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Diaspora Pilgrimage: Israeli Birthright Tours and American Jewish Identity

A public talk by Shaul Kelner, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University

Monday, May 02, 2011
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Bunche Hall 10383
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA

Shaul Kelner’s research addresses the intersection of culture and politics, and focuses particularly on how cultural practices are mobilized to shape contemporary Jewish political identities. His award-winning book, Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage and Israeli Birthright Tourism (NYU Press, 2010), examines how modern mass tourism is being developed as a means of engaging diaspora Jews with the State of Israel. Other work, focusing on social movements as agents of cultural change, looks at the role of religious ritual as a protest tactic in the American movement to free Soviet Jews (1964-1991), and how religious and secular identities are being negotiated in the present-day environmental movement in Israel. Kelner also studies how shifting power dynamics in American Jewish philanthropy are reshaping the landscape of Jewish cultural production. Prof. Kelner lectures nationally and internationally on the sociology of contemporary Jewish life.


Cost : Free and open to the public

Miriam Markus Zacuto
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