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?Edot HaMizrah? Israel?s Oriental Jewish Communities

by Norman Berdichevsky (August 2009)


A central tenet of Zionism is that Jews share a common heritage and destiny. Nevertheless, the reality of Jewish society in the state of Israel is marked by four prominent social and geo-cultural divisions: Orthodox observant vs. secular, veteran settlers vs. new immigrants,  the haves vs. the have-nots and Geo-cultural origin (European vs. Middle Eastern or Oriental). The last dimension has often been the source of ethnic humor – gefilte fish vs. shish kebab, but is in fact, a serious ”kulturkampf” over the image of the country.
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