To Tie the Cords Between the People and Its Land: Geography Education in Israel

Yoram Bar-Gal, Bruria Bar-Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Zionist movement was the flagship of territorial socialization until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. The establishment of the state was a turning point in modern Jewish history because some goals of the Zionist movement were achieved and an independent political entity with international recognition was established. The state itself continued to concern itself with territorial education in order to increase the citizens' identification with the territory. By emphasizing the Zionist-Jewish aspect of the subject, Geography was seen to assist in establishing a connection for the children of immigrants with their new country. Geography was not only intended to convey knowledge about the Land of Israel, but also, principally, to assist children's emotional absorption in the country, through transfer of knowledge about Israel's past, landscapes, and nature. How has the teaching of geography changed over the last century in the Land of Israel? Which social ideas and which fields of geographic thought have shaped the teaching of the discipline, the curriculum, and the development of school textbooks? These are some of the central questions of this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-67
Number of pages24
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2008


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