Thursday, June 04, 2009

Overrated: Flipping out in the Holy Land

Click the play button here to hear the song. Lyrics here.

[updated; embedded player caused browser problems for some -- so I put the hyperlink above]

Apparently, the "Flipping Out" phenomenon in Israel is less prevalent than you might think...and may even be a Jewish urban legend.

The Jewish Star from Long Island reports:
The year in Israel may not be as pivotal to religious development as was previously thought, according to a new study published by the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and University-School Partnership, an Azrieli affiliate.

The study, coauthored by Dr. David Pelcovitz, the Gwendolyn and Joseph Straus Chair in Psychology and Jewish Education at Azrieli, and Rabbi Steven Eisenberg, the Mordecai Zeitz Doctoral Fellow at Azrieli, found that while students increased in religiosity over their year in Israel, the changes were relatively minor. The “brainwashing” staple of the year in Israel, the Pelcovitz-Eisenberg study indicates, may simply be a myth.
I don't think it's a myth, as there are many people who change religiously while in Israel, both positively and negatively (as teenage years are formative...experimental...exploratory)...but I think the full blown "Flipping Out" syndrome affects only a tiny minority of students.

“The year in Israel should be viewed as a capstone of a 12-year journey of Jewish education,” the study concluded.

Change differed between boys and girls, with girls reporting higher religious scores and basing their changes on generally being in Israel, while boys reported their changes stemming from learning. Prayer was also a perceived effector with students reporting its affect as a change agent on par with their teachers. Girls also reported speaking to their parents and friends on average twice as much as boys did.

However, regardless of a connection to Judaism, there is definitely a new found connection to Israel.

While "Flipping Out" in Israel usually refers to "religiosity", I guess it could also refer to people who suddenly find themselves overly connected to Israel (not that it's a bad thing...)

Examples include...IDF service? Continuing in College in Israel?

Is Aliya the ultimate example of Zionistic Flipping Out?

I'll need to ponder this abit.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

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