List of illustrations
List of tables

Preface: Seeking a personal past in the deathscapes of Poland

Chapter 1. Introduction and Methodology
The Shoah, Jewish-Israeli identity and the voyages to Poland Identifying the voyage as a rite of pilgrimage

  • The voyage as model and mirror

Commemoration and collective memory

  • Jewish memory paradigms and their Zionist transformations
  • Territorializing Jewish history in Zionist practice

Israeli social research on Shoah memory

  • From personal trauma to social constructivism
  • Previous research on the Poland voyages

From process to product: The ethnography of the voyage

  • Context, Structure, and Performance in the Voyages to Poland
  • Organization of the Book

Chapter 2. The historical and social context of Iraeli Shoah commemoration
The history of Shoah memory in Israel

  • Early reactions to the Shoah
  • From the Six Day War to the Yom Kippur War
  • Begin's rise to power: The use and abuse of Shoah memory
  • Generational time, the search for roots, and Israeli ethnicity

The Shoah in Israeli education - school textbooks and curricula
Spaces and times of Israeli Shoah Commemoration

  • Yad Vashem: monument and memory
  • Holocaust Memorial Day: calendar and commemoration

Chapter 3. The structure of the Poland voyages
Origins, history, and proclaimed aim of the voyage
The title of the voyage: seeking my brothers - the masa to Poland

  • The voyage group as substitute family
  • The Poland voyage as a masa

Administration and voyage staff

  • Voyage staff
  • The delegation leader
  • The guides
  • The accompanying teachers
  • The doctor and nurse
  • The Polish guide and driver
  • The survivor - witnesses Security personnel

Logistic arrangements: Food, clothing, and flags
The preparatory program

  • Selection of participants
  • The content of the preparatory program

The itinerary and its implicit messages

  • Exterior and interior space
  • Classification of places in "exterior space": death, life, and Polish "ventilation" sites
  • Allotment of time at sites

The rhythms of time in the voyage itinerary
Student expectations, Polish landscape, and guiding narratives

  • Guides' narrative techniques
  • From structure to performance

Chapter 4. Performing the Poland voyages
On the road: Walking through the Poland Voyage
Recruitment and voyage preparations at Sulam High School
The threshold of Poland

  • - day one The road to Treblinka
  • - day two "This is Treblinka Station"
  • Tykocin: Synagogues of the past and the survivor as sheriff
  • "See, there are no birds in this forest"
  • Evening discussion: when do we get to the Shoah?

Bus travel, ventilation and prayer

  • - day three Kabbalat Shabbat: Orthodox Judaism as safe Zionist heritage

Shabbat rest, Shabbat shopping

  • - day four Slouching through Cracow
  • (Non-)encounter with a Polish school
  • Singing for home
  • After Midnight: the staff meeting

The heart of the Shoah: Auschwitz-Birkenau

  • - day five Auschwitz I - Approaching the contested site of memory
  • Manifesting Israel at Auschwitz
  • Visiting the exhibition in Auschwitz I Birkenau - the Heart of the Death Camp "Honoring" the Righteous Gentile and the witnesses

Ventilazia: on the road again

  • - day six Touching the icons of death: Majdanek
  • - day seven The visit to Majdanek
  • Entering the site
  • The gas chambers
  • Shoes as relics: odour and authenticity
  • "We're the same children who were there at the end"
  • Closing the circle: the final evening discussion

Going home: From Warsaw to Tel Aviv

  • - day eight Confronting the not-yet-dead Diaspora
  • The route of victory
  • Final ceremony: the little guy sends us on our way!

Chapter 5. The ceremonies of the Poland voyages
Introduction: What makes ceremonies different?
Contexts of voyage ceremonies

  • School ceremonies in Poland and Israel
  • Sites, times, and configurations of ceremonies

Representative examples of ceremony types

  • Delegation-wide ceremonies
  • Above the death pits, beneath the flag of Israel: the ceremony at Birkenau
  • Warsaw: a ceremony that failed
  • Bus-group ceremonies: "Every person has a name"
  • Individual ritual acts
  • "Honoring" ceremonies for Righteous Gentiles and witnesses

Religious texts and the commemorative ceremonies
The close of the ceremony: Hatikvah and the flag
Ceremonies as "triggers": group crying and consolation

  • The ceremonies: Conclusions

Chapter 6. Homecoming - the transmission of Holocaust memory and Jewish-Israeli Identity
Becoming a witness - the aftermath of the voyage

  • Transmitting the voyage experience
  • Talking about the voyage: Conversations with classmates, family, and survivors
  • Presentations: Albums, videos, ceremonies, and the future of "witnessing"

Subsequent effects of the voyage on participants

  • Changes in attitudes towards Jewish tradition and the Diaspora
  • The voyage and Polish others
  • The voyage and dedication to the nation
  • Dedication to the flag and students' political opinions
  • Survival by proxy and service in the Israeli army

The future of the Israeli voyages to Poland

Chapter 7. Holocaust memory, national identity, and transformative ritual
Conclusions: Poland voyages as national pilgrimages
Cosmopolitan and nationalist memories of the Shoah in the ages of representations
The Poland voyages and modern state ritual: An event that models promoted by a bureaucracy

  • Models and mirrors, bodies and texts
  • The risks of transformatory events in bureaucracies


Appendix: The orthodox delegations to Poland