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Chapter 4

ANT 325L Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Haredi Judaism, Black Hebrew Israelites, Modern Orthodox Judaism

Course Code
ANT 325L
Weinreb Amelia

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Tensions between Arab and Jewish Israelis
Until 1966, Arabs lived in the north under martial law
After that the next big tension was when the government published a plan to take 5,250
acres of land in Galilee— 30% owned by Arabs. Arab leaders called a general strike in
In October 2000 an outbreak of intifada among Palestinians in the West Bank sparked
protests in Israel. Police were blamed for being unprepared for the riots.
Changes the Arab society has gone through since Israel’s independence:
Result of isolation from Palestinian communities in West Bank and Gaza
Result of Jewish Israeli society influence
Main area of integration is education
They learn hebrew in school
Influenced by contact with Palestinians and frustration with Arab status in
Arab in ethnic terms
An independent community with a distinct worldview and political orientation
religion promotes justice
religion very secretive about its tenets
Conversions are prohibited
124,300 people in 2010 - 1.6% of the population
They support Israel
Fled the Caucus region when it came under Russian rule in the 19th century
3,000 live in Israel
Have a good relationship with Israel and Jews
African Hebrew Israelites
Known as the black Hebrews
Came in 1969, mainly from Chicago
Finally granted permanent resident status in 2003
Foreign Workers
Have been around the late ‘90s, replacing Palestinian workers from the territories
Construction is done by workers from Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania
Agricultural workers are Thai or Chinese
Nursing of senior citizens and housekeeping workers are Filipino
Difficult to estimate total of foreign workers
Paid low wages, live in poor conditions and are mistreated
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Diaspora Jewry: The External Jewish Society
Kibbutz galuyot = idea of drawing all Diaspora Jews together in the Land of Israel
They are jews living outside of Israel
Israel’s relations with Diaspora Jews have shaped its relations with the outside world
more generally
Israeli Jews used to think Diaspora jews were in exile and needed to move to the country
until lately, when they became less radical about that belief
For many diaspora jews, their loyalty to Israel is a defining aspect of their lives
Religion in Society
Jewish national identity is very entwined with Judaism
The historical and cultural experience of Jews stands in sharp contrast to that of Western
European and North American societies— where religion and nationalism is often at
Church and state work together to set rules and enforce them
The power balance between religious and secular depends on the composition of
government coalitions, so it varies.
The majority of Israelis consider the Jewish society to be necessary
Jewish Religious Life
There is a wide spectrum of religiousness in Israel
60% believe in a divine being
Higher educational level correlates with less religiosity
Jewish religion for many is partly about the human relationship to the divine but also
partly about national custom and culture.
Jewish Intra-Religious Tensions
There are minimal tensions between the different levels of religiosity
Tensions mostly exist between the most secular and the most Orthodox, the Haredim.
They stereotype one another
67% of Israeli Jews say they prefer a separation of church and state
The most emotional issue is army service. Haredim are exempt from enlisting and non-
Haredim people think this is unfair.
Haredim (“Ultra-Orthodox”)
Means “those in awe or fear of divine power”
They are characterized by a strict interpretation of Jewish law and a rejection of secular
They are not a static society— they use modern technology and speak Yiddish more than
Originally most rejected idea of a Jewish state because they thought Jews should wait
until the Messiah arrives. They kind of changed their minds, but many still don’t really
support the state.
Represent 7% of the population.
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