Two urban celebrations in Jewish Palestine

Anat Helman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The civil religion created by Zionist settlers in Palestine included diverse rituals, among them the main annual public events performed in two Jewish towns: Purim in Tel-Aviv and Bikkurim in Hadar ha-Carmel. Based on various written and visual documents, these urban celebrations are described, analyzed, and compared to reveal ways in which the young Zionist community consolidated its collective identity during the 1920s and 1930s. The discussion includes the rituals' organization, execution, and reception; their formal ideological messages as well as implicit meanings; their socioeconomic facet in addition to their symbolic reading. Although both celebrations shared and expressed the same comprehensive national ideology, each also communicated unique local features, indicating how invented traditions can play important selfdefining and promotional roles in new towns.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)380-403
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Civil religion
  • Haifa
  • Public celebrations
  • Tel-Aviv
  • Urban identity
  • Zionist holidays


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