Publication Date

April 2018

Advisor(s)

Douglas Foyle

Major

Government

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis uses a specific high school trip to Israel?USY Pilgrimage?to learn about how Conservative Jewish Zionism manifests and to discern the impacts of teen travel to Israel on attitude formation and collective memory. For this study, a group of USYers participated a panel survey that produced data on attitudes both before and after trips to Israel in 2017. I find that USYers go into trips with collective memory that aligns with Conservative Jewish ideology, and this collective memory remains intact over the course of the trip. Trips reinforce general attitudes and form more specific ones: Upon return from USY Israel Pilgrimage, participants perceive that they are more knowledgeable about events and individuals that fit into a Zionist narrative about Israel?s history, and they develop foreign policy attitudes affiliated with militant internationalism. Additionally, their Jewish priorities shift; when asked about aspects of Judaism that have personal significance, participants, on average, place a greater value (both statistically and relative to other question items) on history and the State of Israel than they did before the trip. Experiential Israel education has the power to impact attitudes--both about Israel, specifically, and global issues (like foreign policy outlook)--so educators should think intentionally about content design and execution.

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