2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

"An Ingathering of Exiles": An Analysis of Factors Contributing to Contemporary American Jewish Migration to Israel
Zachary D. Palmer
Dr. Bonnie Mitchell, Faculty Mentor

Since Israel achieved statehood in 1948, approximately one hundred thousand American Jews have left their comfortable lives in the United States to migrate to Israel (Leibovitz 2006). This is remarkable both because it is the single largest migration movement out of the US, but also because of the conflict and turmoil that has come to define Israel as a nation. Through analysis of migration narratives of American Jews who have moved to Israel in the past 15 years, this paper seeks to explain the factors that have contributed to and defined this migration movement in recent years. 5 unique motivations were identified for contemporary American Jewish migration to Israel: the cultural myth of Israel as symbolic homeland, networking and previous transformative experiences in Israel, rootlessness and disconnect with the United States, performance of Jewish identity, and a sense of obligation.

Keywords: Israel, immigration, Jewish, religion, migration

Topic(s):Sociology
Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 401-1
Location: MG 2001
Time: 2:30

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