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Encounters and Journeys: Cultivating Jewish Peoplehood?

This December 2015 blogcast sponsored by the Consortium for Applied Studies in Jewish Education focuses on travel as a form of Jewish education, ethical engagement and community-building. Click here to view.

Posted by on December 19, 2015 in Media, , , , ,

Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education

Historical Perspectives on Diaspora Homeland Tourism: ‘Israel Experience’ Education in the 1950s and 1960s

2013. In Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education 7(2): 99–113. Homeland tourism is a powerful medium of diasporic education. Yet efforts to understand the enterprise are hampered by neglect of the field’s history. This article contributes to the historiography of diaspora homeland tourism by examining the emergence American Jewish educational tours of Israel in the 1950s and…

Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Articles, Research, , , , , , ,


Constructing Jewish Belonging through Mass Tourism: Self-Narration in Israel Experience Programs

2011. An exploration of how identity narratives are constructed on  Birthright Israel. Shaul Kelner. 2011. “Constructing Jewish Belonging through Mass Tourism: Self-Narration in Israel Experience Programs.” Chapter 9 in Harvey E. Goldberg, Steven M. Cohen and Ezra Kopelowitz, eds. Dynamic Belonging: Contemporary Jewish Collective Identities. New York: Berghahn Books. Pp. 171-187.

Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Articles, Chapters, Research, , , ,

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Tours That Bind

TOURS THAT BIND Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism New York University Press, 2010 View on Amazon Since 1999 hundreds of thousands of young American Jews have visited Israel on an all-expense-paid 10-day pilgrimage-tour known as Birthright Israel. The most elaborate of the state-supported homeland tours that are cropping up all over the world, this…

Posted by on October 11, 2011 in , , , , , , ,

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Beyond the Field Trip: Teaching Tourism through Tours

2009. Teaching Sociology 37(2):136-150. With George Sanders. A course in the sociology of tourism offers an opportunity to examine a world-transforming force that is penetrating more and more aspects of social life. It also offers an opportunity to create a learning environment that uses the object of study as the medium of study. This article…

Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Articles, Research, , , ,


From Shrine to Forum: Masada and the Politics of Jewish Extremism

2008. Israel Studies 13(2): 146-63. With Theodore Sasson. Zionist collective memory has long associated Masada with the struggle to secure Jewish sovereignty over the land of Israel. This article examines the effects of the political upheavals of the Oslo and post-Oslo periods on the meanings ascribed to Masada. It documents the popularity of a critical…

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Articles, Research, , , ,


Jewish Educational Travel

2008. Drawing on anthropological research on travel and tourism, this chapter offers a theoretical groundwork for articulating a program of research in Jewish educational travel, broadly conceived. Shaul Kelner. 2008. “Jewish Educational Travel.” Pages 423-432 in What We Now Know About Jewish Education: Perspectives on Research for Practice. Edited by Roberta Louis Goodman, Paul J….

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Articles, Chapters, Research, , ,

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Review of Tourism, Ethnic Diversity and the City

Review of Jan Rath’s Tourism, Ethnic Diversity and the City (Routledge, 2007) Shaul Kelner. 2008. Contemporary Sociology 37(1):80-81 From the review: “Integrating disparate literatures on tourism, postindustrial cities, global migration and cultural commoditization, C. Michal Hall and Jan Rath’s opening chapter lays out a straightforward thesis…. Like the Little Italys and Chinatowns which drew tourists…

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Research, Reviews, ,

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The Impact of Israel Experience Programs on Israel’s Symbolic Meaning

2003-4. Contemporary Jewry 24: 124-154. Ethnographic study of Israel experience programs reveals processes by which Israel becomes cognitively and affectively meaningful to American Jews. A Durkheimian analysis suggests that feelings generated by an intense group experience are preserved in symbolic residue that re-evokes these feelings. For American Jewish travelers, Israel comes to serve as a…

Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Articles, Research, , , ,


Serious Fun The Jerusalem Post June 28, 2010 When Birthright was launched a decade ago, skeptics dismissed the 10-day tours of Israel as little more than a free party for privileged college kids. It was an unfair critique, but it gained traction because it combined the ever popular lament about the “youth of today” with…

Posted by on August 3, 2011 in , , , , , , ,