Marking the Boundaries of the Enclave: Defining the Israeli Collective through the Poland 'Experience'

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The incorporation of the Israeli Ministry of Education's worldview into Israeli students' annual visitations to Poland that commemorate the Holocaust is studied. Mary Douglas's (1993) understanding of the "practices of the enclave" is employed to comprehend the practices used by the Education Ministry during these annual pilgrimages. It is contended that the students are encouraged to perceive their groups as egalitarian collectives whose boundaries are clearly defined yet constantly threatened while in Poland. The delineation of native Poles as unclean, the dichotomization of space into familiar Jewish & exterior Polish spaces, & the security strategies employed within the groups are analyzed to demonstrate how student groups are constructed as enclaves during their visitations. Attention is then directed toward exploring how students are prevented from & instructed to address anomalous occurrences during their pilgrimages, eg, students are essentially shielded from experiencing contact with Poles. After reviewing the Education Ministry's inclusion of certain Jewish ceremonies into the visiting delegations' routines, the potential problems embodied within the practices of the enclave are contemplated. Several recommendations for overcoming the enclave mentality within this program are offered, eg, introducing anomalous figures & events to the student delegations. 2 Charts, 6 Photographs. J. W. Parker
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)84-114
Number of pages31
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Holocaust
  • Ceremonies
  • Jewish peoples
  • Jewish diaspora
  • Pilgrimages
  • Jewish studies
  • Synagogues
  • Enclaves
  • Concentration camps
  • Jewish rituals
  • Education -- Israel
  • Jewish (1939-1945) -- Israel -- Influence
  • Psychological aspects
  • Pilgrims and pilgrimages
  • Demographic aspects
  • Jewish history
  • Social aspects
  • Political aspects
  • Social identity
  • Group identity
  • Holocaust memorials


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