Drawing on 40 life-stories of Jewish-Israeli television viewers collected over the years 2004-6, this article makes three claims. First, it suggests that the formation of memory is tightly intertwined with television viewing, both at the individual level and the collective levels of the family and the nation. It elaborates on a typology of television memories, differentiating between wallpaper memories, flashbulb memories, media events and close encounters. Second, it asserts that in Israel, the nation remains a major framework for apprehending collective memory. Nevertheless, fragmentation can be felt: immigration and ethnicity play a role, as does commercialization. Finally, it makes a methodological claim about the ways collective memory can best be studied. Examining the reception of audiences, in addition to the common focus on memory texts, reveals that even with commercialized, fragmentized television, Jewish-Israeli viewers share a strong sense of common memories and a collective past.
- collective memory
- television history