[MUSIC] Welcome back, if you've been with us since the beginning of our course, you are aware that Israel is an immigrant and multicultural society. We already know quite a bit about some of these cleavages. Jewish and Arab citizens, the secular and religious, that characterize it. Today we will focus on one such schism that has affected Israeli society from its earliest days. The one known in today's Israel as the ethnic cleavage between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim, Jews from Arab countries, and Jews from Europe and the United States. In recent years, this conflict has been the core of Israel's public discourse and political debates. For example, in the 2015 election campaign, ethnic identities were said to fuel prime minister Netanyahu's victory. Some parties have specifically targeted Mizrahi Jews, promising to give a voice and a color to those who were transparent in the eyes of the existing political elite. However, other factions were blamed for mocking Mizrahi Jews and their traditionalist culture. As part of this public debate, social movements and politicians have argued that cultural artifacts, such as music, literature, theater and others, that are created by Mizrahi artists, or that reflects their worldview and tastes, who are discriminated against by the existing Ashkenazi cultural establishment. And that there is a need to completely transform the state funding allocation to encourage cultural production by and for the Mizrahi. In today's Israel, therefore, the cultural and economic divide between Mizrahim, Jews coming from the Middle East and North Africa, and Ashkenazim, those coming from Europe and America, seem objective and natural. But was this always the case? In today's class, we will look into the history of the construction of the binary distinctions between Mizrahim and Ashkenazim. We will ask how this distinction has evolved and defined the social, cultural and economic consequences of this binary distinction. Three guest speakers will help us to understand at least part of this complex ethnic puzzle. First, Dr. Talia Sagiv will try to explain the construction of the Mizrahi Ashkenazi identities that have not existed before Israel society has been established. She will talk to us about these seemingly negating identities. But also about her own research concerning the identities of those Israelis who are half-and-half, or children of mixed marriages of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews, who were supposed to bridge the gap, end the divide, just by the power of their existence. However, the ethnic divide in Israel is not only about culture or identities,it's also about inequality. Since the Jews who came from Europe played a major role in shaping the Zionist project and controlling Zionist institutions, before and after statehood, they envisioned Israel as a Western country. From this point of view, Ashkenazi Jews have been thought to be better equipped to succeed in the Israeli educational system and labor market, in comparison to those Jews coming from Africa and the Arab world. Economics professor, Momi Dahan, will discuss the socioeconomic consequence s of these prejudices. Finally, anthropology professor, Bjorn Belieu will take us through one consequence of the social and political marginalization of Mizrahi Jews, the revival of saint veneration in contemporary Israel, especially among American Jews. While watching this lecture, I urge you to think about the social categories our guest speakers have in mind. How does each of them define his or her subject matter? What does he tell us about ethnicity as a unit of analysis in the Israeli context, and perhaps elsewhere, as well? Our first speaker today, is Dr. Talia Sagiv. She completed her doctoral studies here at the Hebrew University and now teaches at Ono College. Her academic work focuses on ethnic identities in Israel. >> Welcome, my name is Talia Sagiv, and today we shall talk about ethnicity in Israel. An ethnic group is a group that has a shared tradition, history and customs. There are many different ethnic groups in Israel, and today we shall focus on the ones within the Jewish population. The state of Israel was established to create a home for Jews around the world. Look at this footage taken in the 1950s. Look at the faces of the new immigrants, full of hope and fear. These immigrants who came to Israel arrived from different places from all over the world, from Europe and from many Islamic countries, from North Africa and from Asia. Before we discuss the interaction between these ethnic groups, I'd like to take a minute to think about the concept of immigration. Please think about immigration where you live. How are new immigrants treated? If you like, you can stop this video right now and Google images of immigrants around the world. You can add the name of your country and see what comes up. What photos show up, what news pieces? And most of all, what questions come to mind when you think about immigration? One of the terms I'd like to talk about is the term of the melting pot. Immigrant societies such as the United States, Canada, Australia and, of course, Israel often hope to form one unified society, melting together the different ethnic groups into one main culture. Here's a question that we ask when we think about the melting pot. Are the different ethnic groups allowed to hold their specific culture? On one side we can see how different groups are given a chance to show their uniqueness. And on the other side we see how different ethnic groups are mixed into one American culture. So we'd like to ask this, does the melting pot policy aim to create one shared culture? And who has the say about what this new culture will be? Not less important is the question, who gets pushed aside? There are two main questions I'd like to focus on now. The first question is the question of socio-economic gaps. Again, think about immigrants where you live. Are different ethnic groups given an equal chance to gain power and control in the public sphere? Every society should allow people the chance to live up to their potential. Does the state of Israel give different ethnic groups the equal chance? We shall discuss this later on. The second question I would like to address is a question about cultural differences. Are cultural differences legitimate? And if not, who gets to decide? Who gets to shape the shared culture? What ethnic groups are allowed to maintain their special traditions, and which groups get pushed aside? In Israel, the immigrants from Europe formed a hegemonic class. They controlled both economic and cultural spheres. This is true to some extent to this very day. Western tradition was, and still is, pushed aside. We must stop now and ask ourselves why. Why do some ethnic groups discriminate against each other? The most common answer to this question is that they want to monopolize scarce resources. Such as good jobs or top education. In a fascinating book, Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel, Dr. Aziza Khazzoom explains European Jewish founders, treated Middle Eastern Jewish immigrants with the intent on producing Israel as part of the West. To this end, they excluded and discriminated against those Middle Eastern Jews who threatened the goal of Westernization. So an interesting thing happened when immigrants from around the world arrived here at the new state of Israel. Two invented categories were formed. Notice that these are not ethnic categories. We must understand that the groups of immigrants from Europe were very different one from another. Same goes for immigrants from Islamic countries. There's no common background between communities of immigrants from different parts of Europe. Jews who came from Poland, Germany or Romania spoke different languages, had different customs, different traditions. And the same goes for immigrants from Asia and North Africa. One cannot seriously speak of the communities that immigrated from Iran, Yemen, or Algier as if they hold the same culture and tradition. Some of them don't even speak the same language. From Europe we see that immigrants come speaking Yiddish, German, Polish. From the Middle East we see immigrants speaking Ladino, Arabic, different dialects of Arabic. Every ethnic culture has its own food, music and so forth. So how come we're talking today about eastern Jews and western Jews? I call these categories invented categories, because there not ethnic groups. A bunch of ethnic groups have to do with a stereotype. And the stereotype was created when the two bigger groups interacted. The Ashkenazi Jews, the western Jews, was the dominant group. And the eastern Jews, the Mizrahi group, had to fight their way up the socioeconomic ladder. Hoping to influence public spheres that were dominated by the Ashkenazi immigrants. So what are these stereotypes? Ashkenazi Jews had to deal with the stereotype of being cold, maybe remote, but were stereotyped as having a higher intellectual standard and leadership abilities. Mizrahi immigrants, eastern Jews, had to deal with a stereotype of them being warm and welcoming guests, but with less intellectual aspirations. In the 1950s and 60s, control over capital and proceed laid mostly in Ashkenazi hands, while Mizrahi population had been denied this power. The stereotypes that were tagged to the different groups made this gap even bigger, until this very day we cannot speak of equality between the offsprings of Ashkenazi and Mizrahi immigrants. Not in socio-economic terms, and not in culture terms. TV in Israel, radio, theater, music. Almost all cultural arenas are dominated by western culture. This hierarchy was softened during the years, and I will talk about this later. But we cannot talk about equality, not even in 2015. Of course we must remember this. Issues of inequality within different ethnic groups are much more severe when we look at the bigger picture. Taking into account the non-Jewish ethnic groups in Israel. During this course, there will be other lectures addressing these issues. So let's go back to the ethnic tension between Jewish ethnic categories. This tension was a taboo for many years and in some ways, it's still is a taboo. Professor Yehouda Shenhav speaks of two reasons for this bond of silence. The bond of silence regarding the tension between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Israelis comes from two reasons, one the Zionist ideology. We are all brothers said the founding fathers of the Jewish state. We aim to create a state where every Jewish member will feel at home. Acknowledging inequality between groups takes the air out of the Zionist dream. The second reason is the international concept or the Western concept if you will, of the self-made man. Anyone can reach any goal and pursue any dream if they work hard enough. This way of thought led many Israelis, Mizrahi and Ashkenazi, to believe that anyone can achieve anything and overlook obstacles such as ethnic discrimination. Again I would like you to think about where you live, how are immigrants treated? Professor Mami Dahan will talk after me about the changes in socio-economic gaps, and professor Yohan Bill will talk about culture and the anthropological point of view. But I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my research. My research is about Israelis of mixed ethnicity. You can see here the cover of my book. I spoke to over 70 Israelis who grew up in families where one parent is Ashkenazi and the other one Mizrahi. Just like me. My father's family is from Iran, and my mother's family is from Germany. Quite a mix? I'm half and half. And like the people I interviewed, I find myself thinking about where do I belong, east or west? How do I feel about these stereotypes? That are still very vivid in Israeli society. Before I tell you what I found out in my research I urge you to stop this video and think. Do you know someone who grew up in a multi-ethnic family? If you do, why not give them a call? Ask them the same questions I asked in my research. Ask them about the way they were brought up. Were they delivered some kind of hierarchy between the different cultures? Was this hierarchy based on the thought about East and West? How do they see their ethnic identity? What did I find out in my research? I called me research, On the Fault Line, Israelis of Mixed Ethnicity. And I've come to three main conclusions. The first one is that the Israelis of mixed ethnicity feel that they are the ideal product of the melting pot, the same melting pot we discussed earlier today. They are mixed, they have the best of both origins. They feel that them being mixed helps the process of softening the grip of those stereotypes earlier discussed here. Although we must take into account that these stereotypes that are softening gradually and are not as severe as they were in the 50s and 60s are now soft, but not gone completely. The second thing I found out is that these Israelis talk about a true feeling of loss and sadness over lost heritage, over lost traditions. Their grandparents came to Israel from many countries, bringing a rich various tradition, languages, songs, recipes. Many of the Israelis of mixed ethnicity find themselves worried. What will happen to these traditions? Can they be saved from oblivion? The melting pot and the desire to form one culture of shared Israeliness has raised many ethnic traditions both Eastern and Western ones. The third conclusion I reached in my research, is that Israelis of mixed ethnicity find themselves facing a society which forces them to choose, commit to one of the two main invented groups. The way you look or your last name, because in Israel last names sometimes can tell what country your parents or grand parents are from, indicate ethnic origin. Where you grew up is also a question that these Israeli's face for some cities and settlements in Israel are considered more western while others are considered more eastern. All these questions push these Israelis to choose. They're 50-50, they're half and half, but they're forced to take sides. I think my research proves that Jewish Israeli's have still not overcome the dichatomist way through which they look at east and west. And the inequality between different groups, both economic in equality and cultural inequality are far from being resolved. Thank you for listening to this talk and, of course, you may post any thoughts or comments you may have on the course website. >> Professor Momi Dahan, an economist at the school of public policy here at the Hebrew University is also a senior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Before that, he was a chief economist at the bank of Israel and a senior advisor in the ministry of finance. His studies focus on inequality and economic stratification in Israel. >> The lecture presents my research study on the extent to which the melting pot was successful in the economic field. I have to admit I approached this research rather hesitatingly. Ethnic origin is supposed to be a thing of the past. But every time one thinks it's gone, it keeps popping up. Economic gaps between [FOREIGN] and [FOREIGN] should be seen as a measure of social mobility in Israel. Studying economic mobility can reveal reveal barriers that may prevent certain population groups from realizing their full economic potential. Exploring economic mobility is important also because of its effect on solidarity. If the members of the specific group believe their economic road is blocked off or partially blocked, they could not be expected to show empathy for the ones perceived as being responsible for those barriers. A great deal of research has been done on gaps between the ethnic groups in Israel throughout days. The gap between the two ethnic groups has vanished or is continuously in the area of field. One of the main demonstration of the closing gap in non-economic areas is intermarriage between groups. The number of families of mixed ethnic partners relative to their population doubled between the 50s and 90s of the previous century. In the 50s, households originating from the Islamic states tended to have big families, while the Jews coming from Christian countries, had smaller ones. Despite expectations that the difference in the number of children per family will take a very long time to disappear, in reality, it did so already by the end of the 70s. Naturally, equating family size had produced economic gaps between and. Various studies have also shown a significant reduction in the gap between the political representation of ethnic groups. The first Knesset had negligible percentage of Mizrahi members. But this proportion grew until the Knesset that was elected in 1999, in which the proportion of Mizrahim was about the same as their share in the population. The gap also decreased in the representation of the Mizrahim in senior army ranks. As the gap between the two ethnic groups closed in various areas of life, the stagnation on the economic front was even more pronounced. Indeed, it seems to be the most stubborn disparity of all. Study after study show that the large economic gaps between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim had not closed and sometimes even expanded over the years. The first studies in the 60's found large economic disparities between the two ethnic groups among the immigrant generation. Worse, this study showed that the income disparities between the groups was greater than could be explained by educational gap. When Israel was young, people at least took comfort in the thought that the gaps were between new immigrants. But the second wave of studies done in the 70s and 80s painted a dismal picture. A disturbing finding arose from this study, that the economic disparities between Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, this time, those born in Israel, not only hadn't shrunk, it was wider than found in the previous generation. Again, the wage differential were larger differences than the differences in education would have called for, probably because of the discrimination against Mizrahim in the labor market. The definition of Ashkenazim and Mizrahim in my study is based on continent of birth. As was the case in previous studies, a person is defined as Mizrahim if he or his father were born in Asia or Africa. And a person is defined as Ashkenazi, if he or his father were born in Europe or America. Alongside these two groups, I define four additional social groups. The third generation born in Israel, Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox, and immigrants who made aliyah to Israel after 1989. This definition that is based on geographical origin is far from perfect, I must admit. Similarly, the finding of origin based on the father of continent of birth could create a bias in estimating economic up because of inter marriage. But the fear of such bias disappeared because the number of Mizrahim men who married Ashkenazi women is about the same as the number of Ashkenazi men who married Mizrahi women. In general, the definition can sometimes be amusing as the following story illustrates. Several years ago at an economic conference, I met Channel 2 reporter, Karen Marziano. Before we talked about the conference, she told me, grinning, about a phone calls she received from her grandmother after two reports broadcast by Channel 2, following the deaths of two popular singers, the Israeli singer, Jo Amar, and Michael Jackson. They both died the same week. Her grandmother, who was watching profiles on Jo Amar and Michael Jackson, called Marziano and complained. Why is Channel 2 so ungenerous in its coverage of Mizrahi singer, Jo Amar, while covering so extensively the Ashkenazi one, Michael Jackson? Going back to my study using the standard definition of ethnic groups, I found that for the first time, starting in the mid-90s, the economic gap between the two ethnic groups began to narrow. In 2011 the net average income of a household originating in Asia or Africa was around 75% the wealth of a household originating in Europe or America. Compare with approximately 60% in the mid-90s. The gap remained large, about 25%, but it is smaller, significantly, than it used to be. Mizrahim have also gained greater representation among the top 10%. In the last ten years, for the first time in Israeli history, the representation in the uppermost 10% is equal to their share in the population. Behind the reduction of the economic gap lie two important developments. The first is that the education of Mizrahim born in Israel improved faster than that of Ashkenazim born in Israel. New colleges supplementing the universities helped Mizrahim climb the income ladder. Since skilled jobs paid so much more than unskilled jobs, Mizrahim were motivated and versed in education. The rising return to education helped lower the barrier that had kept higher education out of bounds. The second development was that Mizrahim women have expanded significantly their participation in the labor market. There is no question that the State of Israel did not receive the truce from the Islamic Nations with open arms. Yet they managed to climb up the economic and the social ladder after their arrival in Israel, nonetheless. To give you a sense of how they were treated in those years, let me quote an article by Ari Gelblum that appeared in daily newspaper, Eretz, in 1949, a year after Israel's establishment. And I quote, this is immigration by a race we hadn't seen in Israel before. There seems to be differences between people from Tripoli, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, though I cannot say I have managed to learn the substance of these differences, if there are any. Some say, for instance, that the people of Tripoli and Tunisia are better, and the Algerian and Moroccan Jews are worse. But usually the problem is the same. What we have before us is people of freckled primitivity. Their level of education borders on absolute ignorance, and worse is their lack of skill in taking anything spiritual. Gelblum went on to write that, in contrast to any bad human material from Europe, there was no hope for the children of these immigrants either. Yet, Gelblum was no writer from the lunatic fringe. There is even a street named after him in Tel Aviv. My research shows that Gelblum was completely wrong in his racist prediction. The children of the Jews from the Islamic countries integrated despite the discrimination against their parents. They not only integrated, but contributed to shaping the present state of Israel. Ethnic discrimination isn't what it used to be, it seems. In my opinion, the issue of ethnic origin is getting much more attention than its real dimensions warrant today. I think I represent a lot of Israelis when I say, I see myself first and foremost as Israeli. I have no longing for Morocco where I was born. Morocco was exile, and it is good that its Jews choose southern life in the state of Israel. The country of Israel isn't like any of the Islamic nations from where the Mizrahim Jews came. Now, it is like in the countries where the Ashkenazim came from. Nobody in any of those places spoke Hebrew. The democratic, Jewish state is a new invention. Neither the Jews coming from Poland over the past hundred years, nor the Jews from Libya, for instance, could have brought democracy with them. Their countries of origin did not have any. Jews in Tunisia or Hungary lived in a centralized economy claimed from above. In contrast, Israel developed a modern market economy with some sort of welfare state. In other words, the special creation known as the State of Israel isn't Ashkenazi or Mizrahim. The State of Israel is a new entity created in a melting pot. I am happy to be the scholar who shows that the success of melting pot on the economic front, as well. Let me conclude by saying that the challenge for the next 50 years will be for the Arabs, the ultra-Orthodox and the Ethiopian Israelis to do the same and integrate into the Israeli economy and Israeli society. Thank you. >> Yoram Bilu is a professor emeritus of anthropology and psychology at a Hebrew university. His research interests include the anthropology of religion, culture and mental health, the sanctification of the space in Israel and the Maccabee Jewish culture. Bilu served that the chair of the Israel Anthropological Association, and in 2013 he received the Israel Prize in Sociology and Anthropology. >> In discussing issues related to the ethnic question in Israeli society, what I'm going to focus on Is that fascinating I think, intriguing question of saint veneration, of saint worship, cultural practice, which has developed in Israel in the last 30, 40 years. It did exist before. It's an old practice, which is related to Judaism as well as to other religions. But it has a very interesting linkage to the changing faces of Israeli society. Let me start by saying that saint worship in Israel is a mass phenomenon. If you look at the pilgrimage to Meron, to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai's tomb on Lag Ba'Omer, you will find out that 400,000 Jews are gathered there in one or two days. These make the Hilula, the pilgrimage of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai one of the biggest in the world. Relatively speaking about 5 or 6% of the Jewish population is centered there. Even though Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai is a national saint, he's a national Tzaddik, he's a national holy man. If you look at the revival of saint worship in Israel in recent years, it seems that Moroccan Jews are over-represented in this phenomenon. What I would like to do in this short talk is to discuss the role of Israelis born in Morocco, or Israelis of Moroccan origin. The role in creating their sacred map, the holy geography of Israel in the late 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Why Moroccan Jews are over-represented in this phenomena? And what can we learn from this cultural project, this cultural revival about issues related to ethnic problem in Israel and in Israeli society. So I will divide my talk into three parts. First, I will try to go back historically and explain why saint worship was so important in Morocco. Then I'll talk a little bit about the history of Jewish immigration from Morocco to Israel in the 50's and the 60's. And then I will discuss this revival of saint worship and trying to account for the growth, for the popularity of this phenomenon as a response, as part of the issues related to ethnicity in Israeli society. Why Morocco then? Jews admire, they worship saints in Morocco as in other Jewish communities. We know about tzaddikim in the Hasidic cultural milieu, but in Morocco it's at a very peculiar phase. It was very popular, there are hundreds and hundreds of holy men, tzaddikim, sainted figures in Morocco. Every Jewish community had at least one, a patron saint, usually modern one. And this popularity, which is really unprecedented, is the outcome of the linkage or the relationship between two traditions. Jewish mystical traditions which was very, very pervasive in Morocco, and popular Muslim traditions. And as we know, if you look at the Muslim orbit from China to Morocco in the west, you will not find another Muslim society in which saint worship is so pervasive, so dominant. Moroccan Islam is defined by saint worship and it wouldn't be far-fetched to say the Jews, as a minority, were influenced by these Muslim traditions without losing their Jewish identity of course. So this synergic combination of Jewish mystical traditions and Muslim traditions related to saint worship created a unique phenomenon in which saints were admired and became a symbolic basis for creating ethnic identity, a sense of ethnic identity among Jews in Morocco. This was a very modern phenomenon again, against what intuition would say to us because saint worship, although popular in previous centuries, was a very local phenomenon because Jews suffered from insecurity in Morocco. Jews could not move between places easily because they were a minority. Powerless in a country where political chaos was usually the rule rather than the exception, so Jews admired the local things. But couldn't move between places, and there was no sense of national Jewish things in Morocco, it couldn't happen. It did happen after the French took over Morocco, created a French protectorate in the country as late as 1912. And until 1956, Morocco independence, they ruled the country. They modernized the country, they gave opportunities to Jews and Muslims and they changed the social fabric of the traditional society of Morocco. Now in the first time in history, Jews could move from one place to another safely. There was infrastructure which the French created which meant roads, paved roads, transportation. There was a new group of nouveau riche Jews who took advantage of the opportunities that the French created, and became. Rich, and translated their money into symbolic capital, and built shrines and places for pilgrims. In short, the golden period of saint worship in Morocco was only in the 20th century. It was a modern phenomenon, and it was very short lived in this sense, because in the 50s Jews already started to leave the country. And they left the country because of push factors and pull factor. The push factors. Or let me start with the pull factors. They were attracted to the new Jewish state which was created in '48, and Moroccan Jews were very traditional. They translated the establishment of Israel into religious, traditional, even Messianic terms, and they were attracted to the new country. The push factors were the independence that French were about to give Morocco. Jews were afraid from the day after independence. Once the French leave the country, they will suffer from the Muslims. So the combination of these pull and push factors created an exodus of the Jewish populations. Out of 300,000 or so Jews in the early 50s, I would say, today we have 2, 3,000, that's all. Most of the Jews moved to Israel, particularly the traditional segments. But their absorption in the new country, their immigration, their Aliyah as we call it in Hebrew, is still considered quite problematic. Moroccan Jews were the largest group by country of origin in Israel, until the coming of the Russians from the ex-Soviet Union. But their absorption, as I said, was very difficult. There are various explanations to this kind of difficulty-ridden absorption, one of which is the fact that Moroccan Jewery was a sort of a transitional society, already on the move from a very traditional pole to modernization. There were rapid changes, social changes, which tore the traditional fabric of Jewish traditional society. So they were caught in a vulnerable moment. The more educated, the richer, preferred France or other French-speaking countries. The poorer, the more traditional, came to Israel. Since they were exposed to modernization, the level of their expectations in the new country was quite high and unrealistic. So this is one major factor. Another factor is the, how should I put it? The unfortunate encounter between the policy of dispersing the population in the young Israeli state, and the mass immigration from Morocco in the mid-50s mainly. There were other waves later. But the point is that when the new moshavim and the new Ayarat Pitu'ah, development towns, were created in the periphery, in the poor areas of Israel, Moroccan Jews were there, as someone called it, reluctant pioneers. They were resourceless, they couldn't resist it, and they were assigned pioneering jobs that the veterans after the War of Independence were not ready to fulfill. So, in the few minutes that I still have, I would like to make a link between this poor situation, in which Moroccan Jews were located in very economically weak development towns in the periphery of Israel, quite far removed from the Jewish center. With educational system which is clearly inferior to the educational opportunities in the center, with a negative immigration turnout, in which the more educated and the young and more resourceful, the young people, are leaving, and the weak population stays. So these problems of development towns are with us even today. But what I would like to emphasize or highlight here is an aspect of this history of development towns, which is, in a way, so obvious, that it is not mentioned or marked. And this is the simple, but very profound, sentiments of attachment to one's home place. 50% of the population in these development towns stayed. And they married there, and they had their children and grandchildren there. So growing sentiments of localism have been created throughout the years in spite of the difficulties, and maybe, paradoxically, because of the difficulties. This is our halutsiyut, this is our pioneering kind of period, and we overcame the difficulties. And we became to love the place where we live. How can we articulate this feelings of localism, of attachment, to the place? Moroccan Jews have looked for symbols to express their attachment to the place, to express their becoming more Israelized, so to speak. And they choose symbols from the cultural toolkit which they had. Namely, not the socialist Zionist ideas which created the moshav or the kibbutz, this was quite foreign to them, but they used the emblem, the idiom of saint worship, which was so central to them. And, indeed, this was the focus of my research from the 80s on. In the periphery of Israel there was an eruption, I would say, Of holiness, the sacred appealed in the periphery. Many holy sites were created, or were renewed, mostly by Moroccan Jews. Let me just mention few trajectories, few courses through which Moroccan Jews have revived saint worship. First of all, they Morrocanized, so to speak, local saints, which were very famous in Morocco even before immigration. That we mentioned the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba’al Haness in Tiberius, the cave of Elijah. All these figures were known in Morocco, were admired in Morocco. It was quite natural to absorb them, or to annex them, to appropriate them in the new country. Therefore, Moroccan Jews, from the beginning, were over represented in the Helew lot of these figures. Second, the same mechanism but on a smaller level. Local saints, saints that happened to be buried or their traditions were related to these new development towns, were immediately sanctified and became the patron saints of the new site. Let me give one example, which is quite dramatic. Honi ha-M'agel is buried, Honi the circle maker, a Talmudic sage, miracle maker is buried near Hatzor HaGlilit. This is a very old tradition from 1,000 years ago, at least. But the fact is that Moroccan Jews and Tunisian Jews, other North African Jews, when they were put or placed reluctantly in Hatzor, they looked around, discovered the tomb. And after the 67 war and the 73 war, two wars in which Hatzor was threatened by the Syrians from the Golam Heights, but was not damaged a gush of miracle stories appeared, according to which, Honi saved his city. But a note that here while using a traditional symbol, the figure is still local. Honi is from Israel, not from Morocco, and the theme is patriotic, the saint saves us from the evading Syrian army, at least in the 73 war. So it has to do with the place, with localism, with patriotic attachment to one's hometown. Is it incidental that the [FOREIGN] Day of Honi is celebrated on Yom Ha'atzmaut, on the Day of Independence? I believe not, and here you can see how, symbolically, the traditional idiom is used to create a local identity related to Israel and to one's home place. Another trajectory or course is the creation of new saints. Here examples are not needed. Every Israeli at least know about Baba Sali, Rabbi Israel Abuhaseira. He lived in Netivot, died old age, 94 In the early 80s. And immediately after his death, in fact even during his lifetime, Netivot was sanctified by him, became holy because he's buried in the local cemetery and holiness attracts more holiness. It's fascinating to look what's going on today in Netivot. Someone called it, Ben Ais Vaganazi of Israel, because Baba Sali's son, Baba Baruch has his empire in Netivot, but he has some imitators, contenders. Rabbi Yakkob Ifergan, the famous X-ray, or Rentgen as he's called, nicknamed, in Hebrew. So Netivot indeed becomes holy. And there are also other trajectories, or courses, through which saints from Morocco are being transferred symbolically and physically. Physically in the sense that their remains are reburied in Israel. Symbolically by dreams or through dreams, in which the saints appear to the dreamer and tells him very flatly, I can't stay in Morocco anymore. My followers have deserted me. I came here. So the saints migrate or transmigrate to Israel following their followers. Again, one can see the patriotic aspect, because the face or the eyes are not directed towards Morocco anymore, if the famous Moroccan saints were buried in the Atlas Mountain. Some of them at least are moving to Israel and have their new sites usually in the house or in the yard of the dreamer. I call these dreamers saint impresarios. To sum up, what we see through these few scattered examples, is what I consider fascinating phenomenon in which peripheral places in Israel are becoming, Equipped with extra holiness, finds meaning, are enveloped by added value of meaning, which is not related to the Zionist symbols the kibbutz or the. But it is not anti-Zionist either, it's extra-Zionist. It's a traditional symbol which is used to articulate sentiments of becoming an Israeli. Still these Helot of the saints, these celebrations are clearly ethnic renewal celebrations. There is a sense of distinction, we are different, we are Moroccans and we are proud of it. At the same time it relates to the here and now, it relates to patriotic attachments to the place of living. So I think that rather than symbolic diasporization, it shows a healthy progress to all becoming part of a admittedly pluralistic society with various ethnical groups. Thank you. >> At the onset of this class, I have asked you to pay attention to the way in which each of the speakers today defines his or her subject matter. As you may have noticed, Talia Sagiv doesn't define Mizrahi and Ashkenazi identities in Israel in ethnic terms. She highlights the social constructivist process through which such identities have gained their meaning. In her own study, she demonstrates how even those children of mixed marriages sometimes come to see themselves as either Ashkenazi or Mizrahim. Elon Billu takes this position even further, and discusses the ways in which not only the general Mizrahi identity gains meaning in the context of Israel. But how even Moroccan culture is being reconstituted in Israel, and all tradition are invented anew as part of the complex social and political context characterizing Israeli society. Momi Dahan, on the other hand, uses one's country of origin, or the country of origin of his or her parents and grandparents, to determine one's ethnic identity. Thus, while social and political consequences of the Ashkenazi Mizrahi divide are on the rise in today's Israeli society, the social origins of this divide seems more fuzzy and complicated than Israel's founding fathers and mothers imagine. Another question that we should ask ourselves concerns the ways in which Ashkenazi Germany and Israel, may have affected our course and how we have narrated the story of Israeli society. By choosing to start this course with European Zionist movement rather than, for example, the story of those Mizrahi Jewish communities who lived in this territory generation before Zionism, what part of the story of Israeli society have we left untold?