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Students and other readers looking to more fully understand and appreciate Israelis of all backgrounds and their ways of life and culture now have a solid source of engaging, balanced, and accurate information. Israel's brief, turbulent history and the Arab-Israeli conflict are always taken into account in the narrative; however, the emphasis here is nonpolitical and encompassing of the heterogenous culture of its citizens, including Jews, Arabs, Druze, and others. The predominant Jewish culture itself is multicultural, with immigrants from all over the world.
Israel, a tiny state about the size of New Jersey, weighs on the consciousness of the world more than it might small land mass might seem to merit. Located at the junction of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Israel has been a natural trade and migration route since prehistoric times. The region is also the birthplace of monotheism and an important religious site for Jews, Christians, and Muslims worldwide. Culture and Customs of Israel is the first in-depth survey available and comes at a particularly crucial juncture in history, as the balanced perspective adds a needed cultural dimension. Narrative chapters provide a clear overview of the history and religious nexus and discuss the crucial roles of literature and media to the citizens, issues in Israeli art and identity, the diversity in cuisine, a surprisingly traditional view of gender roles, social customs for all ethnicities, and the role of music and dance in nation building. A volume map, photos, chronology, and glossary complement the text.
|1||Introduction : land, people, education, economy, and history||1|
|2||Religion and world view||27|
|3||Literature, media, and cinema||55|
|4||Art and architecture/housing||81|
|5||Cuisine and traditional dress||105|
|6||Gender, marriage, and family||123|
|7||Social customs and lifestyles||137|
|8||Music and dance||151|