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With a light touch and many wonderful illustrations, historian Anat Helman investigates "life on the ground" in Israel during the first years of statehood. She looks at how citizens--natives of the land, longtime immigrants, and newcomers--coped with the state's efforts to turn an incredibly diverse group of people into a homogenous whole. She investigates the efforts to make Hebrew the lingua franca of Israel, the uses of humor, and the effects of a constant military presence, along with such familiar aspects of daily life as communal dining on the kibbutz, the nightmare of trying to board a bus, and moviegoing as a form of escapism.Ê In the process Helman shows how ordinary people adapted to the standards and rules of the political and cultural elites and negotiated the chaos of early statehood.
"Becoming Israeli" captures the story of aliyah, of Jews moving their entire lives and futures to Israel. To tell this story, Akiva Gersh recruited 40 bloggers whose words take readers on an adventure that evokes a wide range of emotions, from frustration to inspiration, from confusion to deep pride. It is a record and a testament to what drives olim (immigrants) to make aliyah, gives voice to the challenges they face acclimating to a new language and culture, and illustrates vividly why they would never want to live anywhere else. You will literally laugh out loud as well as wipe away tears as you journey through the world of aliyah with these bloggers who want to share their story. A story which, essentially, is the story of the Jewish people coming home.
This book provides a unique mosaic of the most recent processes and phenomena which explains Israel factually as well as theoretically. It offers a new conceptual framework for analysing the relationships between state and society, contrasting social boundaries with social frontiers. It also discusses the problems that arise when Zionist ideology confronts reality in contemporary Israel.
Examines a pan-ethnic style of music created by North African and Middle Eastern Israeli musicians in the late twentieth century.
Notions of place have always permeated Jewish life and consciousness. The Babylonian Talmud was pitted against the Jerusalem Talmud; the worlds of Sepharad and Ashkenaz were viewed as two pillars of the Jewish experience; the diaspora was conceived as a wholly different experience from that of Eretz Israel; and Jews from Eastern Europe and "German Jews" were often seen as mirror opposites, whereas Jews under Islam were often characterized pejoratively, especially because of their allegedly uncultured surroundings. Place, or makom, is a strategic opportunity to explore the tensions that characterize Jewish culture in modernity, between the sacred and the secular, the local and the global, the historical and the virtual, Jewish culture and others. The plasticity of the term includes particular geographic places and their cultural landscapes, theological allusions, and an array of other symbolic relations between locus, location, and the production of culture. The 30th volume of Studies in Contemporary Jewry includes twelve essays that deal with various aspects of particular places, making each location a focal point for understanding Jewish life and culture. Scholars from the United States, Europe, and Israel have used their disciplinary skills to shed light on the vicissitudes of the 20th century in relation to place and Jewish culture. Their essays continue the ongoing discussion in this realm and provide further insights into the historiographical turn in Jewish studies.
This book traces Nava Shean's life on the stage, providing a first-hand account of life in Terezin concentration camp and the incredible artistic activity under the shadow of the transports to the death camps. It also portrays the author's reconnection with her Jewish heritage.

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