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Gil Pasternak and Marta Ziętkiewicz

Abstract

This article studies the photographic methods that the Poland-based Landkentnish (Yiddish for “knowing the land”) movement employed in the interwar period to promote Jewish culture and Poland as a home for the Jewish people. The movement wished to increase the exposure of Polish Jews to Poland’s diverse landscapes in order to strengthen their connection to the Polish land. It also aspired to create archives of local Jewish cultural heritage to attest to the long history of Polish Jewry and to the contributions that Jews had made to Polish society. After tracing the movement’s origins, the article explores the concentrated efforts that it made to provide its members with photographic knowledge and education. Analyzing the photographic sources and resources that the movement created, the exhibitions that it put on display, and its employment of snapshots, the article demonstrates how photography assisted the movement in realizing its key aims and objectives.

Joshua Schwartz

Abstract

Everyone plays and that, of course, includes children. In an ideal world, there would be literary traditions, archaeological remains and artistic renditions, which would enable the reconstruction of toys. Unfortunately, the situation does not exist for ancient Jewish society. For the most part, there are depictions in rabbinic literature and it is those toy traditions which I examine.

The study begins with those toys explicitly connected to halakhic issues, firstly with those traditions in which the toy is essential to the law and afterwards to those in which the toy is tangential to the law. The study then deals with those toys mentioned in a nonlegal rabbinic framework. Finally, I discuss toys that were popular in the Greco-Roman world but not mentioned in rabbinic literature. I seek to determine whether descriptions of toys in rabbinic literature and set within the broader Greco-Roman world are sufficient for visualization.

Tali Berner

Abstract

This article discusses the clothing of Jewish children and adolescents in Western and Central Europe in the early modern period. Looking at egodocuments, sumptuary laws, visual representations, moral books, halakhic literature and apprenticeship contracts, it gives a first overview of children’s dress and involvement in the textile industry. The article explore the forces that shaped children’s garments—parental desires, legal and halakhic constraints and social norms. It pays special attention to the places where children and adolescents desires were manifested, and the ways children’s agency is professed, through choosing their own garments and contributing to the textile industry and changing of fashions.

Shelly Zer-Zion

Abstract

“The Children’s Theatre by the Kindergarten Teachers Center,” that was founded in 1928, was the first Hebrew repertory theatre exclusively addressing the audience of children attending kindergarten and the first grades of elementary school. This article explores how The Children’s Theater conveyed a set of performative practices that consolidated a habitus of Eretz-Israeli childhood. The theater articulated the embodied repertoire of Eretz-Israeli childhood and established it on two pillars. First, it epitomized the concept of an innocent and secure childhood. The world performed on the stage created a utopian notion of childhood. Second, it encouraged the children to participate in the world of adults, but in a way suited to their age and psychological needs. The ability of this theatre to create an enriching and a secure environment for children was deeply needed in the Jewish settlement of Palestine of the 1930’s and 1940’s, which was constituted of immigrants struggling to build a future in the land.

Jonathan Bordo

Abstract

This article pairs Bibliothek, a memorial in Berlin against the Nazi book-burning of May 10, 1933, with the library in Wim Wenders’ film Der Himmel über Berlin (1987) as sites to reflect on loss with the disappearance of material books from the library and the conversion of libraries into information centers in the era of the internet and digital reproduction. It explores loss by taking up arguments of Walter Benjamin concerning artworks and by applying his theory of loss to books that exist, unlike works of art, only because of mass technical reproduction. It then examines how to argue for loss in ontological and even civilizational terms, especially when the rational justification for the massive clearance of books is justified by the short-term utilitarian calculus of benefit and gain that determines that there is no loss at all. By way of conclusion, it offers a sketch of the new library as having heightened responsibilities in the pursuit of truth as a center for documentation akin to an incident room at the scene of a crime. In this regard, the Topography of Terror Documentation Center on Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin on the site of the former Gestapo Headquarters is both a paradigm and a beacon.

Benjamin Grant Purzycki and Edward C. Holland

Abstract

For at least a century, scholars have argued about whether or not Buddha is considered a god. We treat this question empirically by conducting two ethnographic studies among residents of the Tyva Republic, one of the Buddhist republics in the Russian Federation. Using a mixed methods approach to interrogate the question, this report concludes that Buddha is, in fact, popularly represented as a punitive and moralistic supernatural agent in the republic and demographic factors co-vary with such beliefs. The paper addresses longstanding concerns and situates the results in contemporary social scientific inquiry that addresses questions of when, where, to what degree, and why he is represented as a deity.

Myriam Martinez-Fiestas, Luis Casado-Aranda, Jessica Alzamora-Ruiz and Francisco J. Montoro-Rios

Abstract

Attitudes toward ecological consumption can trigger environmentally responsible intentions and behaviors. Understanding how ecological messages can influence attitudes is essential to mitigate climate change. This paper analyzes how religious affiliation (or lack of), can influence attitudes toward green advertising and explores the role of religious affiliation in the effectiveness of ecological messages. The findings indicate that religious affiliation has an influence on the degree of effectiveness of each message. So, green communications can be a useful tool to persuade atheists to develop more sustainable attitudes when they are exposed the benefits that can be achieved with green behavior. However, persuasive environmental messages, in general, do not generate major changes of attitude among Catholics. Businesses, NGO s, states, educators and society in general should acknowledge that environmental discourses fostering sustainable behavior. Furthermore, messages depicting the problems of environmental behavior have no repercussion on atheists and little on Catholics.