel) in the classical, Zionistic sense but emigrated out of necessity from Europe. Their history in Europe, and their arrival in Palestine reflect a particular integration into the nascent Jewish society, and resulted in a pronounced particularism that was transmitted across generations. To understand the interdependence of self-definition and superimposed ascription within a society that aims at absorbing immigrants, this paper chronicles the different definitions of Germanness amongst three generations of Yekkes (German-speaking Jews) in Palestine, later Israel, by focusing on community building, familial tradition, and everyday praxes of expressing Germanness.




CFP: Jewish horticultural schools in Germany and their impact on Palestine / Israel

Call for Papers: Jewish horticultural and agricultural schools / training centers in Germany and their impact on horticulture, agriculture and landscape architecture in Palestine / Israel 

Place: Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem

Date: September 26, 2016

Deadline: April 30, 2016

In the course of the late 19th and early 20th century, more than 30 Jewish horticultural and agricultural training centers and schools (Hachshara) were established in Germany to train Jews from Germany and other European countries, particularly Eastern Europe. While these institutions aimed to prepare their graduates to emigrate from Germany, they also reflected the lure of the students toward the local land and landscape, a topic which was relative neglected in the emerging research field of ‘everyday history’(Alltagsgeschichte) of Jewish life in Germany. Upon arriving in Palestine, graduates of these centers were involved in establishing new settlements, led agricultural and horticultural activities, pioneered agricultural education, and practiced landscape architecture. Nevertheless, in contrast to the rich documentation of the role of the “Yekkes” in the country’s development, there is surprisingly little research on this group’s contribution to the emergence of the local landscape.

Our research explores the scopes, goals, and contribution of these German educational institutions. It documents the history of the schools and training centers, their curricula, and the actual work and life of their students. In parallel we investigate the impact of these graduates, after their arrival in Palestine, on the local landscape. We explore their landscape perceptions, their settlement projects (mainly in the Kibbutzim but not exclusively), and their contributions to the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and landscape architecture.
On September 26, 2016 we will hold a workshop in Jerusalem, organized together with the Leo Baeck Institute in Jerusalem, in order to bring together German and Israeli researchers to discuss these issues and exchange knowledge and ideas. We invite scholars of all disciplines, including but not limited to architecture, horticulture, agriculture, the humanities, and the social sciences, to send proposals for papers addressing the research topics and related issues.

Interested scholars are invited to send an abstract of 300 words and a short bio of 100 words to Sharon Gordon sharon.n.gordon@gmail.com.

We encourage scholars to send full papers or work in progress prior to the workshop, though such exchange will not be obligatory.

Due date is 30/4/2016.

Dissertation: Poppe, Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of Israeli Writers

Poppe, Judith. “I am writing into deserted times” – Constructions of the I in the German Poetry of the Israeli Writers Netti Boleslav and Jenny Aloni, PhD dissertation. Göttingen: Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 2015 (in German).


URL: https://ediss.uni-goettingen.de/handle/11858/00-1735-0000-0028-86AD-7



This study examines a subject that has been disregarded in literary history, namely Israeli literature written in the German language. Two authors, Jenny Aloni and Netti Boleslav, as well as their poetry, are used as paradigmatic case studies to show the relevance of this literature that crosses political and cultural borders. In the late thirties Boleslav and Aloni emigrated from Nazi-Germany and Prague to Palestine/Israel where they found a new home. They wrote poetry and prose in German until their death in the 1980s and 1990s. Their lives and works are reconstructed on the basis of documents such as diaries, letters and unpublished manuscripts that are contained in their literary estates and made public partly for the first time. From a methodological perspective, the hermeneutical analysis of the poems in their poetic value is here complemented by poststructuralist approaches of the Cultural Studies. Focusing on the construction of the “I” (the “I” in the poetry as well as the “I” of the empirical authors), this study pursues the traces of different times and places, where the literature has left its mark. The oeuvres of Aloni and Boleslav emerges at the intersections of two worlds, the German and the Israeli, and they wander between various regions and political units such as Bohemia, Nazi and post-Nazi Germany, the State of Israel and Czechoslovakia. Their poems draw from “Jewish” and “Israeli” literature, German pop culture, bucolic poetry and Zionist historiography. Until now the unique position of German Literature in Israel has been almost completely neglected. The present study fills this scholarly gap. The research combines concepts by Deleuze/Guattari and Kühne in order to coin the notion of “Kleine Zwischenliteratur”, which describes the main features of this literature. One of the main goals of the present examination is to grant this literature a more prominent place in the history of literary. Based on the results of the present thesis’ analysis it becomes apparent that notions of transdisciplinary and transnationality need to be mobilised in order to challenge the accepted categories of the discipline, enabling us to close the blind spot of the Israeli literature written in German.




New Article: Yekes in Palestine/Israel Struggling between Language and Gender (in German)

Farges, Patrick. “‘Diese meine Sprache, die so männlich geworden ist.’ Jeckes in Palästina/Israel im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen Sprachen und Geschlecht.” L’Homme 26.1 (2015): 63-78.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.7767/lhomme-2015-0106




ToC: Naharaim 8,2 (2014)

Naharaim volume 8, issue 2 (2014)


Cite: Jessen, Kastein and the Troublesome Persistence of a Canon of German Literature in Palestine

Jessen, Caroline. "‘Vergangenheiten haben ihr eigenes Beharrungsvermögen …’ Josef Kastein and the Troublesome Persistence of a Canon of German Literature in Palestine/Israel." Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 57 (2012): 35-51.

URL: http://leobaeck.oxfordjournals.org/content/57/1/35.short


Some literature – the persistent canon – was a repository for generational memories (as any re-reading of Schiller’s plays could bring back to mind, for example, memories of family recitals and school assignments). This literature was nevertheless responsive to readings through the lens of Zionist ideology: it could stand criticism based on heteronymous values. Last but not least, it provided readers with aesthetic pleasure. The canon gained strength from its usefulness as some sort of flexible social or symbolic capital, from being a depot for fundamental values.Thus, despite the problematic relationship many immigrants had with their cultural baggage, literature was functionalized as a bridge between past and present in order to provide recourse for people who felt fundamentally in between homes and in between the ‘identities’ they imagined or longed for.

Cite: Geller, On the Germanness of Gershom Scholem

Geller, Jay Howard. “From Berlin and Jerusalem: On the Germanness of Gershom Scholem.” Journal of Religious History 35.2 (2011): 211-232.


URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9809.2010.01033.x/abstract



Although Gershom Scholem, one of the leading Judaic studies scholars of modern times, was born and raised in Germany, he consistently represented himself as an un-German Jew. Rejection of Germany and Germanness was a leitmotif of Scholem’s self-presentation, particularly after immigrating to Jerusalem in 1923. Scholem became a central figure in the Jewish intelligentsia of mandate-era Palestine and later the state of Israel, and he helped shape Jewish discourse around the world. However, a re-examination of his unpublished and published correspondence, youthful journals, writings and interviews, and actual actions demonstrates that Scholem must also be seen as a German intellectual whose lifelong intellectual, political, social, and cultural predilections were the products of the German Jewish bourgeoisie and the German intelligentsia at the turn of the twentieth century. Long after emigrating from Germany, Scholem remained marked by Germanness and an ongoing relationship with Germany.