Particularistic Education, Endogamy, and Educational Tourism to Homeland: An Exploratory Multi-dimensional Analysis of Jewish Diaspora Social Indicators

Erik H. Cohen

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    8 Scopus citations


    Two new indicators of Jewish identity-market penetration of educational youth tours to Israel and rates of participation in a second tour-are proposed, and considered together with three widely used indicators (endogamy rates, day school enrolment and tourism to Israel) to create a typology of Jewish Diaspora communities. Analysis of the data allows for creation of a three-dimensional typology along three axes: adult tourism to Israel, market penetration of Israel Experience tours, and endogamy. These indicators are useful in differentiating between Jewish populations in various Diaspora countries. Some Diaspora populations (including the large ones in the USA and France) seem to have a small but committed core, while much of the Jewish population is according to these indicators less involved. Other Diaspora populations (such as Mexico and South Africa) have broader participation according to the selected indicators. The Jews of the Former Soviet Union have weak participation according to all the indicators. These results provide a preliminary basis for comparison of Jewish life throughout the Diaspora.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)169-189
    Number of pages21
    JournalContemporary Jewry
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2009

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgements This article is dedicated to the memory of Shlomo Gravetz, former head of the Youth and Hechalutz Department. Words cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel towards him for his initiative in launching the long-term research on the IE program. The basic data collection of the IE indicators was made possible in the framework of research jointly commissioned by the Taglit birthright Israel and the Department of Education of the Jewish Agency for Israel in 1998. I would like to thank Dr. Morale Bar-On (historian and head of the Youth and Hechalutz Department from 1967–1977) for his input of historical information included in the graphs and tables. Thanks to Allison Ofanansky for assistance in editing this article. The anonymous reviewers offered constructive and useful comments on a previous version of this article.


    • Endogamy
    • Israel Experience
    • Market penetration
    • Partial order
    • Social indicators
    • Tourism


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