Embodying Hebrew Culture
Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Wayne State University Press
I have researched and developed this book over many years and a variety of locations The seeds of this project were planted while I was an undergraduate at Brown University. I owe a great debt to Calvin Goldscheider, who first encouraged me to embark on this path and has remained a trusted adviser ever since. He recommended that I pursue graduate studies on this topic and has steadfastly supported my work ...
Introduction: Embodying Hebrew Culture
When soon to be prime minister David Ben-Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, the Jewish community there spontaneously flocked to the streets en masse and celebrated by dancing the hora, a fast-paced communal circle dance that had become a quintessential marker of a new Jewish society. This image, in photographs and film footage, became an iconic symbol of ...
1 Searching for Hebrew Beauty: The Queen Esther Competitions, 1926–1929
About one month before the Purim holiday, in the years 1926 through 1929, a beauty competition took place at an evening gala in Tel Aviv. This contest was a key element of the Zionist transformation of Purim, a minor and joyous festival in the traditional Jewish calendar. The winner of the competition was crowned Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story. Yet the creators of the beauty contest also changed the ...
2 Promoting Sport: The First Maccabiah Games, 1932
The first Maccabiah Games, a nine-day sports festival in Tel Aviv held from March 29 to April 6, 1932, was a Jewish Olympics. Directly influenced by European culture, the games were modeled after the modern Olympics first staged in Athens in 1896. They included the usual diversity of Olympic sports competitions for men and women, such as track and field, gymnastics, hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis, rugby, ...
3 Producing Theatrical Dance: The National Dance Competition, 1937
On Wednesday evening, October 20, 1937, a large audience gathered to attend the National Dance Competition at Mugrabi Hall, a well-known theater and cinema in the heart of Tel Aviv (Figure 25).1 Gathered backstage stood many of the leading professional dancers of the day; some were prominent, and others were unknown to the Tel Aviv audience on the evening of the event. The program aspired “to discover ...
4 Creating National Folk Dance: The Dalia Dance Festivals, 1944 and 1947
In the summer of 1944 a national folk dance festival took place at Kibbutz Dalia, located in the Jezreel Valley (Figure 37).1 Dancers and onlookers arrived from all over the Yishuv to participate in the celebration and to share in what would prove to be a defining moment in the creation of Israeli folk dance. By nationalizing and institutionalizing the Israeli folk dance movement, the festival was a watershed ...
Conclusion: The Enduring Legacy
Building an embodied Hebrew national public culture was one of the primary goals of the Yishuv. The secular majority believed that developing a Hebrew and corporeal way of life was an essential prerequisite for establishing a modern nation. All the events in this book were formative in creating a new Jew, with a new Jewish body, Because the emphasis on the corporeal became prevalent, investigating the ...
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013
Volume Title: N/a
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