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Yoram Peri, Tamar Hermann, Shlomo Fischer, Asher Cohen, Bernard Susser, Nissim Leon and Yaacov Yadgar

Introduction Yoram Peri

More Jewish than Israeli (and Democratic)? Tamar Hermann

Yes, Israel Is Becoming More Religious Shlomo Fischer

Religious Pressure Will Increase in the Future Asher Cohen and Bernard Susser

Secular Jews: From Proactive Agents to Defensive Players Nissim Leon

The Need for an Epistemological Turn Yaacov Yadgar

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Hanna Herzog

The essay follows the development of gender studies in Israel. It argues that from an invisible social category in the early stages of social research, women as a social category has been continuously viewed with different meanings through different epistemological lenses. A major shift has taken place from gender to genders, from 'women' as a social category to 'women' as fragmented, variegated, and multi-dimensional entities. This transition from gender to genders raises a dilemma, for feminism as theory and as a social movement, of what kind of feminist politics, if any at all, is possible or needed.

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High School Graduation Ceremonies

Intergenerational Relations and Models of Social Order

Edna Lomsky-Feder

The aim of this study is to draw out the structural logic of high school graduation ceremonies in general-and in Israel in particular-in order to understand their cultural meaning. The article analyzes 55 accounts of ceremonies held at Israeli-Jewish secondary schools just before the students' conscription into the army. Analysis shows that these events are organized around competing intergenerational models of the social order. Each generational unit locates itself differently vis-à-vis the state order, suspending familial loyalties in the face of loyalty to generational interests. The adults position themselves as representatives of the hegemonic order, while the students demonstrate its arbitrariness and the possibility of resisting it. Thus, the graduation ceremony structurally regulates the intergenerational encounter and the basic conflict between the family and the state on the eve of the students' enlistment.

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The Puzzle of The University on Air

A Story of Media and Academia in Israel, 1977–2013

Hagai Boas and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari

At the end of 2013, the Israeli army radio station Galei Zahal decided to revise the format of The University on Air, a radio program that had served as a unique forum for academia and the media in Israel for almost four decades. Launched in 1977, and with over 6,000 aired lectures, the program, with its long history, is a telling case of academia and media in Israel. We present a topical analysis of all courses aired from 1977 to 2013 and suggest that the program took a contrapuntal stance toward trends in both Israeli media and academia. We argue that processes of privatization during the 1990s created a more commercial-oriented atmosphere for science communication broadcasts. However, unlike the case with private media channels and private institutions of higher education, the shift to commercialism and ratings-oriented formats was slowed down by the protective shield of the army.

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Daniel Bar-Tal and Izhak Schnell, eds., The Impacts of Lasting Occupation: Lessons from Israeli Society Review by Ned Lazarus

Alan Craig, International Legitimacy and the Politics of Security: The Strategic Deployment of Lawyers in the Israeli Military Review by Ariel L. Bendor

Joel S. Migdal, Shifting Sands: The United States in the Middle East Review by Aharon Klieman

Miriam Fendius Elman, Oded Haklai, and Hendrik Spruyt, eds., Democracy and Conflict Resolution: The Dilemmas of Israel's Peacemaking Review by Jay Rothman

Eyal Levin, Ethos Clash in Israeli Society Review by Gabriel Ben-Dor

Danielle Gurevitch, Elana Gomel, and Rani Graff, eds., With Both Feet on the Clouds: Fantasy in Israeli Literature Review by Ari Ofengenden

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Ze'ev Shavit

The article investigates the symbolic construction of the Galilee as a rural place, as portrayed by the websites of leisure resorts seeking urban middle-class customers. The article argues that the Galilee is constructed as a symbolic, post-rural place by them, and that this process expresses a change in the construction of rural place and place in general as well as collective identity in Jewish Israeli society. Data was obtained from marketing websites of 50 leisure resorts in the Galilee. Findings indicate that the post-rural Galilee is composed mainly of four symbolic universes: rural style and atmosphere, agriculture and country gourmet, the experience of nature, and authenticity of place. This construction of rural place represents the voice of the urban middle class in the dynamics of place and collective identity in Jewish Israeli society.

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Tali Tadmor-Shimony and Nirit Raichel

This article discusses the role of teachers in the formation of Israeli society, from the First Aliyah until the 1968 integration reform. The period studied is comprised of four sub-periods, during each of which teachers filled different roles. These roles included a contribution to reviving and spreading the language, creating educational and establishment tools, ideological training, and integration of the new immigrants into Israeli society. The study is based on Mannheim's generation theory, and seeks to use it to demonstrate the formation of the group of teachers in the Land of Israel and their influence on the creation of an imagined community, while also making comparisons with the activities of teachers in other societies.

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Beyond the Religious-Secular Dichotomy

Looking at Five Israeli Dystopias

Gideon Katz

This article analyzes different images of Judaism presented in dystopic (anti-utopian) Israeli novels written in two different decades. In the earlier novels, written during the 1980s, Judaism was portrayed as an ancient religion revived by zealots who terrorize Israeli society, Taliban-style. Then I look at the thorough changes that Israeli dystopias have gone through in the last decade: for the first time in this genre, Judaism is imagined in new ways. It is presented as a religion that is not 'frozen' or 'radical'. Its followers are not stereotypical Diaspora Jews, but, rather, representatives of new Jewish identities that are taking shape in current Israeli society. This is emblematic of the deep changes now taking place in Israeli Judaism, particularly the weakening of the traditionally sharp secular-religious dichotomy.

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Anat First and Eli Avraham

American values, symbols, landscapes, and lifestyles have been widely used in Israeli advertisements to market a vast array of consumer goods. An analysis of advertisements that appeared in Israeli newspapers during the 1990s reveals that American symbols were invoked to promote products produced in the United States, Israel, or even a third country. By examining the relationship between advertising and culture, along with the changes that have occurred in Israeli society during this period, this analysis focuses on two interlocking spheres: capitalist-economic (labor and production, consumption, and technology) and cultural (cultural heroes and symbols, language, and lifestyle). Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, it is the authors' goal to show how social values have changed over time, losing their Israeliness and taking on an American flavor. This article seeks to present the manifestation of the American image in Israeli advertisements and thereby fuel a discussion on the Americanization of Israeli society.

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Abraham Mansbach

This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.