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Bar Mitzvah Celebrations in the Secular Sabra Community
Bar Mitzvah Celebrations in the Secular Sabra Community
Writers
David Paz, Oz Almog, Shay Rudin Traslated by Donna Bosin

Coming-of-age and responsibility

The bar-mitzvah is a religious ceremony commemorating a Jewish boy’s thirteenth birthday. The ceremony marks a boy’s passage from childhood into adulthood, signifying that he has matured physically and is now ready to assume responsibility for his actions in the eyes of Jewish law. The Jewish Talmudic sages regard a thirteen-year-old as capable of fulfilling all the Jewish commandments and therefore...

The Tattoo Trend in the Sabra Culture
The Tattoo Trend in the Sabra Culture
Writers
Oz Almog Translated by: Donna Bossin
Several years ago, an Israeli website providing instructions in Jewish religious practice posted the following warning: “In recent years, tattooing has proliferated, both in Israel and abroad. There are people who love tattoos and there are people who are disgusted by them. To each his own. But if you are Jewish, and you are considering getting a tattoo—Stop! Our Holy Torah expressly forbids it. The prohibition applies equally to males and females.” 

Neo-Hasidic Jewish Soul Music in the Religious Zionist Community
Neo-Hasidic Jewish Soul Music in the Religious Zionist Community
Writers
Yair Peled, Oz Almog Translated by: Donna Bossin
Contemporary Jewish music was first played in Israel at music festivals catering specifically to the religious Zionist community. By the mid-1990s, this style of music began to cross cultural lines and to appeal to music lovers outside the community of religious Zionists. Even prior to the heyday of this musical genre, young religious Zionists, in particular those of the knitted kippot (skullcaps) variety, enjoyed a mixed musical diet that...

Education in the Druze Community
Education in the Druze Community
Writers
Tamar Almog Traslated by Madene Shachar

Gradual separation from Arab education

Since the State of Israel was established, the level of education in the Druze sector has continued to rise, as evidenced by the number of pupils at all levels of study and the number of those eligible for matriculation, in particular the number of girls.

In the early years of the state, the Druze people were considered part of Arab-speaking Israeli society and were treated accordingly. For example, the Druze sector was included in the...

Hanukkah in the ultra-Orthodox Community
Hanukkah in the ultra-Orthodox Community
Writers
Oz Almog, Hanan Alfer, Haim Kliger Translated by: Donna Bossin
Most secular Jews assume that ultra-Orthodox Jews celebrate the festival of Hanukkah in the same way they do, perhaps with the addition of prayers in the synagogue. But this is not the case. Ultra-Orthodox Jews do of course light Hanukkah candles, sing traditional Hanukkah songs, eat latkes (fried potato pancakes) and doughnuts, and play with spinning tops known as dreidels. Nevertheless, the...

Falafel in New York
Falafel in New York
Writers
Eric Lightman
The falafel has long been a symbol of the modern State of Israel. From the view of both Israelis and foreigners, this “national snack” not only represents a culinary preference, but is a direct reflection on Israeli culture. The natural evolution of societal and cultural norms presents the opportunity to examine both the effects of food consumption on society, and vice versa. This paper will examine the sociological implications of the growing Israeli falafel restaurant industry in...

New Luxury Apartment Buildings in Israel
New Luxury Apartment Buildings in Israel
Writers
Oz Almog
At the end of the 1960s, new types of apartment buildings began appearing in Israel’s large cities. They offered dwellings larger and of higher quality than those in the mass public housing projects built during the previous decade. Whereas the average size of a living unit in the old buildings was 55 square meters (592 sq. ft.), new units averaged 100 sq. m. (1,079 sq. ft.). They were built in response to the emergence of an Israeli bourgeoisie, the expansion of the private sector, and...

Special Education in the Ultra-Orthodox Community
Special Education in the Ultra-Orthodox Community
Writers
Charedi society is an achievement-oriented society. Academic aptitude and success are a very important parameter in its assessment of a person. A weak student or one who suffers from some learning disability naturally suffers environmental alienation and a poor self-image. High dropout rates from Charedi learning institutions - about 8% of all students, as compared to 4.5% in the general public school system and 4.8% in religious public schools (according to data presented in 2005 by Chaim...

Bauhaus Apartment Buildings in Israel
Bauhaus Apartment Buildings in Israel
Writers
Oz Almog
Tel Aviv, the first Hebrew city, was founded in 1909. It was born largely as a response to the shortage of housing during the Second Aliya, the wave of European Jewish immigrants who came to Palestine from Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. Jewish immigrants who preferred petit-bourgeois city life to farming had previously been limited primarily to what adjacent Jaffa, an Arab city, had to offer: a narrow range of housing options, crowded conditions, and narrow, dirty alleys.