This is an unusual and extremely timely collective effort. It appears at a moment in which Israelis not only must confront their Arab neighbors, but must deal with one another as Jews possessing radically different views on the present and future of the Jewish tradition. With this seventh volume of the series, the Israeli Sociological Society has turned its attention to religion, an area that for many years has been of high importance, but low profile in Israeli affairs and in the wider Middle Eastern context.
Chapters and contributors include: "Jewish Civilization: Approaches to Problems of Israeli Society" by Shmuel N. Eisenstadt; "Life Tradition and Book Tradition in the Development of Ultraorthodox Judaism" by Menachem Friedman; "Religious Kibbutzim: Judaism and Modernization" by Aryei Fishman; "The Religion of Elderly Oriental Jewish Women" by Susan Sered; and "Hanukkah and the Myth of the Maccabees in Ideology and in Society" by Eliezer Don-Yehiya. The increasing presence of religious activism in contemporary Israel, side by side with subtle changes in the religion of Israeli Sephardim, makes the topic of religion essential for an understanding of Israel—and much of the Middle East generally. Israeli Judaism is a significant work, and will be of interest to theologians, philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, and political theorists.