Israel and American Jewry – Peoplehood, Religion and Politics
Israel and North America currently constitute the two leading centers of Jewish demography, identity and existence. Broadly speaking, they represent the two major Jewish responses to modernity – Zionism as a form of modern nationalism on the one hand, and integration into a liberal western society and body politic on the other. Their relations respond to this initial divide, while at the same time trying to coalesce a collective notion of Jewish peoplehood, based on culture, identity and a sense of a shared history and fate. The aim of this course is to learn more about the emergence of these two centers, and then explore the past, present and future of their relations.
In recent years, the issue of religion has emerged as a crucial factor in Israel-Diaspora relations, especially in relation to the Jewish center in North America. The historical development of progressive Jewish strands in the United States, together with the fundamental changes in the religious makeup of Jewish society and the perception of the political role of religion in the state of Israel, have led to tension and strife regarding such issues as religious praxis, social identity and the public sphere. Religion with therefore be the main theme through which the relations will be explored, both historically and in relation to current affairs and issues.
Certificate granted: The course will include a total of 48 hours the participants that completer the course successfully will receive an official transcript and can gain 3 academic credits.
This Onward Israel program is operated through a partnership between onward Israel and the University of Haifa – International School and the Ruderman program for American Jewish studies.
The program will include a Madrich (or “Social Activities Coordinator”). The role of the Madrich is to take care of the group, to help with all questions or needs that arise, including health issues, etc. The Madrich also escorts all organized trips and tours both within the city and around the country.
We will hold also tours around the city of Haifa area, Weekly volunteer activity in the community, “Kabbalat Shabbat” and social activities on Campus.
The program includes Three day Trips. All trips and tours are led by a professional tour
Guides with appropriate academic qualifications and are held in English.
~Nazareth and Sea of Galilee Tour
~Golan Heights Tour
~Ein Gedi & Dead Sea Weekend Tour
- Academic Staff:
David Barak-Gorodetsky, PhD, is a scholar of American Judaism and its relations with Zionism and Israel, and teaches at the Ruderman Program for Jewish American studies at the University of Haifa. His fields of research also include political theology, post-secularism and the relations between religion and state in Israel. His book Jeremiah in Zion, and intellectual biography of Rabbi Judah Leib Magnes, was published in 2018 by Ben-Gurion University Press. He is a also Reform Rabbi at the Ramat-Hanegev regional council.
The program will feature a wide range of additional guest speakers relating to the topic.
July 7, 2019 – August 1, 2019
~Lunch– every day – not including weekends
~Public Bus monthly pass
~Buses for transportation for trips and tours and for Field trip
~Full administrative and Social attention
~Tours Entrance Fees
~Professional Tour guide in tours
~Security Guard in tours
~Israeli health insurance policy
~University of Haifa T-shirt
-Applicants between 19-27 years old (or at least one full year post-high school at the start of the program)
-Who have NOT spent 3 or more months in Israel as part of an educational or peer-program (this includes semester abroad, gap year or any other MASA or Onward Israel program)
-Fluent in English
-Previous participation in Taglit-Birthright Israel is encouraged but not required
The program is open to qualified high school seniors or students who have completed upper secondary school\high school with the past two years. A minimum high school GPA 80\100, or 3.0 out of 4.0′ is required for application.
Each applicant will be asked to submit:
~1 Academic letter of recommendation
~Financial Terms Agreement
~Medical forms signed by a doctor, vouching for participant’s health and ability to participate in abroad program
~Motivational statement (400-500 words about why you chose the program and what you want to get out of your experience)
~Official Copy of Transcript
University of Haifa – Talia Dorms
Basic breakdown of course
Week 1: Israel – an Introduction
~How Israel came to being – the History of Zionism
~Early Israel – The establishment of the State and the first decades
~Contemporary Issues in Israeli society – Social and Economic divides, group relations
Week 2: Focal Point – Religion in Israel
~“Above and below”: The secular-religious continuum of Israeli society
~More religious – or less? Israel between secularization and post-secular theory
~Religion and State in Israel – history and current affairs
Week 3: American Jewry
~Jewish History in the US – an introduction
~Religious strands in North-American Jewry
~Current affairs in American Judaism
Week 4: Israel-Diaspora Relations
~“From Blaustein Ben-Gurion (1951) to AIPAC and J Street”– the politics of Israel-Diaspora relations
~“A people divided?”: The concept of Peoplehood and its role in Israel-Diaspora Relations
~“Women of the Wall” and beyond – Religion in Israel Diaspora Relations
For More Information Contact
University Of Haifa – International School