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Throughout history, Jews have often been regarded, and treated, as “strangers.” In The Stranger in Early Modern and Modern Jewish Tradition, authors from a wide variety of disciplines discuss how the notion of “the stranger” can offer an integrative perspective on Jewish identities, on the non-Jewish perceptions of Jews, and on the relations between Jews and non-Jews in an innovative way.

Contributions from history, philosophy, religion, sociology, literature, and the arts offer a new perspective on the Jewish experience in early modern and modern times: in contact and conflict, in processes of attribution and allegation, but also self-reflection and negotiation, focused on the figure of the stranger.
Polish-Language Press, Culture, and Politics
Translator: Scotia Gilroy
In Polish Jews in Israel: Polish-Language Press, Culture, and Politics Elżbieta Kossewska presents a study of the political history of Polish Jews in Israel and their cultural and intellectual achievements, with particular emphasis on the Polish-language press. The book describes Polish immigrants’ adaptation in Israeli society after World War II, and shows the shifting of emigrants’ attitudes and viewpoints against the backdrop of the Israeli political system. The book contains numerous testimonies, memoirs, and personal documents from Polish journalists and writers that have never been published before. These anecdotes, biographical curiosities, and fascinating details create an evocative and colorful picture of the lives of key figures of post-war Polish life in Israel.
Volume Editors: Eliezer Ben-Rafael and Orna Shemer
This volume focuses on today’s kibbutz and the metamorphosis which it has undergone. Starting with theoretical considerations and clarifications, it discusses the far-reaching changes recently experienced by this setting. It investigates how those changes re-shaped it from a setting widely viewed as synonymous to utopia, but which has gone in recent years through a genuine transformation. This work questions the stability of that “renewing kibbutz”. It consists of a collective effort of a group of specialized researchers who met for a one-year seminar prolonged by research and writing work. These scholars benefitted from resource field-people who shared with them their knowledge in major aspects of the kibbutz’ transformation. This volume throws a new light on developmental communalism and the transformation of gemeinschaft-like communities to more gesellschaft-like associations.

Contributors are: Havatselet Ariel, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Miriam Ben-Rafael, Sigal Ben-Rafael Galanti, Yechezkel Dar, Orit Degani Dinisman, Yuval Dror, Sylvie Fogiel-Bijaoui, Alon Gal, Rinat Galily, Shlomo Gans, Sybil Heilbrunn, Michal Hisherik, Meirav Niv, Michal Palgi, Alon Pauker, Abigail Paz-Yeshayahu, Yona Prital, Moshe Schwartz, Orna Shemer, Michael Sofer, Menahem Topel, and Ury Weber.
Listen to the podcast about this book.

In Intercultural Friendship: The Case of a Palestinian Bedouin and a Dutch Israeli Jew Daniel J.N. Weishut focuses on the interface between interculturality and friendship in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a literature study, the author describes the socio-cultural context of his boundary-crossing friendship in the realm of the Israeli occupation and then investigates it through the perspective of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The tremendous cultural differences as they appear are in line with Hofstede's theory for three of the value orientations but in the field of “uncertainty avoidance” they conflict with the theory. Challenges and opportunities in the friendship, and their implications for personal growth, among others, are illustrated by a series of intriguing stories of friendship.
Scholarship on ethnicity in modern Latin America has traditionally understood the region’s various societies as fusions of people of European, indigenous, and/or African descent. These are often deployed as stable categories, with European or “white” as a monolith against which studies of indigeneity or blackness are set. The role of post-independence immigration from eastern and western Europe—as well as from Asia, Africa, and Latin-American countries—in constructing the national ethnic landscape remains understudied. The contributors of this volume focus their attention on Jewish, Arab, non-Latin European, Asian, and Latin American immigrants and their experiences in their “new” homes. Rejecting exceptionalist and homogenizing tendencies within immigration history, contributors advocate instead an approach that emphasizes the locally- and nationally-embedded nature of ethnic identification.
A History of Cerebral Anthropology
Since the second half of the eighteenth century, generations of scientists persisted in studying the relationships between the volume, weight or shape of the human brain and the degree of ‘intelligence’. In Pogliano’s book, the thread of time drives the narrative up to the mid-twentieth century. It investigates the duration and changes of a game that was intrinsically political, although having to do with bones and nervous matter. Races made its main object, during a long period when Western culture believed the human species to be naturally partitioned into a number of discrete types, with their innate and hereditary traits. Never leading to irrefutable achievements, the polycentric (as well as visual) enterprise herein described is full of growing tensions, doubts, and disillusionment.
This book analyzes Jewish society in Roman Palestine in the time of the Mishnah (70–250 CE) in a systematic way, carefully delineating the various economic groups living therein, from the destitute, to the poor, to the middling, to the rich, and to the superrich. It gleans the various socioeconomic strata from the terminology employed by contemporary literary sources via contextual, philological, and historical-critical analysis. It also takes a multidisciplinary approach to analyze and interpret relevant archeological and inscriptional evidence as well as numerous legal sources.
The research presented herein shows that various expressions in the sources have latent meanings that indicate socioeconomic status. “Rich,” for example, does not necessarily refer to the elite, and “poor” does not necessarily refer to the destitute. Jewish society consisted of groups on a continuum from extremely poor to extremely rich, and the various middling groups played a more important role in the economy than has hitherto been thought.
Author: Rebekah Welton
In ‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.
Author: Lianne Merkur
In Pillars of Salt, Lianne Merkur offers an account of early 21st century immigration as experienced by Israelis in Berlin and Toronto. Commonly portrayed as contrary to the territorial emphasis of national integrity, these individuals and communities appear to explore a sense of belonging that evaluates and incorporates both foreign and familiar elements. Social media allows for an alternative space to balance between new home and homeland, studied here as developing simultaneously in multiple sites. The author makes use of innovative methodologies to document the participants’ own perspectives expressed online, at events or on paper. She thereby challenges established norms of interpretation to prove that personal decisions, primarily regarding preferred language or simply self-identification, are the cornerstones of collective character.
Performative Identities and Diasporas
Volume Editors: Alfonso de Toro and Juliane Tauchnitz
This book focuses on one of the main issues of our time in the Humanities and Social Sciences as it analyzes the impact of current global migrations on new forms of living together and the formation of identities and homes. Using a transdisciplinary and transcultural approach the contributions shed fresh light upon key concepts such as ‘ hybrid-performative diaspora’, ‘ transidentities’,‘ hospitality’, ‘ belonging’, ‘ emotion’, ‘ body,’ and ‘ desire’. Those concepts are discussed in the context of Cuban, US-American, Maghrebian, Moroccan, Spanish, Catalan, French, Turkish, Jewish, Argentinian, Indian, and Italian literatures, cultures and religions.