Research

My doctoral study, based on fieldwork among newcomers in Israel from the former Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1990s, reversed the common research agenda by turning a scholarly gaze onto the receiving society rather than onto the immigrants themselves. This study, and subsequent elaborations, looked at Israelis' notions concerning what sort of people the newcomers have to be, or become, in order to be seen as worthy of belonging. What qualities, biographies, sense of the past, and anticipation towards the future, are considered proof of moral worthiness, and what transformations do the newcomers have to undergo in order to be seen to incorporate these modes of being and understanding? These studies reveal, in various ways, how Israeli Jews work to link the lives of the newcomers with the Israeli nation-state by persuading them to partake in a shared vision of time.

I have carried out an ethnography of an Israeli-Jewish kindergarten, an interview study with Israeli-Jewish and Israeli-Palestinian early education teachers, and a study of children's literature. On the basis of this research, I have published a series of papers, each of which looks at a different aspect of the cultural, social and political knowledge deemed crucial, by educators, for young children to imbibe as part of the process of learning to belong. In my work, I seek to show ways in which global understandings concerning young children and their education interweave with local Israeli concerns.


Together with my colleagues Dr. Lauren Erdreich and Dr. Sveta Roberman, I have recently published a cross-cultural study of mothering and education: Mothering, Education and Culture: Russian, Palestinian and Jewish Middle-Class Mothers in Israeli Society, Palgrave Macmillan (2018).