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Public Movement SALON 4 – Deconstructing Birthright Israel

Public Programs

Public Movement SALON 4 – Deconstructing Birthright Israel

April 5 2012

SALON 4 will host multiple roundtable discussions and workshops on the different aspects and dimensions of Birthright Israel including: psychological dimensions, “sentimental experience” mapping of Israel, the politics of Birthright, Zionism for American Jews, the erotic economy, and the idea of Birthright Palestine. The public is invited to participate, as delegates, in the democratic formulation of six declarations, to be delivered at the conclusion of the session and published the following day.

Led by Rachel Havrelock
In this workshop current, past, and future mappings of Israel and Palestine will be discussed. We will view images of maps from ancient and recent histories and, with the Birthright itinerary in mind, will plan travel itineraries in the places represented by the various maps.

Rachel Havrelock is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is currently speaking and writing on “The History of the Map of Israel.”

Led by Bruce Robbins
Birthright tourism is a tool intended to produce certain kinds of political socialization and subjectivity. The participants in this roundtable will be asked to take a further step, examining the specific politics performed vis-a-vis diaspora.

Bruce Robbins is the Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He is presently at work on a documentary about American Jewish critics of Israel.

Led by Efrat Even Tzur & Chaya Rubin
This roundtable will focus on the role of Israeli soldiers in the Birthright Israel program—examining the relationship between identity development and psychosexual development according to psychoanalytic theories and thinking about connections between body and nationality.

Efrat Even-Tzur is an Israeli child psychologist and editor. She is an active member of PsychoActive and Zochrot (Remembering).

Chaya Rubin is a clinical psychologist with experience working on identity changes in Israeli and Palestinian former combatants involved in non-violent peace activism.

Led by Lisa Grant
This roundtable discussion will focus on the challenges of representing Israel on Birthright tours. Using the Masada “Myth” as a case study, we will consider the purposes of heritage tourism and explore together what different outcomes might be achieved through different narrative structures and educational approaches on the tour.

Lisa D. Grant is Associate Professor of Jewish Education at the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York. Her scholarship focuses on adult Jewish learning and the place of Israel in American Jewish life.

Led by Lubna Hammad
This workshop will introduce the global campaign of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and its guidelines, and will examine the project of Public Movement, “SALONS: Birthright Palestine?,” as a case study in order to understand the different effects and tensions of the boycott, as well as the potential upshot for dialogue.

Lubna Hammad is a Palestinian legal consultant and human rights activist. She is a founding member of Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel (organization for identification purposes only).

Led by Mahdi Sabbagh
This workshop will explore the proposal of Birthright Palestine via basic questions of execution, while also considering the underlying principles and socio-political realities of such a proposal.

Mahdi Sabbagh is a Palestinian from Jerusalem and is currently based in New York, where he is training in architecture. He has briefly worked with the UNRWA Camp Development Unit, Decolonizing Architecture, and L.E.FT Architects and is now working at Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Occured at Arists Space, 55 Walker