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Thursday, 14 October 2021, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

What does it mean for Israel to be a Jewish state?

Professor Yaacov Yadgar

What do we mean when we refer to the State of Israel as 'the Jewish State'? What does it mean for the politics of the state to be identified as 'Jewish'? And what does it mean for an academic and intellectual field to study Israel as a Jewish state? 

The lecture will trace the contours of a wide-ranging debate on these issues, that shapes both Israeli and Middle Eastern politics.


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Yaacov Yadgar 370.jpg

Yaacov Yadgar’s research revolves around issues of Jewish identity, religion, politics, and secularism. He focuses on placing Israel in theoretical and epistemological frameworks that bear obvious relevance beyond the specific case history. His scholarship is multidisciplinary, encompassing Jewish, political, cultural, religious, and media studies. He concentrates on Israeli socio-politics (especially Israeli Judaism) and on the epistemological, historical, and political dimensions of Israeli identity.

Professor Yadgar’s two most recent books, Israel’s Jewish Identity Crisis: State and Politics in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2020) and Sovereign Jews: Israel, Zionism, and Judaism (SUNY Press, 2017), revolve around a basic question of the Israel polity: What is the meaning of Jewish sovereignty in Israel? This fundamental question, which ultimately revolves around Zionism’s charged relation with its own Jewish roots and Israel’s subsequent unresolved claim to a non-religious Jewish identity stands at the core of Israeli socio-politics and shapes the politics of the Middle-East at large.

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