Tradition, Innovation, Conflict

Jewishness and Judaism in Contemporary Israel

Edited by Zvi Sobel & Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi

Subjects: Israel Studies
Series: SUNY series in Israeli Studies
Paperback : 9780791405550, 316 pages, July 1991
Hardcover : 9780791405543, 316 pages, July 1991

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Table of contents


Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi and Zvi Sobel

Part I. The Communal Dimension

1. Conflict and Communitas: The Interplay of Religion, Ethnicity, and Community in a Galilee Village
Zvi Sobel

2. Personal Motivation and Social Meaning in the Revival of Hagiolatric Traditions among Moroccan Jews in Israel
Yoram Bilu

3. The Jerusalem Funeral as a Microcosm of the 'Mismeeting' between Religious and Secular Israelis
Henry Abramovitch

4. Tradition and Innovation in Jewish Religious Education in Israel
Mordecai Bar-Lev

Part II. Dissent and Religious Alternatives

5. The Identity Dilemma of Non-Orthodox Religious Movements: Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel
Ephraim Tabory

6. Back to the Fold: The Return to Judaism
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi

7. Conversion Experiences: Newcomers to and Defectors from Orthodox Judaism (horzim betshuvah and hozrim beshe'elah)
William Shaffir

8. Judaism and the New Religions in Israel: 1970–1990
Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi

Part III. The Religiosity Factor

9. Effects of Religiosity on Attitudes and Behavior
Leonard Weller

10. Dimensions of Jewish Religiosity in Israel
Peri Kedem

11. Religious, Ethnic, and Class Divisions in Israel: Convergent or Cross Cutting?
Hanna Ayalon, Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Stephen Sharot

About the Contributors



This book examines religion in Israeli society: what it is and how it functions. Here is a clear picture of how Judaism provides a matrix of continuity for Israeli society notwithstanding a wide diversity of beliefs and practices.

Zvi Sobel teaches in the Sociology Department at the University of Haifa, Israel. He is the author of Christianity: The 13th Tribe and Migrants From the Promised Land. Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi teaches in the Psychology Department at the University of Haifa and is the co-author of The Social Psychology of Religion with M. Argyle and Research in Religious Behaviour: Selected Readings.


"There is a general lack of literature dealing specifically with the roles of religious and secular life in contemporary Israel. In addition, the public perception in this country, is that social and political life in Israel is often equated with orthodox Judaism. For this reason his book provides an important contribution to the understanding of contemporary Israel." — Gertrude Lenzer, Brooklyn College