[MUSIC] Hello and welcome to our course Israel State and Society. If you decided to join us, you're probably interested in knowing more about Israel. For some of you Israel is interesting because you came to regard it as your second or even first home country, a locus of your religious and national identity. For others, it's the holy land, the spiritual center of the three monotheistic religions. Some of you may be attending this course for other reasons. You may be here to know the enemy or what you see as the colonial power in the Middle East. Our goal in this course is not to reinforce or challenge your views, but rather to share with you the most up to date and cutting edge academic knowledge about Israel, its political system and its sociological complexity. Our purpose in creating this course is two-fold. For those of you with a general interest in Israel, we hope that the next time you're engaged in conversation about Israel or you're trying to make sense of the news coming out of Israel, the course will provide the broadest and most precise knowledge about Israeli society. For those of you who are interested in studying Israeli society or who have made Israel the focus of your academic research, we hope to provide a first step and a solid infrastructure for you to continue your explorations. If you gathered you knowledge about Israel from the global media, which tends to cover Israel quite extensively, you've probably been exposed to headlines that deal with wars, terror attacks and political struggles. If you're especially interested, you may also have learned little about Israel's complex political system from the frequent successions of the ruling coalition, through various struggles between the country's Jewish and Arab citizens. It's religious and secular Jews and maybe also between Jews of different ethnic backgrounds. If you're exposed to the financial media on the other hand, the picture you've received may be very different. Israel is an emerging economy, the economic tiger of the Middle East, the Silicon Valley, the country with the largest high-tech industry per capita around the globe. One of a few industrial economies that didn't suffer a major recession after the 2008 global crisis. If you've seen these different pictures, you may have asked yourself how they can be reconciled. How can we put together the picture of a never ending war, religious conflict and social struggles, with a picture of the prosperous country, characterized by social solidarity and a good life? If you ever visited Israel, you already know that these pieces and many others are part of the complex mosaic known as Israeli society. I'm Michal Frenkel, a Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I've been studying and teaching different aspects of Israeli society in Israel and abroad ever since I was a young student, much like many of you. Yet because Israel is such a complex society, still in the process of state and society building, I'm also always eager to learn more about it. To become acquainted with yet another aspect of its complex society and to familiarize myself with another theoretical perspective through which we may come to understand the miracle of the country's holding together. Thus instead of teaching this course all by myself, I've asked my colleagues here at the Hebrew University, each one of them a leading world class expert in the various fields relating to Israeli society, to share with us her or his unique perspective and expert knowledge of different aspect of the society. In this course I therefore invite you to join me in a journey toward a better understanding of this complex and fascinating society. Its internal conflict and divides, its political ethos and institutions and the somewhat latent threads that keep it together. From Professor Shlomo Avineri, we'll learn about the processes leading to the emergence of the Israeli state in 1948 and its subsequent evolution. Sociologist Professor Vered Vintzky-Seroussi will talk to us about collective memory and Israeli identity and use this lens to take us through the process through which a new or revived society, a nation, have been built. Demographers Professor Barbara Okun and Dr. Eliyahu Ben Moshe will help us figure out the main social groups that compose Israeli society, the immigration waves that brought them to Israel. And the demographic processes that are so important for the understanding of the relationship between the majority and minorities in our multicultural immigrant society. Political scientist, professor Gideon Rahat will help us navigate the complexities of Israel Political Institutions, its multiple party system and its political consequences. Because the conflict between the Israel and its neighboring Arab countries has had such an important bearing on the construction of Israeli society and its politics, I've asked Professor Elie Podeh from the Department of Middle Eastern Studies to help us understand Israel place in the Middle East between war and peace. Israel also defines itself as a Jewish democracy. What does this mean exactly? How do religiosity and democracy intertwine? Political scientist Prof. Dan Avnon and anthropologist Prof. Tamar Elor will shed light on the challenges and solutions developed in Israel to bridge the two aspect of its identity. And what about Arabs with Israeli citizenship? How do the relationships between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries and the identity of Israel as a Jewish state affect the relationship between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority within Israel. Sociologist Dr. Yael Barda and Dr. Samira Alayan will guide us through some of the aspects of these complicated relationships. More than a third of the Jews in Israel come from Arab countries and another large chunk come from non-Arab Africa. Conflicts between these Jews and European Jews has shaped Israeli society since its earliest beginning. Sociologists Dr. Talia Sagiv, Economics Professor Momi Dahan, and Anthropologist Professor Yoram Bilu will account for the origins of this social cleavage and its socioeconomic consequences. Israel is often at war, and most citizens, men and women are drafted at age 18. Sociologist professor Edna Lomsky-Feder will talk to us about the centrality of the army and the ways in which being a society in uniform affect social hierarchies and gender relationships in Israel. Political scientist professor Tamir Shefer will help us understand how the different social cleavages and internal and external conflicts are translated into voting patterns in Israel. Political economist and sociologist professor Michael Shalev will help us understand Israel economic miracle and the transformation from a semi-socialist state to a hyper-capitalist society. Sociologist Professor Gad Yair will share with us his thesis about the cultural threads that hold us together despite all these internal and external conflicts. To conclude this course, geographer Professor Ronnie Ellenblum will take us on a tour of our city, Jerusalem. The city that is sacred to all three monotheistic religions. A hub of multicultural encounters and conflicts in which the issues we've discussed throughout the course, come together in a single location. I will take you through these different classes and will provide my own take on the way these issues related to each other. So please join me in this journey toward a better understanding of Israel politics and society. Also, from time to time in these videos you will see tiny yellow lines bisecting the time line. At each of these moments I will pause the action to give you a moment to reflect and answer a quiz related to the topic we've been discussing. Scientific studies have shown that whenever you shift from passively absorbing course materials to actively engaging with it, your learning accelerates. You're also welcome to share your ideas and understanding of the materials in this course in the course chat. Those of you who are to taking this course as part of your official college work and are in the process of receiving credits from the Hebrew University for your participation, please read the syllabus carefully for more instructions. Please also read the items assigned for each class and answer the elaborated quiz at the end of each class. So, welcome to week one, let's begin.