Israeli Backpackers

From Tourism to Rite of Passage

Edited by Chaim Noy & Erik Cohen

Subjects: Sociology, Israel Studies, Anthropology, Middle East Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791464984, 268 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791464977, 268 pages, July 2005

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Table of contents

Introduction: Backpacking as a Rite of Passage in Israel
Chaim Noy and Erik Cohen

1. Next Year in Kathmandu: Israeli Backpackers and the Formation of a New Israeli Identity
Ayana Shira Haviv

2. “Traveling Cultures”: Israeli Backpackers, Deterritorialization, and Reconstruction of Home
Lisa Anteby-Yemini, Keren Bazini, Irit Gerstein, and Gali Kling

3. Israeli Backpackers: Narrative, Interpersonal Communication, and Social Construction
Chaim Noy

4. Young Adult Israeli Backpackers in India
Darya Maoz

5. Young Israelis’ Long Trip Abroad, Backpacking in Asia and “Dwelling-Tourism” in Japan
Dalit Bloch-Tzemach

6. In Search of the Beautiful Land of Israel: Israeli Youth Voyages to Poland
Jackie Feldman

Conclusion: The Backpackers and Israeli Society
Erik Cohen and Chaim Noy


Examines the backpacking trip usually taken by Israeli youth following military service.


In the period after their military service, Jewish Israeli youth customarily embark on a unique touristic practice: the backpacking trip. Combining sociological, anthropological, and psychological research—based on innovative fieldwork conducted with Israeli backpackers in Israel and abroad—this book depicts the complex relationship between the traveling youth and their society of origin. Via a perspective the editors term "outside-in," we learn how social and cultural tensions and tenets, identities, fantasies, and preoccupations are acted out within a symbolic, touristic space by scores of Israeli youth.

Chaim Noy teaches in the Department of Communication at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Erik Cohen is George S. Wise Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and is the author of many books, including Contemporary Tourism: Diversity and Change.