Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History 16 (2020)

Titel der Ausgabe 
Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History 16 (2020)
Weiterer Titel 
Israel: A Diaspora of Memories

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Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History
Fondazione Centro di Documentazione Ebraica Contemporanea via Eupili 8 20145 Milano Italy E-Mail: <> Tel.: +39;
Wyrwa, Ulrich

Since the late nineteenth century and the emergence of the Zionist idea, the Land of Israel – after 1948, the State of Israel – was presented as a shelter where Jews should build a state of their own and put aside their past life and experience in the Diaspora (Zerubavel 1997). Socialist Zionism and an originally European (Ashkenazi) identity became the models along which Jewish migrants should conform. However, despite efforts to gather all the Jews from the Diaspora to Israel and fuse them within the so-called mizug galuyiot (“meltin’ pot/ingathering of exiles”), in the last decades the country paradoxically has experienced the emergence of new, Israeli, diasporas. In actual reality, since its early years Israel had been facing many difficulties in integrating the different Jewries: this led to the emergence of groups on the margins of the mainstream (Ashkenazi) society, that in turn often resulted in “little nations inside the nation” – think of the Moroccan Jews, the Bukharian or the Georgi-ans – or in “inversed diasporas”. Other kinds of diasporas, or other socio-cultural groups mo-re generally, that can be found within Israel are the haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) Jews, the mig-rants from the Former Soviet Union or the Palestinians that obtained Israeli citizenship since they were living inside Israel’s 1948 borders. To these cases, one could add the more recent one of the Jewish ‘olim that have a double nationality (Israeli and another one), and that so-metimes tend to regard and “practice” Israel as a satellite of their main (diasporic) place of living.

In the twenty-first century, Israel is therefore facing different and sometimes opposite visions of its past, present and future – that are built both inside and outside the country itself. Some of these visions aim to construct a strong national identity based on the recovery of the an-cient Jewish heritage, while erasing, silencing or ignoring the multiplicity of other memo-ries. Others are oriented towards integration and mutual understanding of all the inhabitants of this country, so as to achieve an appeasing process for historical memories that still are painful and antagonistic.

Taking all this into consideration, this issue of “Quest” is dedicated to the interaction between diasporic identities and memories in Israel from a variety of methodological and disciplinary perspectives (memory studies; anthropology; cultural history; literary studies). Israel is understood as a kind of laboratory where to grasp the – sometimes marginal or not so visible – spaces and times in which memory circulates, consolidates or is silenced, forgot-ten, erased. This issue then brings together scholars interested in investigating the different memorial narratives present in today’s Israel, reconceived not as the space where the Diaspo-ra came to an end, but rather where the Diaspora (the diasporas) is born again in new forms.




A Diaspora of Memories, Introduction by the editors Michèle Baussant, Dario Miccoli, Esther Schely-Newman

From Shelilat ha-Galut to Shelilat ha-Geulah in Narratives of Moroccan and Ethiopian Ori-gin
by Emanuela Trevisan Semi

From a Returning Jewish Diaspora to Returns to Diaspora Spaces: Israeli-Ethiopians Today
by Lisa Anteby-Yemini

“Who gave you the right to abandon your prophets?” Jewish Sites of Ruins and Memory in Egypt
by Michèle Baussant

Poetics of Identity: Mizrahi Poets between Here and There, Then and Now
by Esther Schely-Newman

The Nakba in Israeli History Textbooks: Between Memory and History
by Avner Ben-Amos

Beyond and Despite the State: Young Religious Settlers’ Visions of Messianic Redemption
by Perle Nicolle-Hasid

Employing Women Immigrants from France in Israeli French-Speaking Companies: Honey Trap or Safety Net?
by Shirly Bar-Lev, Karin Amit


Dana E. Katz, The Jewish Ghetto and the Visual Imagination of Early Modern Venice

Contribution by:
Cristiana Facchini

Contribution by:
Nicholas Terpstra


Naomi Leite, Unorthodox Kin. Portuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging
by Davide Aliberti

Asa Maron, Michael Shalev (eds.), Neoliberalism as a State Project. Changing the Political Economy of Israel
by Ira Sharkansky

Petra Ernst, Schtetl, Stadt, Staat. Raum und Identität in deutschsprachig-jüdischer Erzähllite-ratur des 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhunderts
by Francisca Solomon

Shir Hever, The Privatization of Israeli Security
by Aide Esu

Jalal Al-e Ahmad, The Israeli Republic. An Iranian Revolutionary’s Journey to the Jewish State
by Lior Sternfeld

James Loeffler, Rooted Cosmopolitans. Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century
by Marcella Simoni

Lewis Glinert, The Story of Hebrew
by Alessandro Guetta

Vincenzo Pinto (ed.), Bundist Legacy after the Second World War. Real Place Versus Dis-placed Time
by Nethanel Treves

David Fraser, Anti-Shechita Prosecutions in the Anglo-American World, 1855–1913. “A ma-jor attack on Jewish freedoms ...”
by Todd M. Endelman

Eden K. McLean, Mussolini’s Children. Race and Elementary Education in Fascist Italy
by Michele Sarfatti

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