Israel’s secular-religious divide has long been seen as one of the country’s key internal issues of conflict. Rather than wait for the Israeli state to work toward solving this intractable problem, numerous private donors and foundations—primarily from the United States—have initiated their own large-scale endeavors in the realm of Israeli pop culture. This essay demonstrates how significant financial investments in Israeli television from the American-based Avi Chai Foundation—by far the biggest player in the realm of Israeli culture—and others have transformed the Israeli cultural landscape, bringing significantly more religious characters and Jewish content to Israeli viewers. I explore the ways in which religion and cultural production converge in this increasingly global era, as transnational NGOs and private foundations deploy the media and arts in order to effect social change.


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pp. 77-103
Launched on MUSE
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