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Tours That Bind – Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and Israeli Birthright Tourism - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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Tours That Bind: Diaspora, Pilgrimage, and Israeli Birthright Tourism

Shaul Kelner


Since 1999 hundreds of thousands of young American Jews have visited Israel on an all-expense-paid 10-day pilgrimage-tour known as Birthright Israel. The most elaborate of the state-supported homeland tours that are cropping up all over the world, this tour seeks to foster in the American Jewish diaspora a lifelong sense of attachment to Israel based on ethnic and political solidarity. Over a half-billion dollars (and counting) has been spent cultivating this attachment, and despite 9/11 and the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict the tours are still going strong. Based on over seven years of ... More

Keywords: American Jews, Birthright Israel, American Jewish diaspora, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, pilgrimage tour, transnational ties, American Jewish identity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780814748169
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814748169.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Shaul Kelner, author