‘I Want Them to Learn about Israel and the Holidays’: Jewish Israeli Mothers in Early-Twenty-First-Century Britain


Angela Davis 

University of Warwick, GB


About Angela

Angela Davis is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Warwick. She is currently conducting a comparative study of Jewish motherhood in Britain and Israel since 1948. Her broader research has focused on the history of parenthood and childhood in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Britain.


Research has shown that the presence of children in the Jewish Israeli emigrant family intensifies their ambivalence about living abroad, but encourages greater involvement with fellow Israelis as they seek to transmit a Jewish Israeli identity and maintain their children’s attachment to the Jewish state. This article explores this assumption by focusing on the experiences of mothering of a group of Israeli emigrants in Britain. Based on twelve oral history interviews, it considers the issues of child socialisation and the mothers’ own social life. It traces how the women created a social network within which to mother and how they tried to ensure their children preserved a Jewish Israeli identity. The article also seeks to question how parenting abroad led the interviewees to embrace cultural and religious traditions in new ways.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/rg.10132

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